I fished my favorite river late last week. You’ll be surprised to know I did a little early winter Euro nymph fly fishing. It’s the first time the rod’s been out in several months. If you are a regular RiverKeeper Flies reader, you know how much I enjoy dry fly fishing. I love watching a trout rise to my fly.

Snow was in the forecast, so I knew hatching insects probably wouldn’t happen. I threw in a second rod just in case, but honestly, I didn’t expect to use it.

I found a few friends while fishing the upper section of the Metolius below Allingham Bridge. (Remember, the river is closed above Allingham Bridge until next May.)

Metolius River Otters | www.johnkreft.com

Look carefully at the image above. Did you locate the second otter looking like a rock? It was taken within the last hour of light and produced a flat-light image.

The three otters I saw are a curious bunch, playing and eating around the areas I fished that day. They disappeared but returned later in the afternoon and continued moving upstream.

I looked forward to fishing my Beulah 10′ 3 weight Euro nymph rod, but it takes a little getting used to. Euro nymphing is so different than dry fly fishing. First are the knots.

Here is the initial set of flies I chose. The top fly in the image is a Pheasant Tail Perdigon attached to the tippet ring with 18 to 20 inches of 6X tippet. A shorter piece of 6X, about 5 inches, is tied to the tippet ring and the tippet ring is attached to my running line/leader. I tied a Rainbow Warrior Perdigon to the shorter piece of monofiliment.

Two Nymph Set-up | www.johnkreft.com

I fished this setup for a while with no strikes.

I left on the Pheasant Tail Perdigon as my bottom fly and switched the top fly to an Olive Perdigon. It didn’t work either.

I just completed another fly tying video on my RiverKeeper Flies YouTube channel, demonstrating the Olive Perdigon.

I noticed a few mayflies floating down the river…only five or six, but no trout were rising.

I decided to tie on a size 18 $3 Dip and a couple casts later landed a small Whitefish.

Whitefish with $3 Dip | www.johnkreft.com

That was it for the day. Perhaps the otters had something to do with my success.

2 Curious Metolius River Otters | www.johnkreft.com
Metolius River Otter Swimming in Snow | www.johnkreft.com

If you are interested in previous Euro nymph posts, here are my favorites:

I’ll leave you with an image I really like of fading light on the river as the snow began to fall harder.

Grass Clump in the River | www.johnkreft.com

I wonder if a trout is hiding there?

Enjoy…go fish, stay safe!

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  1. Ron (above note) and I fished that hole a couple of weeks ago – no less than 8 otters came thru, playing, eating, fighting with each other over a fish, and just putting on a beautiful nature show for us. Even when the fishing’s slow on that river, it is magical! Thanx for the excellent photos!

    1. I may have been there at that time. I was standing in the middle of the river and several otters came swimming towards me. I just stood there, frozen. Such a wonderful sight and makes fishing even more enjoyable.

  2. great photos, John….. the otters and bulls have been in that hole for a few weeks now… but a buddy had some luck with a Sexy Walts…. slam that day… bull, brown, rainbow, and whitey….

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