May your lines be tight. How To Find And Catch Winter Trout Winter has just about the opposite effect on the wanderings of trout as it does on bass and other warm-water game fish. Work slowly, making a lot of drifts through each piece of water. During the winter you can find them in relatively shallow water. One little leak can be more than an inconvenience when it’s really cold out. Brook trout and splake. No dry flies!! Catch cold-water trout by trolling with leadcore line. Work slowly, making a lot of drifts through each piece of water. Catching rainbow trout in a pond is not all that difficult. Your email address will not be published. Use light lines to fish with small jigs tipped with waxworms or preserved minnows. Knowing this, I get excited whenever I find a shallow weedy bay at one end of a lake—I know a sizable portion of the local rainbow population will be relating to it, cruising around the mouth of the bay and pushing up into it a bit, or roaming the drop-off area just outside of it. Copyright 2021, The Orvis Company Inc. And keep up-to-date with Canada's fishing and hunting authority! Natural as well as scented baitsA natural fish food like bait fish, crayfish, frogs allowed as bait, grubs, insects, larvae, worms, salmon eggs, cheese, corn as well as other diet substances not containing any kind of ingredient to injure or destroy fish. Start typing to see results or hit ESC to close, Ice-fishing Friday: How to make an ice livewell for perfect live releases, Want to score more ice-fishing wins? You can unsubscribe at any time by clicking on the "Unsubscribe" link at the bottom of every email. Stocked trout were raised in a small, confined area and were given food at regular intervals. You will be sent an opt-in email to confirm that you would like to receive emails from us. I was quickly becoming discouraged about fly fishing. Just keep in mind that when you’re ice fishing in these corral-like areas, the trout can see for a considerable distance in the gin-clear water. This blog describes a select group of ponds in Maine that provide the best potential for catching rainbow trout through the ice during the winter of 2017. But don’t leave home without a few winter dry flies. Their native habitats are the mountain streams and lakes west of the Rocky Mountains. It doesn’t happen when you use a fly reel.”, A fly fisherman at heart, Shibata will also match the hatch in the winter, tying streamer patterns—Woolly Buggers are his favourite—onto 1/16-ounce jigs. Many of these ponds are open to ice fishing and are stocked with bows each spring and/or fall. It’s amazing that you can drift through a spot twenty times without the slightest bump, only to have the indicator dive on the twenty-first pass. ——–Two days ago I was driving by a favorite river pool located not a half-hour from Phil's office. About two or three years after I caught that first trout on the Musconetcong, I was fishing Big Flat Brook in the northwestern corner of the Garden State, when I was shocked again by the sight of several trout rising at the tailout of a pool. Whether the trout stocked in your area are diploid rainbow trout or triploid rainbow trout you will be able to catch them using the techniques and secrets to catching stocked trout found below, so sit back, grab yourself a big ol' cup of coffee and get ready to take notes, I'm going to share my trout fishing success stories and hopefully help you catch more trout on your next outing! When the temperatures start dipping below 45 degrees the trout really start to hunker down. Winter Fishing in Cold Climates. Slide the weight up the line and attach a barrel swivel. He simply cuts a strip of foam down to the same width of the inside of the arbour, wraps it around the spool and fixes it in place with electrical tape. Sleep in — The fish won’t be active until the warmest part of the day, so there’s no need for dawn patrol. So, whether you’re in it for a rainbow trout dinner or just a few hours of fun, read on for how to catch one in a stocked pond. You’ve fished my FAVORITE river, the Musconetcong…..I’ve fished that river since the early 70’s…..I think I fish that river more than anywhere…..keeps calling me back….and always produces fish. Fish Pond. Over the last several years, mild winters have meant open water where there is usually ice. You will be sent an opt-in email to confirm that you would like to receive emails from us. We all had to start somewhere at some time. However, when the water is slightly deeper—say, 10 to 12 feet—rainbows behave quite differently, usually gliding in the middle of the water column. If you’re fishing in a lake, look for the lakes most shallow fertile section. I’ve heard of guys nymphing on Colorado’s Taylor River when it’s 30 below out, but that strikes me as right on the edge of insanity. One of the most successful searching fly patterns for trout, the Tungsten Rainbow Warrior Midge fly pattern combines a tungsten bead with a bit of flash to produce spectacular results. “So, the little tuft of dust I create when I drag the jig along gets them excited,” he says. That said, winter fishing is often about reduced expectations. In order to catch the winter trout, move your lure or bait as slow as possible. Am I right? Winter fishing is almost exclusively a nymphing game, with a light leader under an indicator. Holy s***! Instead, he