Advice for Flyfishing in the winter - By John Henry Sinclair

Advice for Flyfishing in the winter 

Carp Fly anglers mostly come out in summer and spring, casting their flies in the early morning sun. Often you will find people on skis and on their boats. So to find a still spot for fly fishing could prove to be very difficult but rewarding. The committed fly angler will continue to cast his fly deep into autumn. But comes winter, it is time to pack away your flies..or is it?

The carp is not hibernating so why should you? Also there are no boats on the water during winter. The angler also does not have to be at the water’s edge at daybreak for even the carp knows not to get in the shallows where it is freezing. In Stead of staying home, the avid angler will get his waders on and into the water around midday to take full advantage of the afternoon sun and the warmer water.

During winter it is better to use sinking flies than flies that float. The carp is a bit passive in winter to go after beetles and stuff, and will rather strike at a fly that has landed on top of him. Winter flies usually comes with a copper bead that enables the fly to sink quicker than summer flies made of plastic beads. The correct movement in the water as well as color is important components that should be considered when choosing a fly in winter. Any material that catches good light should be considered. White and yellow are good colors to consider but prior experience taught me black and red are also very good.

 Use a hook with a large gap, like a scud hook. Small flies work better than dense flies. ‘Nymphs’ on a tapered leader is most commonly used for winter angling. Attach a ‘split shot’ about 25cm above your fly and your ‘strike indicator’ must be adjusted to ensure your fly floats just above the bottom of the river. Winter fly fishing requires more than just the flies. Long hours in the cold water can even lead to hyperthermia and so it is important to dress warm and a wader is a must. Make sure you have feeling in all your limbs at all times or get out of the water.

Winter fly sessions are shorter than in the summer, even only an hour or two. Take with you the right flies, the right techniques, the right tackle and winter fly fishing will add a whole new dimension to your angling experiences!