Wintertime for most folks in Colorado means heading to the busy and expensive ski slopes. Lucky for us fisherman, there are still great opportunities to get our fishing fix in the winter. Generally fishing in the winter a fisherman will find small crowds and still have the opportunity to catch a monster. To have a great experience winter fly fishing it is very important to check the weather and plan ahead, wear the appropriate clothing, and fish tail-waters.
Even though it’s winter, Colorado still has many nice days and checking the weather can be the difference between a cold, snowy, miserable day or a day filled with catching fish. Fish have been know to be less active and slow their eating habits during a storm. The trout should be most active when the pressure is rising but still not high. Once you have choose a day based on the weather, plan for it being cold in the mornings and evenings than the middle of the day.
Wearing the appropriate clothing will also help make sure the winter elements doesn’t ruin the experience for fly fishing. First and most important, wear moisture wicking fabrics like polyester, fleece or wool. Thick wool socks and fleece pants are a must. Next, wear several layers so as the weather & your body heats and cools you can adjust easily. The ultimate goal is to stay warm and dry. It is also a good idea to always have a spare, warm, dry set of clothes back in the car to change into if needed. A wind and water proof jacket shell is recommend to help keep warm as well in the tail-water locations.
Tail-water fly fishing consist of fishing below the many man made reservoirs Colorado has to offer. The damn will shoot out “warmer” water through the winter, keeping the river from icing over. Generally the main food source for tail-water trout is something coming out of the lake, like mysis shrimp. The trout will hang out below the damns fattening up with all the easy dinner.
Winter-time fly fishing doesn’t have to be scary, grab a cup of coffee, relax, and go for it.