prefers the tougher fluorocarbon because it’s less likely to break than mono when a big ’bow rubs it against woody debris. See for details. Fish behavior slows down so much in the winter, and the days get shorter. Since 1856. Lighten up — Winter water is often clear, and slow-moving trout have plenty of time to inspect your setup. Since my job has me busy 24/7 for most of the summer, for years I have done more winter fishing than summer fishing. “It’s the universal profile,” he says, adding that he’s also experimented with Gulp! Catching rainbow trout that were raised in a hatchery presents a number of problems for a fisherman. The initial pond capacity is 3 fish, but the capacity can be increased to 10 by completing three quests. It is a never ending learning process. Well, my gear is always with me in the Jeep, no matter, and I scrambled back to crawl into my waders. Not a single dry fly with me. I got that bite which ended up being a 26″ fish that was just under 5 pounds. Recipe & video: Scrumptious smoked-steelhead pizza—from scratch! As we head into winter, Dead Horse, located near Cottonwood in North Central Arizona, provides some of the best catch rates around for rainbow trout. Sub freezing air temperatures can really damage fish. The trout gather in these enclosed confines, and you can often catch them by jigging in a variety of depths—from as little as five feet to as much as 15 feet below the surface. Trout stocking resumed in November. Please pass that forward to the next gentlemen who is struggling. If you’re read other articles on this website then you already know I really like the Slender Spoons for a variety of applications. Zebra Midge. A strong rise! Rainbow trout are the most popular trout to stock around the world, and chances are that they’re stocked in a pond near you. Rainbow trout love cold water, can be caught on a variety of baits and lures (worms, power bait, corn, spinners, spoons, flies and more), and are great to take home and eat. The fish are about to get spooked very easily in the colder months. Trout can be easily caught on a variety of PowerBait colors, homemade dough baits and spinners. Last febuary I was on trip 10 to the Hams Fork river in Kemmerer Wy, the previous 9 trips I lost probably 100 flies and ZERO fish were caught. On one memorable day, I arrived at Armstrong’s Spring Creek in Paradise Valley with the mercury stuck at 17 degrees Fahrenheit, only to find trout rising to a hatch of blue-winged olives. Winter Rainbow trout often swim just below the ice. Keep in mind that colder water generally means slower fish. Rainbow trout will be most often found in two locations when ice fishing. Layer up, and most importantly, keep your body dry. Rainbow trout mostly feed on nymphs, larvae, leeches, snails, and small bait fish. KANSAS CITY, Mo. 1. Then, there it was! “But I’m trying to drag the rig along the bottom, simulating an emerging insect.”, According to Shibata, the fish are totally aware of what’s going on in their backyard as they cruise the shallows, feeding on invertebrates. They do great work, for great people such as yourself. Jigging a Slender Spoon from a canoe or kayak in winter in a pond that holds trout is a sure way to catch fish when nothing else will work. Ideally, you want a day that’s part of a warming trend, so if you see the temps heading upward—say, from the twenties to the low or mid thirties—plan a day to fish. This was it I had said if I come home empty again this time I am done. In colder climates, the key is understanding that winter trout are at their most lazy. Things such as nightcrawlers and dough baits are very popular. Been catching some trout on whole kernel corn and trout nibblets in a stocked lake. Only big streamers and bucktails in my usual winter/early spring boxes. And,……less frustrating and expensive than golf! Known in fishing circles as Doctor Pyzer, he worked for 30 years as a senior manager with Ontario's Ministry of Natural Resources before devoting all his energies to fishing. An excellent installment on this blog, with great suggestions and insights. Look around for shallow weedy bays, coves, and inlets where the water is less than 5 feet deep. STALK YOUR FISH. Since then, I’ve enjoyed lots of cold-weather fishing, in places as disparate as New Hampshire, North Carolina, and Montana. You can jerk it a little to make it pop and fall. When fishing in the winter, jigging small baits through the ice is the best way to catch trout. Winter Trout Trolling. Finding myself in the pool waiting for that rise (there were some midges here and there) I grabbed my fly boxes. Nymphs and larvae will almost always be found on mud flats. As promised, here are my 2021 fish goals. regardless if you want a nice photo or wall mount or if you are playing for catch and release, it is a sport the entire family can come to enjoy. The very first winter trout I ever caught came from the Musconetcong River in Hackettstown, New Jersey, more than 20 years ago. If the law allows, try winter trout fishing in your area. – Winter trout fishing is available again in the Kansas City metro area. So, without further ado here are three basic tips to catch more winter trout. On the other hand, if I can’t find a weedy cove, I can just about guarantee I’ll cross paths with the fish if I drill my holes and start ice fishing over the flattest, shallowest