Tuesday, November 28, 2017

All I want for Christmas, is my Winter Fly Box

As the Holiday Season approaches, visions of cold fingers, ice-filled guides and large trout dance in my head.

Its the time of year when big head-shakes and reel screaming runs turn my attention to dredging those deep pools as the snow flies.




That being said...in the winter I tend to trim my box down to a much smaller pallet. 

Over the years I have identified the select few patterns I will turn to when confidence begins to get sapped by the elements. So when fingers are cold and toes are no longer existent as far as my sensory system is informing my brain....I lean towards the flies I know "will" work. Why muddy the waters with anything other than my boots?

I have a system. Not a system unique or mine, but a system none-the-less that works for me. I prefer to use an "anchor fly" more so than split-shot whenever possible. So I tie several patterns that pull double duty as both split-shot and productive fly. 



(Left-to-right)  

Coyote Ugly, Little Crappie Fly & Big Skittle 


All three patterns are tied on heavier hooks than their original, with full shank underwire and tungsten beads for added weight. They get you on the bottom quick, but not to be undone, they catch fish on their own as well.




Winter is also egg time. I lean towards 3 particular color combinations. All of which are tied with McFlyfoam.



(Left-to-Right)

Illiamna Pink, Steelhead Orange & Apricot / Steelhead Orange



The Apricot / Steelhead Orange being my 1st choice


As my primary fly, I have an even 6 patterns that I tie and stock for winter trips. All of which have been with me for a considerable amount of time on the water. I know that one of these 6 will bring fish to hand on any given day.



(Left-to-Right)

Green Skittle, REC, C2C, RP Starling, Tactical Caddis & Ice Zebra Midge

For me, the winter is big fish time. Most likely due to my focus on fishing slow and deep, while targeting the places that big fish haunt. A style of fishing that lends itself to a much tighter focus with my fly box as well.  

Hope it adds to your box as well.

NOTE:
All patterns listed above are found in full tying video within my "Pattern Archive".