I’ve been battling a cold and focusing on tying flies for winter and spring. As soon as I recover, I plan to be on the river. Winter fly fishing isn’t easy, and the fish are often glued to holding spots waiting for food to drift into their path.
This time of year, I am usually nymphing small flies in sizes 18-24. Midges and scuds are common.
I tie a particularly ugly scud fly that works wonders in the cooler weather. There’s not much to it, and I think that only helps it out. It’s aesthetically pleasing to tie a by the book czech nymph or picture perfect stonefly, but that’s not always what trout are looking for. That’s why I recommend tying and keeping a few ugly flies in your fly box.
Here’s a pattern that I’ve tested and seen work on MA streams, especially the swift river.
Hook: Size 18-24
Body: Very Coarse gray dubbing with copper wire wraps (I use a possum dubbing that looks esp. unkempt)
On the top of the body, I add a green flash back. Sometimes I’ll mix in a VERY SMALL bit of subdued ice dub in the gray dubbing as well.
Very simple and effective. Probably passes for a sow bug as well. Add some split shot to your line and catch more fish this winter.