section of the lake. In this case, the name of the game is always to attract the fish first, then trigger them to bite when they come in to play. Instead, it falls ever so slowly, reflecting light and flashing subtly.”, Shibata has also had success with jigs such as the ReelBait Flasher Jig, which sport a small willowleaf blade under the head. These are the areas where rainbow trout will find food in the winter. “In the beginning, I filled my fly reels to capacity, but the large amount of line was too much weight,” he says. Trout do feed in winter, especially if water temperatures climb above 40 degrees. In general, unless you’re fishing a tailwater or a spring creek, you don’t want to be on the water when it’s bitter cold out. Cast your bait or lure and let it sink to the bottom and wait a minute. These lures come highly recommended! Caught a 17″ ‘bow yesterday on the Musky in Hampton. Have a look. How to Catch Rainbow Trout Table of Contents Rainbow trout may be the most beautiful game fish in North America. Says Shibata: “It works like a charm.”. This means that you must make calculated … It’s amazing that you can drift through a spot twenty times without the slightest bump, only to have the indicator dive on the twenty-first pass. Hope you enjoy the trout fishing vlog! Our winter rainbow trout program has been a favorite with … I clean up trash and try and leave the area better then I found it. In addition, these trout were acclimated to live at a certain depth in the water and at a constant temperature. This wouldn’t be a proper article on winter fishing if it didn’t discuss preparing for the cold. Luckily, I had a few Griffith’s Gnats in my vest, and I managed to take one of the trout by swinging the fly just under the surface. It’s no fun for you, and the fish can be extremely sluggish. Expert Advice for Fishing Rainbow Trout in Winter. I didn’t really believe it would happen and was completely shocked when my indicator went under. I think there may be some articles floating around in this here Orvis site about them. Instead, he uses small fly reels, which balance better with the light, soft-tipped rods he uses for rainbows. When it's chilly, the cold water gets pushed to the bank facing the wind and the undertow pushes the warm water to the opposite end. This was especially true on large, deep lakes. Follow us on social media and keep up-to-date with Canada's fishing and hunting authority. “The key is to keep your jig close to the bottom, even laying it on the bottom.”, According to Shibata, the light jig attracts the trout without burying itself in the lake-bottom mud and detritus. Pictured above: Lake trout bite all winter long for the anglers willing to brave the elements. Winter trout fishing is available again in the Kansas City metro area. Start just beneath the ice and go deeper until you have strikes. Therefore, that is where the rainbow trout will look for them as well. Yikes! When it comes to effective ice-fishing presentations, most anglers overlook the fact that rainbows—and brook trout—are the top predators in these smaller backcountry lakes. Small bait fish … So observes eastern Ontario trout guru Paul Shibata. I then specifically target rainbow trout on the Watauga river in East Tennessee. Catch Gord Pyzer on Fish’n Canada Live with Angelo Viola and Pete Bowman. In this episode I discuss how trout think and behave in the winter. “Mother Nature has also programmed them to be opportunistic.”, Shibata, who has iced rainbows and brookies weighing up to seven pounds, uses a 1/16-ounce jig tipped with a three-inch Gulp! What! This is a great ice fishing tactic that has helped me catch many trout over the years. In waters around 10 feet deep, rainbow trout are known to feed near the middle column of the water. This fat rainbow chose to bite on an unusually mild January day. I pulled over, walked to the pool and just gazed around for a while. So, what to do? Despite the above example, you’re usually not going to run into pods of fish feeding on the surface the way you might in June, and no trout are going to charge down your streamer in the way a spawn-enraged brown will in October. The trout gather in these enclosed confines, and you can often catch them by jigging in a variety of depths—from as little as five feet to as much as 15 feet below the surface. This was another proud moment in my maturation as an angler. Enter Outdoor Canada’s 10th annual photo contest. And because fish aren’t willing to move very far to eat your offering, fish a two-fly tandem rig. While you can catch small lake trout through the ice, the two species of trout we will focus on in this section are brook trout and rainbow trout. by Captain Dave Vollenweider December 10, 2019. Rainbow Trout can be placed in a Fish Pond, where they will reproduce every 2 days. Just last Friday, there must have been four or five other folks fishing on the South Fork of the Snake. It’s no fun for you, and the fish can be extremely sluggish.” “But don’t leave home without a few winter dry flies”<. It was a good afternoon. Fly fisherman also have great success here. That way, if I catch three, I feel like I’ve hit the jackpot. It's supposed to be another "warm" day tomorrow. Best bet Rainbows are a great "starter fish" for trout fishing novices. But I’m guessing that you’re smart enough to put on a coat, hat, and gloves when it’s 30 degrees out. A great way to go fishing with this trout bait is to rig a minnow under a tip-up in shallow water (2 to 6 feet). 