Fly Fishing near Asheville in December
The days have gotten shorter and the nights colder but the fishing still remains outstanding in our little corner of the Appalachian Mountains. One of the benefits of calling the southeast home is that our fisheries are twelve month a year fisheries. We, unlike our friends in the Rockies, do not have to trade our rods and waders for skis; we can have our cake and eat it too as we chase our finned friends even in the coldest months. What makes winter my absolutely favorite time of the year to fish is that you will rarely be fishing in a crowd which always makes the fishing better.
We do have to adjust our strategies when it comes to trout this time of year. With the nights growing cold the water temps are at their lowest temperatures first thing in the morning. For us this means that there is no longer any need to be out of bed and on the river in the wee early hours. The fishing gets better as the air and water temperature climbs throughout the day, so have that extra cup of coffee and breakfast sandwich, you can even sleep in…you deserve it.
On warmer days there will still be surface bug activity with mostly Blue Wing Olives, Little Black Stone Fly’s, Midges, and Some Sedge Caddis thrown in for fun. Under the surface is where more attention should be given as nymphing and streamer fishing will often yield better results day in and day out through the winter. Some of our favorite sub-surface patterns include Eggs, Winter Stone Fly’s, Caddis larvae, and various Midges. Trout this time of year slow down their metabolisms with the drop in water temperature so they are not as likely to move great distances to eat. Often on the coldest days the name of the game is drifting your fly as close to the trout’s mouth as you possibly can, making it an easy decision for the trout to eat your fly.
Streamer patterns include Wooly Boogers, Slump Busters, and Zonkers. Remember that trout often are keyed in on a particular color streamer, so if you are not seeing much activity in the form of follows and takes switch colors until you find the right one. I will often switch colors every ten to fifteen casts if I can see fish ignoring my streamer.
The whole key to winter fishing is persistence, keep covering water till you locate fish, cast to those fish until they eat or you go crazy, and then go find some more fish. You can repeat this process all winter and I promise that you will be much happier with the results than if you were to sit around all winter waiting for spring. Give us a call or come by the shop and let us get you acquainted with our trout winter wonderland here in Western North Carolina…you won’t regret it. Visit our Guide Services page to go Fly Fishing Asheville.