- Last Updated on Wednesday, 10 December 2014 11:45
After a long, dry fall, we finally had enough rain to make a difference for Spring Creek. Rain fell on a relatively constant basis from Friday night, 5 December, through most of the next day. It was just the shot that Spring Creek needed, and there was even a spot of color to the stream on Sunday. Water levels have dipped again, but the stream looks better than it has for many weeks.
There should be little need to fish tiny nymphs for a while. #14-16 patterns that hook fish well should be appropriate for some time. As always sowbugs and shrimp patterns, imitations of year round food sources, are a good starting point. To that brief list add a Zebra midge since there are always midge larvae in the substrate, and also supplement the more somber fare with a bead head fly for extra weight and a bit of fish-attracting flash. Exactly what bead head pattern that might be is problematic, but BH Green Weenies, BH Pheasant Tails, and BH Fox Squirrel Nymphs have all taken fish for me during the cold months.
Although the fish had been midging well while the water was down, there were no risers to be seen when I stopped along the creek on Sunday. The typical cause of rising for the next few months will be tiny #24-28 dun-winged black Diptera. These little midges are called "snow flies" in the West; on particularly cold days they can be seen crawling over the snow to get off the water, since their wings are too cold for flight. Do not let their miniscule size fool you into thinking they are unimportant. Far from it! I have landed fish up to 17" on matching imitations, and foot-long browns rising steadily to winter midges are not unusual. Midges usually hatch during the warmest part of the day, a great trait for warmblooded anglers.
Good cold weather gear is essential for winter fishing. Dress in layers that allow you to remove some if you get too warm, for instance while walking. A hat not of the baseball variety or a hood keeps a great deal of body heat inside. And fish within close proximity to your car. If you take a dip in the summer, it is inconvenient. The same dip in the winter can be life-threatening if the walk to your vehicle is prolonged.