Rick Gildea and buddy jake Ruwitch, land one impressive looking trout the other week. The gentlemen were fishing in Estes Park on a dry dropper rig (Chubby Chernobyl to a sow bug). This massive trout measured 32 inches!
Have a fish you are proud of? Share your photo.
Fishing Tips of the Week
Vary Your Ice Fishing Presentation
When ice fishing it is easy to get stuck in a rhythm and use one jigging cadence exclusively. It is important to pay attention to the fish you see on your electronics whether that be a flasher, or any other sort of sonar device. These units will provide valuable information when it comes to what the fish want that day. You can get an idea of how aggressive the fish is and adjust your jigging cadence accordingly. When you see a fish that quickly comes off the bottom to check out your bait that’s a good indication of an aggressive and active fish and a more aggressive jigging cadence can produce a strike. On the other hand it is easy to tell when fish are more lethargic and more finesse is needed to get these fish to bite. A lot of times what I will do is slowly jig the spoon or whatever lure I am using up and down a couple times and then just hold it still, this change from a slowly moving bait to a stationary bait will oftentimes trigger a strike. Pay attention to your jigging cadences and change them frequently and this will lead to more fish on the ice!
Best Flies for Winter Fishing
Now that we are into the winter season, we prepare for more technical fishing. Aside from improving your cast and minimizing drag, one thing that will help you in the weeks to come is knowing what patterns will offer the most bites. First on the list are egg patterns. Try to stick with orange or pink. They work well when you lead with an egg pattern then add a midge as your second fly. Some anglers prefer using a green egg pattern as an attractor. The brown spawning season runs through to December, and their eggs are a large part of a rainbow’s diet. Pheasant Tails are another key pattern. Most anglers prefer using pheasant tails as a second pattern with a bright egg or nymph pattern as the attractor, while some prefer using two pheasant tails. Zebra/Jujube Midges are another effective pattern come winter season. Black and red will be your most productive colors for midges. The tungsten bead on Zebras also helps with weight, requiring less split shot. Midges make up a majority of a trout’s diet in winter. Just a reminder, you are going to want to keep all your midges in the #18-20 range, and egg patterns in the #14-16 range. Lastly, stoneflies are always a winter go-to. They only hatch in the winter, and can endure the coldest of days. You will find hatches in any condition, and due to their contrast, they make easy targets for the already sluggish trout. Try sticking to the #14-16 size range.