Dick’s End of Year Nymphing Report

Dick’s End of Year Nymphing Report

Dick Magill Series today with the latest nymph report

It’s the end of the year and the river is in great shape. I’ve been out there mostly swinging, but have found some time to dip a few nymphs in the water as well.

As I write this the current temperature of the Missouri River below Holter Dam is just under 35 degrees.  The flows have been fairly consistent and are sitting at 3,710 cfs for the time being.

The fish have definitely responded to the cold temps by migrating to their winter holding water. This water is deep and slow. Fish try and conserve as much energy as possible when the temps start getting chilly, and because of this they are going to reside in water this isn’t too hard for them to maintain position and find food. 

One sure fire way to find and understand winter holding and feeding behaviors of trout in the cold winter months is to nymph. A lot of anglers love to hate on the technique, but that’s mostly due to the fact they have never actually mastered this hyper-techy approach to catching trout. I have not either. But fish a lot will get me there faster.

I do know that fishing a lot is the fastest way to getting better. And catching a lot allows you to learn a lot. And learning a lot lets you catch more fish. So, I fish a lot.

And fishing a lot It’s super fun and once you find one fish your almost certain to get a few more out of the same hole. 

A good nymph rig for the winter months consists of a Rio Trout Powerflex Plus 9’ 3x tapered leader paired with 18”- 21” of Rio 3X Flouroflex tippit to your first fly. Then another 18” – 20” of Rio 4x Flouroflex tippit to your second fly. I connect my tippet to my leader with a blood knot, but you can use which ever knot you prefer.

Just above that knot is where you will place your split shot. This time of year, you want to get down quick, so you’ll want to start off fairly heavy with a BB size split shot. To finish the rig, place your indicator of choice about 5 or 6 feet above your split shot. Boom, you’re ready to catch a lot of fish.

Now head out there and find them Swing by the shop for an up to the minute fishing report. Education is the favorite part of our day!

The top five nymphs over the last couple of days include Ninch’s Pill Popper #12, Tailwater Sow Bug #16, Amex Pink #14, Firebead Ray Pink #18, and last but not least Ninch’s Bubble Yum Scud #12. That being said you will probably find success fishing anything resembling a scud or sow bug. Bonus points if its pink or has a fire bead. 

The weather looks pretty stellar over the next week and the fish are going to be feasting daily on tiny little micro invertebrates. It’s a great time to get out and fish. Bundle up, grab a few hand warmers and hit the water this weekend.

We’ll be open daily 8 to 1 with the only winter shuttle service in town and the Best Flies Underthe Big Sky!

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