Another solid week of February streamer fishing comes to a close for the Dally’s crew, and another group of anglers goes home with stories to tell and photos to back them up. Doubtless they will go home with fingers, toes, and other extremities still stinging from the cold, but they also are bringing home a grin that says “it was all worth it.” Many experienced streamer fishermen have made the White River their annual getaway in search of trophy browns, and many others arrive here to broaden their trout fishing experience and learn new skills. Regardless of skill level, all will leave with newfound appreciation and addiction for the spirit of winter streamer fishing. That is, the “whatever it takes,” “embrace the grind,” “go big or go home” attitude that is necessary to find success chasing big smart fish in wintery conditions. If it was easy it wouldn’t be this much fun.
High flows are yielding larger browns to the persistent angler using sink tip lines and a variety of large articulated streamers in different colors and styles. Double Deceivers, Circus Peanuts, Dungeons, Viking Midge, and DD’s all performed this week, among other patterns. Indicator fishing with midges, small nymphs, worms, and eggs will produce good numbers of fish during periods of lower flows – minimum flow up to 3,000cfs or so. Wotton Super midges, Ruby midges, Sunday Specials, Wotton sowbugs, San Juan worms in red and pink, and egg patterns are all strong producers.
A variety of streamers have been effective on high flows, everything from big and yellow to small and white, but the smaller end of the spectrum will likely produce more consistently. Try Zonkers, Bellydancers, Slump Busters, and Zoo Cougars. Low flows are best fished with small midges and scuds presented gently on light tippet.