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Winter Tailwater Fishing
Mike Huffman
Consider tailwaters for your next winter trout destination.
Mike Huffman

Some of the best trout fishing of the year can be had in the winter. This is especially true of "tailwater" rivers below dams. As the daylight cycle condenses and ecosystems begin to slow, trout sense lean times ahead and begin to strap on the feedbag. This can work in the angler's favor because the trout respond to a wider range of food items. Often concurrent with this feeding activity is spawning or false spawning by trout that move up from lower reaches of the watershed. All considered, anglers can have good success on a variety of fly patterns, from streamers and egg patterns, to midges, blue winged olives and amphipods like scuds. Although water temperatures remain fairly constant in these fisheries, air temperatures can plummet, so the winter angler must consider extras like gloves and comfortable cold-weather clothing.



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