I finally got back to the river last week. This year’s November weather was a little different than usual. We were able to fish a good week and a half into November. I’ve said in past years the dry fly fishing usually stops around November 1. It’s like someone throws a switch and the fishing is very different after that. In fact, I mentioned it in a recent blog entitled Fly Fishing the Metolius River in November. That isn’t to say you can’t find Blue Wing Olive (BWO) or midges hatching in the winter. Maybe an occasional caddis or small stonefly as well. But I already miss the PMDs. This year’s weather was different and I recently celebrated the start of winter fly fishing.

November Fishing | www.johnkreft.com

We had quite a bit of snow before Thanksgiving and it has stuck around.

So my fishing style is changing. I go to the river hoping for a hatch of BWOs and tie on a size 18 – 20 Improved Sparkle Dun BWO

Improved Sparkle Dun BWO | www.johnkreft.com

…hoping to catch one of these beautiful Rainbow Trout with their spots and colored cheeks.

Winter Rainbow Trout | www.johnkreft.com

This one took a size 20 Scotty’s Midge.

Rainbow Trout with Scotty's Midge | www.johnkreft.com
Scotty's Midge | www.johnkreft.com

Keep a sharp look out for small rings signaling rising fish. Some rises might be more pronounced, but it doesn’t take much for fish to suck down those little mayflies. It’s almost like they suck them through a straw.

How about a few nymphs? The fly box below includes some perdigon style flies as well as a few of my proven favorites.

Filling a Nymph Box | www.johnkreft.com

From left to right:

These are the standard flies I carry for winter nymph fishing. I decided to try a little Euro nymphing last winter and will continue learning on future trips to the river. Years ago, I called this technique “high sticking”, but Euro nymphing does utilize a little different theory to get the flies quickly on the bottom where the fish are. These include very thin line, leader, slim profile flies (perdigon style).

So I’ll continue to take my new Beula 10′ 3 weight fly rod to the river with a Rio’s Euro Nymph Fly Line.

You can read about my Euro nymph journey here:

And last but not least, here is a great shot of a relative lucky enough to fish with me last week. I think she had a terrific time!

Kate on Metolius | www.johnkreft.com

If you haven’t finished your Christmas shopping, be sure to read a couple posts 2019 Fly Fisher’s Christmas List and Fly Fishing and Fly Tying Bookshelf for Christmas list ideas.

Enjoy…go fish!

(John Kreft is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.)

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