Best Winter Fly Fishing: A Guide To Locations And Fishing Flies

by Christine Harrell

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This winter, when everyone else is headed for cover in their homes, the adventurous fly fisherman is headed out into the crisp rushing waters to take advantage of some of the most exciting fly fishing of the year. If you're the type who doesn't let winter get between you and fishing, then pack your tackle box with an assortment of fishing flies and try out one of these choice winter locations.

Whistler, Canada:
Get your recipes out for wild steelhead, salmon, rainbow trout, and char, because that's what you'll be coming home with after a fly fishing trip to Whistler, Canada. Temperatures here in the winter months range between 35 degrees and 46 degrees Fahrenheit so pack your thermals! As for packing your tackle box, some good bets for fishing flies are green highlander, the Green Butt Skunk, and the Thunder and Lightning.

Eureka, California:
Needs something a little warmer? Winter temperatures in Eureka rarely dip below 45 degrees. There are 6 fly fishing rivers in this little Northern California town: The Smith River, The Klamath River, The Trinity River, The Mad River, The Eel River, and the Van Duzen River. Each has its own unique qualities, but each is rich with steelhead. In these rivers, you'll want to pack plenty of fishing flies that appeal to these hungry fish including the Black Bear Green Butt, Black Dose, and the Orange Body Bomber.

Lake Creek, Alaska:
If you're dreaming of reeling in some of the biggest, most beautiful salmon in the US, you've got to get out to Lake Creek Alaska. In these lakes you'll have the opportunity to catch huge King Salmon, Pink Salmon, Chum Salmon, Rainbow Trout, and Northern Pikes. Pack lots of different fishing flies but be sure to include sinking flies like nymphs and dry flies.

Taupo Region, New Zealand:
If you're going to take a fishing trip during the winter, you may as well go big! New Zealand is an outdoor lover's paradise, with some of the most amazing scenery anywhere in the world. Wintertime fishing in New Zealand is best in the Taupo region. This area is believe to be where the largest number of rainbow trouts in the world spawn. For fishing flies, you'll want to pack lots of nymphs, particularly pheasant tail nymph, hare and copper nymph, and various forms of caddis.

Sure, it's cold and there are fewer hatches and therefore fewer fish in the winter. But those that are there are out are practically begging to take hold of a juicy-looking fishing fly. So start dreaming, find your ideal spot, load up on fishing flies and set out on an adventure to break up those long winter months. If nothing else, you'll come back with some great fishing stories.

Christine Harrell is a writer for Blue Fly Cafe.

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