Late fall and early winter are some of our favorite times to fish as the seasonal change brings cooler weather and fewer anglers and hungry trout ready to eat in preparation for a long, cold winter. Keep in mind that it’s a lot easier to spook fish, so smaller flies, lighter tippet, and better presentation are key this time of year.
1. Jig Slum Lord—Brown #10
2. Jig Leech—Canadian Black #12
3. Yakoda Opal Annelid—Red #14
4. Hot Head Jig CDC Flashback Pheasant Tail—#16
5. Bead Head Flashback Pheasant Tail—#16
6. Hot Spot Comparadun—BWO #18
7. Booty's Emerging Midge—Black #20
8. Yakoda Crackle Back Midge Emerger—Black #18
9. Yakoda Flashy Foam Back Emerger - Purple #20
10. Yakoda Flashy Foam Back Emerger - Camel #20
There are a handful of flies that we always fish in the colder months. Midges, annelids, pheasant tails, and leeches consistently work and all of them are included in this quarter’s selection. Starting with the mini-meats, leeches just get the job done. The Jigged Slum Lord is the biggest fly in this box and has lots of movement which is often the difference maker in getting a fish to commit. Stripping this fly like any other streamer or dead drifting it while nymphing are both effective ways to fish it.
Pheasant tails in some form are always on our rig. The Bead Head Flashback Pheasant Tail is a great pattern during the fall, with the hot orange bead mimicking an egg (or just grabbing the attention of fish). Try fishing it trailed by the Yakoda Opal Annelid or any of the midges. Speaking of midges, they are always on the menu in the colder months due to their small size and consistent hatches in the colder water. The Yakoda Crackleback is a fantastic midge attractor pattern and can be paired with one of the Yakoda Flashy Foam Back Emergers for some two midge action.
You’ll often find rising trout in the afternoon during the fall and winter as the temperatures reach their peak for the day. If you notice activity on the surface, try fishing a double dry setup with the Hot Spot Comparadun BWO and the Booty’s Emerging Midge. Before defaulting to exclusively fishing a dry fly (or two), try to determine if the fish are sipping above the surface or just below. Fish sipping on the surface are eating dry flies while the fish sipping just below the surface are eating emergers and will be looking for something like the Yakoda Flashy Foam Back Emerger that sits in the film just below the surface. Take your time and observe their feeding behavior before deciding what flies to tie on.
Have fun out there and thank you for being a Yakoda QFC subscriber. We hope these purposefully selected flies and fishing tips make a difference during your time on the water this fall and winter.