Use Winter to Plan for a Spring Fly Fishing Trip

Use Winter to Plan for a Spring Fly Fishing Trip

By Kyle Vaughan

During the winter, there are some fly fishers who tough out the cold and elements to seek the satisfying tug of trout on the end of their fly rod. While sometimes you end up spending more time breaking ice off your guides than actually netting trout, winter can also be a productive time to fish in our area. Not only do you have many stretches of water to yourself but there are also some active trout feeding on BWO’s, midges and Black Stones.

But many fly fishers spend fewer days on the water in January and February, and more days dreaming about fishing trips both past and future. If battling with the ice and cold sounds like a little too much for you, the winter weather presents a perfect opportunity to stay in and complete various preparations for your next trip, such as tying up flies to fill your boxes for spring hatches.

I often find myself sitting at the Renzetti in January or February, tying up flies and dreaming of wild, wily specks hammering the nymph, or a dry fly situated in the jaws of my vise. I tie up my favorite dry-dropper rig flies, which consist of a larger dry fly in a size 10 to 14 and nymphs size 14 to 18. I will keep these in their own, special fly box that will be used on the first nice day of spring fishing. The anticipation of using this special box helps keep the cabin fever at ease and gives me a richer feeling of reward when spring finally arrives and those carefully made flies trick a brook trout in Pisgah or the Great Smoky Mountains.

My go-to flies for these special boxes are: Yellow Humpys, March Browns, Chubby Chernobyls, Adams, Elk Hair Caddis, Pheasant Tails, Black Hare’s Ears and various Czech Jigs. My preference in these flies for the spring comes from my own personal experience and what works for the streams that I tend to fish. Others may fill this special box with different flies that work for them.

It may come as a surprise that my outfitter, DB bar D Outfitters, gets plentiful calls during the winter. Folks are eager to get out on spring turkey hunts and fly fishing excursions, and the planning and booking process for an amazing trip can be helpful for those suffering from seasonal boredom. If winter is wearing on you, you’re not alone. At DB bar D, we are already looking forward to the spring and all of the guided hunts and fly fishing trips we’ll take with our clients.

DB bar D Outfitters is located at 3333 North Mills River Road, Suite B, in Mills River. For more information, visit

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