On the fly: Reasons to love the wintertime | AspenTimes.com

On the fly: Reasons to love the wintertime

Will Sands
Special to The Aspen Times
Aspen, CO Colorado

BASALT – Winter fly fishing offers unique opportunities that cannot be had at other times of the year. Several of our favorite reasons for winter fishing are banker’s hours, ease of locating fish and the visual excitement of being able to stalk your quarry and sight fish.

During the colder months, these factors play a key role for many anglers being more successful at catching fish. Many anglers are much more successful now than they are during the summer or fall, which are generally perceived as the fishing season. Several variables can often make winter fishing easier. Winter water levels, water temperatures and time of day narrow the window when fish feed, and this makes targeting winter fish rather easy in general.

Water levels are certainly the most important factor, as gin-clear, lower flows during winter make it easy to locate fish. Winter trout seek the warmth of the slower, deeper runs and pools, as opposed to being all spread out during the spring, summer and fall. Since deep, slow runs and pools should be easy to identify, anglers can expect to find numbers of fish concentrated together, limiting the need to seek out a variety of different water types.

Banker’s hours and water temperatures go hand in hand for the both the angler and the trout. As daily temperatures rise around midday, water temperatures also rise. These slight temperature increases stimulate trout to feed and enable anglers to focus on the easiest times to hook up. The combination of being on the water during the warmest and most productive part of the day certainly maximizes an angler’s comfort and enjoyment!

Sight fishing tops off the excitement of getting out in winter. With the ability to easily determine where and when trout are can be found and are most active, nothing seals the deal more than being able to watch trout react to your fly. The gin-clear water during the winter allows anglers to stalk and sight pods of fish or pick out and target individual fish. Often this allows anglers to single out some of the larger specimens and hook some of the season’s biggest fish. For hot tips on where and when, check in with local guides and local shops for insights and advice.

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