WFF Stillwater Series_9: Fly Fishing In Winter

Excellent writeup. Got my license again and ready to roll. Hoping to hit Lone this weekend depending upon the weather. I must have missed your 8th posting.
Thanks for another excellent article. Lone has become my winter fishery of choice. I've experienced some beautiful, productive mid-days there lately. :thumb:
Nicely written. The dragonfly nymph is REALLY good advice on certain lakes. Tie it with weighted eyes so it rides hookpoint up, and keep it close to the bottom. On some lakes a leech will still beat it though. Bloodworms should be a go to pattern in winter, even if you aren't big on chronomid fishing. The six pack looks just like a secret weapon in my fly-box, but I tie it with a black beadhead. It's -2 F right now, so I'm going to wait an hour to warm up before I head out fishing today.


New Member
Its soooo true that you build up a tolerance to the cold. When I first went fishing in the cold, I was frozen quickly but not I am getting used to it.
“...And Deep Too”​

And about that damn leech, a local expert advised me to part with it in favor of a dragon fly nymph, so I chose to react with an open mind and take the advice. Sort of. While building this pattern into my arsenal I can't exactly go cold turkey off the leech, as amputating both legs would be easier for me. But I'm working on it.

I tie both and keep both in my fly box. Sometimes the nymph will work better than the leech and vice/versa. To switch off one for the other is pure foolishness. In some lakes there are an abundances of leeches and not to use the leech pattern might not work. It isn't wise to "go cold turkey off the leech."
On another forum, there was a question about fishing lowland lakes in winter. I offered the following as at least a partial explanation:

The lower metabolic rate that cold blooded animals experience when the temperature drops means that a fish simply will not move so far in pursuit of prey, so the radius in which it might pursue a fly will drop, perhaps dramatically so. That means you have to pretty much put your fly on the fishes nose, compared to those mid-summer days, when a fish will pursue from quite a distance some times.

Considering that the volume of water a fish might 'hunt' in diminishes by the cube of the radius a fish will move, we can do a simple mathematical calculation. The volume of a sphere is pi times r cubed. If a fish at 36ºF will move only one foot to pursue a prey item, but will move 3 feet at 56ºF, the space you need to hit at 36ºF will be ca. 3.2 cubic feet, whereas at 56ºF, it will be ca. 86 cubic feet, or 27 times as much water!

Ford: Whats #10 going to be about? (hint.... hint.. hint...) :)
Where was Richard when I was stealing quotes for this stuff? None of my statistical science even came close to his masterful blending of Algebra and Geometry to create fish math. If I did WFFSS_10 it would only be to quote Richard's formula. :thumb:

Gregg Lundgren

Now fishing on weekdays too!
"Fish Math". I love it! Kind of like fuzzy math or voodoo economics?

Say the fishing is just fast and furious in a lake that's very cold and half froze over... Using fish math would lead us to visions of fish suspended like stacked cord wood. Awesome!

Maybe they are all huddling together to stay warm on these days.:)