I rarely have the opportunity to do guide trips in the winter time. Most of the winter I’m working the real life job and trying to catch up on everything I need to do from the guiding season. Fly tying, equipment checks and honey do’s to name just a few. Thanks to Denver Water running the Roberts Tunnel this winter there is great opportunities for people to fish the ranches on the North Fork of the South Platte. Thus, I have had the opportunity to do a couple trips. Thought I would share the experiences with you.
First up a two brothers, one had never fly fished before and the other a pretty darn good stick. Got the guys out on The Meadows Section of the North Fork. For more info on winter rates and properties Check out The Blue Quill Angler the fly shop I guide for. I will tell you this is my favorite section in the North Fork of the South Platte corridor. The brothers got after it big time hooking up with fish on a regular basis.
Fishing the North Fork with the flows around 70cfs is really fun! Lots of sight fishing involved and different presentations you have to make to get the fish to eat. Yes, it’s private property and there are lots of fish but there is a learning curve to the whole deal. Lets just say if you are not on your game those fish can get you. Nymphing with good high sticking techniques and keeping the fly line as short as possible is the key to getting a good drift and a quick hook sets. The trout this time of year hit and spit fast!
Another fun thing I did with the brothers was show them how to fish streamers in the winter time. It’s a little different then running streamers in warmer water conditions. You haven’t lived until you have seen a giant shadow appear from under heavy cover to chomp a streamer. It’s so visual and fun, it the winter time it almost seems like it is slow motion. Needless to say we moved more then a few fish on a double streamer rig fishing really slow and methodical. We all had fun with it and put some huge fish in the net.
The second trip at Boxwood was a good time. Guided two great guys that got after it and fished hard. Tiny bugs and light tippets moved fish all day. It gets pretty technical here and the fish are well educated but I think that adds to the fun. For me as a guide it really challenges you as far as bug selection and rigging. It challenges the anglers to get prefect drifts and I really emphasize approach in the winter. Making sure you’re not casting shadows on the water and looking at different ways to approach runs full of fish so you don’t spook them. Always fun at Boxwood and a good challenge.
If you would like to try winter fly fishing, I highly recommend taking a winter trip to one of these wonderful ranches! Winter rates make these trips affordable and it’s great experience, learning how to land and get big fish to eat. Please leave me any questions or comments and I hope everyone has a Merry Christmas!