Chasing the Late-Winter Stoke

It’s been a long winter. Major freezes, epic blizzards, impenetrable ice shelves…the list seems never-ending. If your fishing stoke is down to the embers, grab some kindling and let’s get it ripping!

If you’re feeling that when-will-spring-get-here blues, here are 5 tips to building that late winter fishing stoke.

Organize your flies – and restock critical patterns

At this point in the season, if your fly box is anything like mine, it’s a mangled mess of hackle and beadheads. Take advantage of a too-cold-to-fish winter day and start organizing. My husband is religious with his organization. Beads with beads, soft hackles with soft hackles, rubber legs with rubber legs and so on…by size, no less! So grab your tweezers, pick up those size 22 nymphs and get to organizing those boxes!

Scout new spots

Fishing the same hole can get a little monotonous, even if you’re catching fishing with (almost) every cast. Change up the scenery by heading upstream and downstream or finding new water. On our local stretches, we search for the warm spots – find sun soaked areas and approach cautiously. Warmer water temps will provide a better environment for fish to feed more consistently in winter, but those shade-free zones can also let spooky fish spot you before you spot them.

Book a guide

If there’s a guide in your area, book them! Often, booking a guide means more than just filling your net. It’s also any opportunity to catch some new tips and learn new information about the water you’re fishing and the fish you’re chasing. Searching online for guides in a specific location is relatively easy and I always check out guides’ social channels to gain some more recent insight into how they’re fishing is going…then give them a call and get a date booked on their calendar!

Get a ticket to Fly Fishing Film Tour

‘Tis the season for one of the most stoke-inducing opportunities of the season! The Fly Fishing Film Tour (F3) features great films made by filmmakers across the world and this year’s event runs from March 10-April 4, giving you all the time you need to keep the stoke a’ burnin’!

Drink more coffee

Of all the things I find to be most effective to get my blood pumping and head on track to fish, it’s coffee. It doesn’t matter if it’s fresh brewed, instant, or some random concoction my husband pulled together at the sketchy truck stop en route to the river. No question about it: caffeine is my number one stoke-inducer on any given day. If you’re into supporting rad fish-chasing roasters, check out Early Riser. They have great roasts and put money back into conservation – so the places we love to fish can stay the places we love to fish.

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