Winter fly fishing

T_James

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Apr 3, 2011
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I'm sorely tempted to have a go for whiting and the like.

Has anyone experimented with flyfishing throughout the winter period?

I do recall someone on here catching bass in South Wales a few years ago during the cold.
 

Nemo

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May 22, 2006
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I regularly fish during the winter and have caught late bass (in December) and quite a few whiting last 3 months of the year.

Jan and Feb are dead in my neck of the woods.

Whiting on a cold calm night on a light rod are good fun
 

diawl bach

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May 17, 2006
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A guy I used to fish with lived in the IOM, he used to catch herring on the fly in winter from the beach when they moved into the shallows. Never tried it myself but it has to beat the TV and fresh herring is lovely.
 

Sash

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Has anyone experimented with flyfishing throughout the winter period?

I do recall someone on here catching bass in South Wales a few years ago during the cold.
That may well have been me!

I have had several years recently when conditions have enabled me to fish right up to the end of the year: my two latest bass were caught on 30 and 31 December.

Most important for me has been water temperature: for bass it needs to be very close to 10C. So any cold spell in, say, November/December coupled with a storm can hugely reduce the chances.

I used to be pretty paranoid about dirty water, but am far less so now, having recently caught my personal best bass (in June) in absolutely filthy water just after a storm. But I would use very big, high profile, flies and fast-sinking lines.

I have yet, in nearly 15 years of fishing the same beaches year-round, to catch a bass in January-March. But this does not stop me trying! My earliest fish in the year has, surprisingly, been small turbot in March. But I have seen bass in early-April, so know they return, even to surf beaches, early in the year, even if the fishing in my neck of the woods only really picks up late-May onwards.

Sorry I cannot help on whiting, but I have never been anywhere to fish for them: do let us know how you get on.
 

T_James

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It definitely was yourself Sash! The difference for me is that I'll be after whatever remains, not bass in particularly, and with whiting often mentioned as a frequent catch in winter I think I'll try for them.

Remo, you may recall me and a friend bumping in to you one evening last year?
 

Nemo

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May 22, 2006
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It definitely was yourself Sash! The difference for me is that I'll be after whatever remains, not bass in particularly, and with whiting often mentioned as a frequent catch in winter I think I'll try for them.

Remo, you may recall me and a friend bumping in to you one evening last year?
Do indeed, atb nemo
 

ejw

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Feb 2, 2012
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Helsby, Cheshire
Any particular flies used ? Have a few trips to the coast planned, so any suggestions would be welcomed.
Eddie
 

Sash

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London & SW Wales
Any particular flies used ? Have a few trips to the coast planned, so any suggestions would be welcomed.
Eddie
Large (4-5”) Clousers. I actually tie them Half and Half-style, i.e .with a Deciever-type hackle feather tail. This adds to the length and, at least as importantly, bulk.

I think it important to offer the few fish around in winter the easiest possible opportunity to find my fly, so want something to make a lot of “noise” in the water. I have tried deer hair heads as well, but this negates the weight of the dumbbells, and makes the fly fish too high in the water: in winter surf I want to get the fly down fast, and for it to fish along the bottom, dragging in the sand, like a flattie.
 

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Nemo

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In winter time fish move slower and deeper, scratching the bottom for food items. They also seem most active in low light conditions. I guess the main prey is whiting (100% night) then dabs/flounders. Whiting are attracted to light and so luminous beads or material is useful. Flatties are attracted to sound and movement

Both have small mouths and are nippers, so short flies would appear to be an advantage, yet paradoxically I have caught whiting in November/December on quite large flies, destined for late bass. I have also caught large whiting at night on luminous rubber grubs edged along the bottom.

I have no idea what sort of ground you are fishing over, such success as I have had is over fairly clean ground, during settled nights in flooding or shallow water.

I would suggest a schminnow fly (it's a blob with a tail) tied with pearl fritz, upside of the hook eye on the tippet, two luminous beads, alternating two brass beads. Light and vibration and depth.

Oh, and fish them slow
 
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running bear

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Oct 23, 2009
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North County Dublin
In winter time fish move slower and deeper, scratching the bottom for food items. They also seem most active in low light conditions. I guess the main prey is whiting (100% night) then dabs/flounders. Whiting are attracted to light and so luminous beads or material is useful. Flatties are attracted to sound and movement

Both have small mouths and are nippers, so short flies would appear to be an advantage, yet paradoxically I have caught whiting in November/December on quite large flies, destined for late bass. I have also caught large whiting at night on luminous rubber grubs edged along the bottom.

I have no idea what sort of ground you are fishing over, such success as I have had is over fairly clean ground, during settled nights in flooding or shallow water.

I would suggest a schminnow fly (it's a blob with a tail) tied with pearl fritz, upside of the hook eye on the tippet, two luminous beads, alternating two brass beads. Light and vibration and depth.

Oh, and fish them slow
Fairly pioneering stuff!
I have inadvertedly caught small whiting often fishing for sea trout etc, but never even contemplated fishing for proper whiting by design.
I'll definitely give it a go.
 

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