3 Winter Trout Fishing Tips. He then drops them to the bottom and drags them along through the silt. The bottom line is that all of these baits are an excellent choice when it comes to fishing trout bait under the ice. Sorry about the windy audio. Missed a 22″ plus monster when it shot across the river and broke off. I particularly loved the photographs. These Outdoor Canada readers find out, 4 cool new outdoor accessories for the season and beyond, Outdoor Canada’s 2020 holiday gift guide for anglers and hunters, 3 great numbers (and one that’s not so good) about fishing and hunting in Canada, Saskatchewan Wildlife Federation expands its family membership plan, Alberta to allow new coal strip mines that could kill four blue-ribbon trout rivers, Recipe & video: Roasted blueberry-pepper elk tenderloin with sweet and spicy sauce, Recipe & video: Scrumptious duck schnitzel with a hearty potato sauce. Living in MT and ID for the past 35 years has produced some great memories – and some nice fish. Even reeling up your lure quickly and dropping it back down your hole will cause your line to twist and your lure to spin. Also comprises dough bait, putty or pas… The funny part is that I caught it on a Zebra Midge too! Photo by Im still a complete novice fly fisher having only done it for a year or so but I am completely hooked so heres my favorite story. They are so true: >”Picking the right days and slowing everything down. “Obviously, I’m restricted by the diameter of the hole, so my retrieve is more of a slow lift and fall,” he says. So clearly, good winter fishing areas for speckled trout need to be in places with shallow flats and deep channels close by Any shells, reefs, oysters, or rocks will hold more fish Right now we see 70+ degrees one day and near freezing the next. That said, don’t ignore the shorter, seemingly insignificant secondary and tertiary points—they can be even better. That’s awesome Jed i’m 17 and started fly fishing maybe 2 years ago, and the Ham’s Fork was the first place that I caught a fish on my fly rod. Minnow as his go-to bait. The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) recently stocked rainbow trout in several lakes, giving anglers a chance to catch cold-water fish in a close-to-home fishing opportunity. Trout raised at MDC’s Bennett Spring Fish Hatchery were stocked on November 10. Winter. These were the first winter risers I’d come across. “When you use a light spoon,” he says, “just like a jig, it doesn’t plummet to the bottom. Instead, they tend to never stray too far from the lake’s most fertile sections. “When you lift it up every once in a while, and let it fall back down,” he says, “it adds a bit of motion, stirs up a cloud of silt and calls the trout over. By signing up for our newsletter, you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service. Around 20 ponds, most of them located in southern Maine counties, are managed as rainbow trout fisheries. When I find one of these corrals looping into a shallow bay or lake section, I’ll pinpoint the edge of the drop-off with my sonar and drill holes at least 50 feet away, setting up over the deeper water to catch the roaming rainbows. A member of the Canadian Angler Hall of Fame and the National Freshwater Fishing Hall of Fame, the 62 time award-winning writer is also an internationally sought out speaker, tournament angler and field editor with In-Fisherman Magazine and Television. That can't be happening. I always head out into the cold with the goal of catching a single trout; anything else is gravy. Then they clobber it.”, Although Shibata and Coulter have never met, their strategies are strikingly similar, especially when the rainbow bite toughens and Shibata reaches for a rod rigged with the smallest Williams Wabler spoon. Winter trout usually hold in slower water—deep pools, long runs, and at the base of waterfalls—so you’ll want to focus on these areas. And as with brookies, I typically find the rainbows cruising just above the bottom when the water is less than five feet deep. Zebra Midge flies have been around for decades and for good reason — they catch fish. You just need to know where to look, what gear to use, and have some patience. It is much easier than trying to catch them in a river or stream. When I find one of these corrals looping into a shallow bay or lake section, I’ll pinpoint the edge of the drop-off with my sonar and drill holes at least 50 feet away, setting up over the deeper water to catch the roaming rainbows. Having suffered many blank days over the years, myself, pursuing the seemingly impossible dream of netting a nice trout on a fly in winter I can attest to two of the suggestions. Jed, “There’s not much of a spin to the blade, especially when you’re fishing in only a couple of feet of water, but it’s precisely what the trout want,” he says. Now I can be the old curmudgeon and complain about how crowded the rivers are in the winter. Trout won't be found everywhere, though, in fact they will probably be concentrated in just a few pools. So my friend and his brother in law were reeling in decent fish from 14 to 20 inches long and I was bringing in jack and squat so I went walking down the river and ran into a guy from Utah.