The cold is here and we have been blessed with holiday snow! The Colorado River basin is now at 123% and we are all crossing our fingers that the winter precipitation continues. While many outdoor enthusiasts have turned their attention to the ski resorts, we have settled into the “slow season” at the shop which involves counting flies, tying flies, and some welcomed solitude on our home waters.
My recipe to success in January is to take advantage of the weather, good or bad! Tailwaters will be the foundation that are always an option no matter how cold it gets and I actually choose to go to my favorite tailwater spots when the weather is bad. Solitude and unpressured fish are often the keys to having shots at larger fish. On the other hand, anglers should keep an eye out for warm weather fronts and plan ahead to maybe drive a bit further for the occasion. It’s hard to beat a 60-degree day on the Arkansas in January!
Stealth is really important this time of year, especially on the Blue River here in town. Everything should slow down even more so than usual in terms of how you approach the water, taking time to locate fish, and stepping into the water. This is not a time to be in a hurry. Fish will tend to lie in slower/deeper water and their movements are minimized due to a decrease in their metabolism. Natural drifts that get down to these deeper lies are the key to success, unless you start seeing adult bugs! Dry fly fishing is not all that uncommon in the winter. If you see noses poking through the surface make the switch to a dry/dropper rig. Don't get stuck fishing the same rig when the bug situation changes.
Favorite Dry Dropper Flies for Winter: