Swinging with Dick

Swinging with Dick

Richard writes the fishing report today as catches us up on the Swing Season. Pretty damn good out there on the Mo and the water temps still reasonable. Snow on the ground today and spitting throughout the near future. Enjoy the winter solace as we near the solstice!

It’s the middle of December and the swing bite has been fantastic as of late. The water temp is 40 degrees for the time being, but you should expect that to start dropping quickly as the day time highs are falling closer to the freezing mark. As the water becomes colder the trout will start migrating to their winter holding areas. If you can locate one of these winter holes you can be in for some pretty epic fishing as there will typically be a ton of fish stacked up. 

The current flows are pretty low at 2,780cfs as I’m typing this. That being said, the low water provides excellent opportunities for wade anglers to get out and explore the river in ways not possible at higher flows. This is great news because wade fishing may be the best way to fish the river during the cold winter months. You’re not spending hours freezing in a drift boat, you can warm up in your vehicle when you start to get too cold, and when you have finally have had enough of the cold you can simply walk out and be done.

Most people are utilizing a 4wt two handed rod and a Skagit system at the moment. Personally, I’ve been throwing my G-Loomis IMX PRO 11’11” 4wt paired Orvis’s Mission 310gr Skagit head, Rio’s I/3/4 Light 3D MOW Tip, and OPST’s 35LB (Pink) Lazar Line. This rod is an absolute casting machine, the perfect tool when the wind is howling, so most days on the Missouri. I do still use my 3wt but mainly on calmer days or when I’m targeting walleye. 

A hump back Richard swung up this past week

Over the weekend, I caught most of my fish on some sort of leech pattern. Here is a top ten list of the fish catching streamers we’ve been using this month. 

  1. Jake’s CDC Squirrel Leech, Black #10
  2. Wooley Bugger, Olive/Grizzly (Beth’s Britches) #8
  3. Kures Squirrel Micro Zonker, Gray #8
  4. Pig Pen Leech, Black/Purple #8
  5. Goat Leech, Black/Red #8
  6. Thin Mint, Olive/Black/Brown #10
  7. Pocket Rocket, Olive #4
  8. Hot Head Hale Bopp Leech, Black #8
  9. Arams Lil Kim, Copper #8
  10. Sculpzilla, Black #4

Honestly, all of those patterns will work pretty much all winter. 

The tips we’ve been using have been either the Rio Light 3D I/2/4 MOW Tip, 5X5 MOW Tip, or Scientific Anglers S2/S4 TC Tips. These tips are all great and cover similar parts of the water column. I find them to be a bit more versatile then  the more aggressive versions on the market. Not to say there isn’t scenarios where I’m throwing 10’ of T-8, but that kind of fishing normally doesn’t happen until later in January or February. 

The leader set up you should be using is pretty strait forward. Take about 12” of 20LB but section and tie a  perfection loop into one side. From there you can either use one of Scientific Anglers 25LB Micro Swivels or a simple blood knot to attach about 36” of Rio’s 1X Fluoroflex Strong Tippet. Fluorocarbon is far more abrasion resistant than nylon making a better choice when your tippet may be swinging over rocks and debris. If you’re not getting bit you can try dropping down to 2X or even 3X. 

If you want to come in and try out a new trout spey set up or you simply need a hand getting your new rig ready to fish, come in and say hi! We’re here 7 days a week 8-5. 

Happy Holidays everyone!!!

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