Squeekys Top 5

Squeeky’s Top 5 Missouri River Winter Fly Fishing Tips

Top 5 Missouri River Winter Fishing Tips from Squeeky today on the Headhunters Fly Fishing Blog. The 5 tips do not center around actual rigging techniques, but more about the approach to winter fly fishing. Winter Fishing is different, a different pace than the frenetical summer pace.

The winter fishing weather has been really quite good for the most part, save for a very few cold and snow blasts in late fall. If you are indeed coming out give us a call at the shop for up to the minute reports. Wind and otherwise. We are open daily at 8am-5pm for anything you may need.

A reminder that Headhunters is your Winter Fishing Headquarters. All of the Trout Spey gear including rigging techniques available at the shop. And PINK or Winter like nymphs? We got ’em with 100+ winter specific Missouri River fly patterns in stock!

Squeeky’s Top 5 Missouri River Winter Fly Fishing Tips

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On anchor Winter Mo

  • Go Small! When tying on a streamer for the winter session, keep it on the small side. So many folks like to throw the wet sock-like double an triple articulated streamer at our trout? Seems like overkill to many of us. If that is your gig, then buy by all means. Knock yourself out! If you like ease of use, and fish-a-bility, then Go Small. We like small buggers, Skip’s Minnow, Arnold’s Mozurri Minnow, Leeches, and the like. Come in for more small flies that will be on target for winter streamer fishing.
  • Try something new. If you are one to stay with what has always worked pink scud it may be time to push the envelope open a bit. I have repeated this statement many times over the past 13 years on this blog as I am a big believer in mixing it up if your shit ain’t working.
  • Realize that winter fishing is not summer, spring or even fall fishing. It is the opposite in fact. Short fishing sessions preceded by long preparation sessions. Acknowledge that. Embrace it! I think it allows you to be more fine tuned in your pursuit. You already know the nymph rig, so prep that at home or near the car. You are not, always, going to new spots regularly. You know your winter wade fishing spot(s). Take it for what it is. Solace, some fish, and mental healing.
  • Fish are the most active in the center of the day. Pretty much a winter rule. Commonly good in the morning, but not usually. 11 or 12 high noon are good start times. You are not too late at noon. Fish strong til 3pm-ish. This latter time frame can be longer. Sometimes it does fish strong until the sun dips below the horizon. No need to go too early or stay out til your fingers stop moving completely.
  • P.S. Although sometimes the early morning midge bite can be damn good. Just sayin’.
  • Hunt heads. I know it is not the time of the year where fish are ramming their noses towards the surface often. You can find a few, sometimes. But. But you can take the time to wander the banks, learning, reviewing, searching. Use the winter as a time to learn about waters that you generally walk by. Check out the cool patchwork river bottom. Find the secondary and tertiary Look for undulations that hold trout. Study inside slicks looking for a subtle rise. This behavior enhances your river Chi. It slows your heart rate. It reboots your fishing mind. It’s really good. Some bigger fish looking upwards in the canyon recently. Sometimes at dusk the fish will go nuts. And by nuts I mean totally random.

Hope a couple of these tips help you in your winter fly fishing pursuits. I like to keep it slow and enjoy the entire day. The fishing is just an added benefit for heading out of the house whether it be to the Missouri or your local pond, lake, or river. Enjoy the winter and we’ll see you out on the snowy banks of the Missouri.

Squeekys Top 5 Winter Fly Fishing Tips

Winter on the Missouri River

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5 Comments.

  • I’d add one more tip, Squeek. The guy who fishes the Mo the most in the winter learns the most. And hot coffee and BS at the HH shop is a great winter day killer!

  • I’ve learned a ton this winter and it’s only half over!

  • Have not mastered knowing the speed just a tick faster that doesn’t hold fish for the winter game. Some work to do here. Reading water – an aspect of this game I really like. Must be in the tool box!

  • Mark, you’re looking young in that picture. It must be the water in Craig or maybe you started to drink that Kombucha.

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