Tuesday, February 5, 2013

It's February - What to Tie and Fish?

We got a few requests asking about what we would recommend be tied and fished this coming month in the New Jersey/Eastern PA area. I have a few in mind, and I'll get to them in a minute.  For starters, since there are few hatches to match, when the weather permits, keep it simple and stick with patterns that you have confidence in.  Fish the flies you always seem to catch fish on - it really isn't the best time to experiment.  Its usually cold out, and the water colder, leaving fish and fisherman on the slower side.  Get your flies down to where the fish are so they don't have to move far to grab them, because most of the time the trout aren't going to waste energy chasing down your offering.

Most of our fishing is done with streamers or nymphs, although fishing dries is never out of the question if we see one or more fish taking from the surface.

One of my first choices is the Beadhead Bird's Nest. Fish this alone, or drop a scud, Chimarra caddis larva, RS2 or Pumpkinhead Midge behind it.

Here's the Chimarra caddis larva.  These small, bright yellow/orange caddis larva are very abundant and spend the month of February and early March drifting low in the water column as they move among the rocks feeding as soon after they will pupate and hatch in late April and May. 

And here's the Beadhead Pheasant Tail nymph, another beadhead to get the fly down to where the trout are. Again, the is a great pattern to fish alone, or drop a smaller fly behind it and cover two bases with each cast.
So there's a few suggestions for starters.  I would also recommend a black Hare's Ear nymph, tied thin, to imitate the Little-black Stoneflies that hatch in sizes #12-16. You can also use a Prince Nymph or Zug Bug for this insect. 
Other good choices for this time of the year an be found on Tightline Productions video channel.  There you'll find other patterns tied by myself, and others tied by Tim Flagler, who has posted some other great patterns that will work well now; the Zebra Midge, Wooley Bugger, Mercury Midge, and most recently the Rainbow Warrior nymph. 
All of the above flies are good choices for winter trout fishing.  Again, these are flies that produce well and have been proven over time.  You may want to add a few of your own choices to the mix to fill out the balance and provide added confidence. 
Sharpen your hooks.    

1 comment:

John M said...

Thanks as always Matt! I plan on hitting either Claremont or KLG tomorrow late am/early afternoon and was going to shoot u an email...now I don't have too!

John M