|....................... ......Fly Fishing Yellowstone National Park
Catching Yellowstone Cold Water Trout - Part 20
Tips for Fishing Cold Water in the Smokies During the Winter
For purposes of defining cold, we are referring to water temperatures between
40 and 50 degrees Fahrenheit.
1. Slow and small are the two key words. Use smaller flies than you normally
would. Slow down the presentation of your flies.
2. The trout want hold in fast moving water. Fish areas of water that is moving
slow or where it is not moving at all. This means areas behind boulders and
rocks, pools, deep areas of the stream, or any other area of water that is not
3. The trout want move a great distance to eat. Place your flies in front of their
4. There are three important types of hatches that occur during the winter
months in cold water: Midges, Blue-winged Olive mayflies and Stoneflies.
5. Fish during the middle of the day when the water is most likely a little warmer
than it would be early and late in the day.
6. Fish sub-surface flies unless you observe trout feeding on the surface:
Nymphs and Larvae imitations as opposed to dry flies or adult imitations
7. Don't just fish on the best weather days. Cloudy, snowy, rainy and bad
weather days (low pressure systems) are great for larger Blue-winged Olive
hatches and the fishing.
8. Avoid wading when possible. Wading can be dangerous, especially if you are
fishing alone. Fish from the bank when you can. If you do wade, be extremely
careful and keep your wading belt tight.
9. Cold water is extremely clear. Use longer and lighter leaders and tippets than
normal. Stay well hidden.
10. Generally, the water in sections of streams in the lower elevations will be
warmer than sections of streams in the high elevations.
11. In the first part of the winter and late fall months, avoid fishing for brown and
brook trout that are in the process of spawning.
12. Don't sit at home dreaming about fishing - go. Trout love cold water and the
fishing can be very good during the winer months.
Copyright 2009 James Marsh