Hot Colors, Hot Winter Fishing

Sean Visintainer - 01/23/20

Hot bead patterns are effective wintertime flies. Photo by - Wayne Jordan.

Brighten your day and winter blues

Can winter fishing truly be "hot"?! Well sorta, relatively speaking. Hot winter fishing, in my opinion, means catching anything more than a couple fish.

Winter fly fishing is all about perspective. A good day of winter fishing is usually substantially slower than a good day of spring or summer fishing. For most it's chance to get out of the house and shake the winter doldrums, the opportunity to hook a trout, and have plenty of solitude.

What can really up your odds when fishing trout rivers in the winter is adding some color to your patterns. Whether you buy or tie flies, mixing in fluorescent colors like hot oranges, pinks, or chartreuse adds a level of attraction to an otherwise dreary winter subsurface world. Extremely cold water temps means less insect hatches and activity, brightly adorned nymph patterns fished deep are effective at enticing trout to bite during these sterile times.

Don't just limit the bright beads or materials to nymphs, add some color to your streamer patterns as well. "Egg sucking" variations of flies can work well in the cold winter water when streamer fishing, or try adding a bit more flash in your arsenal.

The bead isn't the only part of fly that can have the bright color. Hot tags, or hot spots can be just as effective. A couple turns of a bright thread color at the head of the fly or a collar of fluorescent dubbing is a simple addition to most classic patterns that give it that extra "pop" for winter fishing. Brightly colored yarns or chenilles are also perfect for attraction and make great tags near the tail area of the fly.

So in recap, whether you tie or buy, mix in some bright materials or beads to your line-up and give them a shot when winter fishing. Have fun with it, you will be surprised how effective a color change can be in the winter!

Brightly colored, or hot spot, nymph patterns are effective for winter angling. Photo Credit by Wayne Jordan.

A mix of hot bead, or hot spot, winter flies.

A large Missouri River brown trout fell victim to a hot bead nymph pattern.

Slotted Beads from Hareline, Nature's Spirit and Firehole

We also just received the New Firehole #570 Streamer Jig Hooks and #551 Nymph Hooks.