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Well, yesterday I caught my last trout of the Winter season. It was my first winter spent fly fishing, and I am definitely hooked. The action is a little slower, but it is amazingly relaxed and peaceful. Outside of the catch & release areas (which are too crowded in March for my taste), fishing is closed in PA as of March 1st and the crowds are too much for me to bear in April.

So with the impending storm, I stole a couple hours after church in the back yard to spend some time with my beloved stream. I told my wife I would not be taking my cell phone - that she should just call to me from the back yard if she needed me. I didn't want to destroy my time with the ring of a cell phone.

I waded through my favorite pools, enjoyed the beautiful solitude with just me and the birds and the stream. It won't be long now before these surroundings are invaded by "oustiders" and "worm dunkers".

I made it upstream - fishing occasionally - to the deepest hole within earshot of my wife - and was able to fool a scrappy brown with my favorite beadheaded and mink-dubbed nymph. Just as I landed him, the first few flakes of snow from the storm began to fall. Seemed like a picture perfect ending to my first winter season, so I packed up and walked back up to the house.

So I'll return to the trout in May, but for now, it is time to focus my attention on the upcoming spring striper run :eusa_dance:

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it is relaxing. i made it out a few weeks ago, and couldnt have had a better time.

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I've been out at least once a week for a couple hours for the past month. I can't wait for some hatches after work, nymph'n has been tough on my confidence. Hell I'll even fish through a hole and have an ol'timer come behind me and pull a fish or two out. It is a great escape though and I'll keep on it until I get it right.

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Great job on the brown i too am new this year to fly fishing been surf casting for 30 plus years. i am still in the practice stage i been doing the yard casting thing. I bought an 8wt St. Croix package deal im getting better at casting i try to practice for a half hour a day (weather permitting) i live near the beach so i will be doing 98% salt water and maybe a pond here and there. A good freind is teaching me how to cast cast and it is going well. i just hope i am good enough at casting before the fish show up which can't come soon enough i am really sick of the cold.

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Ben - that was one of my goals this winter - to gain some confidence with the nymphing. I think i've succeeded in improving - averaging 1-2 fish an outing in the winter. However, I still would prefer fishing dry flies in the evenings :)

For me the key was to remove the "crutch" of the dry fly option. Once I was forced to give the nymphing a chance, I improved - made me concentrate on what I was doing more - and I kept trying different techniques until I hit on a combo of fly, nymph, weight, water, and drift that worked.

With dry flies - you can see EVERYTHING that's going right and wrong with your drift and the trout's reaction to it. With nymphing its all inference and educated guessing since you rarrely can see the fish or your fly.

Now - take me from my home stream and see if I can catch a fish on a strange stream with a nymph? That's a different story - and I'll be reaching for a the dry flies....

Btw - you been using that new 4wt for these outings?

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yeah been using the 4wt. I've been abusing the knowledge at the fly shop as well but no luck. I've fished for trout with spinning gear, salmon eggs, wax worms etc for 15 years and nymphing is pretty similar in presentation but still nothing. It's also brand new water to me so that has something to do with it.

I do have a problem casting with an indicator, knot city so far so I usually start with the indicator but give it up after a retie or two. My casting acuracy has been great though, must be missing on the bug or the drift...who knows. I have a feeling my drought will end soon enough. I keep taking the camera, that's most likely the problem.

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what leader and tippet are you using? the trout there have phd's in flyology

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what leader and tippet are you using? the trout there have phd's in flyology

I've been using a 7x 11 ft leader, any less then that I should just pull the flies out of the box and throw them directly in the stream, don't even bother waving it back and forth before I lose them. Luckily this melt has dirtied up the water a little bit so schmoes like me have a chance.

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I've been using a 7x 11 ft leader, any less then that I should just pull the flies out of the box and throw them directly in the stream, don't even bother waving it back and forth before I lose them. Luckily this melt has dirtied up the water a little bit so schmoes like me have a chance.

thats supposed to be the ticket there, and i agree, althogh i even have issues with 7x, 5x is much more comfortable for me

i have found i like the airflo poly leader though. it seems to turn over very well

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7x for nymphing seems overkill - my guess is one of two things (or maybe both)

1 - you are getting hits, but without an indicator, you are missing them. Tough to fish without an indicator unless your are "high sticking" (aka shortline nymphing)

2 - either too much or not enough weight.

Of course there is the possibility that your choice of fly isn't aggreable to the fish - you haven't mentioned what you are using, but there is an old timer in my area that says "change your weight 3 times before you change your fly".

I use 5x or 6x depending on the size of the nymph - 4x or 5x for streamers.

I reserve the 7x for tiny dry flies (trico's etc)

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Nice post, Steve :) That sounds like a perfect Sunday.

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