Farlows Group Tuition Manager, Chris Hayward, is based at the Sportfish Game Fishing Centre in Reading, Berkshire, where the stillwater trout fly fishing has been superb all winter on the onsite Haywards Farm Lake. Here he looks at the secrets of winter trout success.
My colleague Danny North has given some excellent winter trout advice in a previous Sportfish Post so do make sure that you check that out. As far as I’m concerned there are a number of key points to remember to incorporate into your fishing at this time of year.
Top Trout Fly Fishing Tips for Winter
A mobile approach is always the best winter tactic, so keep moving and make sure you cover the lake. In cold water the fish are less likely to move, so you need to find them, rather than have them come to you.
As with staying mobile by fanning your casts you will cover all the water in front of you and as the fish may be tightly shoaled at this time of year make sure your explore the water
It’s worth exploring the deeper areas of the lake and, as with fan casting to explore the area in front of you, count down your fly and work the different depth profiles too. Sinking or intermediate lines are the way to go.
…But Don’t Ignore Shallow
Shallow areas will be the quickest to warm up in any winter sunshine so don’t ignore them when weather conditions are right.
Fish slower than you normally would and inch your fly back through the water, as a slowed metabolism means that fish are usually unwilling to chase in reduced water temperatures.
Buzzers are a great fly pattern to fish and even in winter you will often see a hatch in the warmest part of the day – usually between 10am to 2pm.
Garish patterns are great winter catchers too and a bright blob – or even a boobie fished on a sinking line – can often provoke a response when all else fails.
You will fish far more effectively if you are warm, so layer up and make the most of the hi-tech fishing clothing materials that are out there to keep you snug and dry.