With Gabe Levin heading off to winter on the Indian Subcontinent, we are introducing a new young talent to write our weekly fishing reports. Michael Schraeder Jnr, has been one of those fishy youngster’s we have kept our eye on for a number of years. He’s already written a column for the local Baxter Bulletin newspaper and is helping out in the shop.
Michael, gets to spend more time on the water than most of us, but he will be sourcing a lot of the content from our guide team on a weekly basis, to make sure you have the best available reports on river conditions.
Well, it sure doesn’t seem like it was that long ago that I was standing knee deep in Crooked Creek wearing a sun shirt and Buff thinking how nice it would be to have some cooler weather- wish granted!
Now while many of us would certainly prefer to fish in warmer weather (and I’m one of them), that doesn’t mean that the winter months are not still a great time to fish!
You know of our “Streamer Season”, which officially kicks off at the end of January with our annual ‘Streamer Lovefest’ party. This has become a hugely popular and a very busy time for us at the Shop and for the guides on the water. “Streamer Junkies” from all over the country converge on the area to throw big streamers at big trout.
It’s the short time between now and the end of January that can seem a little slow in terms of numbers of fish. Don’t get me wrong- there are still PLENTY of fish to be caught!
Even with a lot of our brown trout on the spawn, that still leaves plenty of rainbow, cutthroat, and brook trout.
So with that said, let’s talk about what’s working.
Click through to the rest of this week’s report.
While we have seen quite a bit of wadeable water this week, I would anticipate that changing somewhat as colder weather sets in and energy demand goes up.
Nymph fisherman can expect to continue to have good success fishing midges (ruby and diamond in size 18), devil jigs (red and copper in sizes 14 & 16), pheasant tails (in sizes 14, 16, & 18). For extra appeal, pair them with an egg pattern or San Juan worm.
For streamer fisherman, try throwing a Bennett’s Lunch $ (in shad or tan), Coffey’s Sparkle Minnow (in JJ, sculpin, & smoke), and of course Olive Woolly Buggers (size 4 through 10).
For a change from the norm, try throwing a streamer combination. The pair that I have been throwing recently is a yellow and red woolly worm with an olive woolly trailing 6-8” behind.
Again, hours of generation should increase as the demand for energy increases. Irregardless, continue to fish midges (root beer and black & purple zebra in sizes 16 & 18), pheasant tails (size 16 & 18), and hunchback scuds (size 16 & 18). Add an egg pattern or San Juan worm as a colorful attractor.