As we roll into 2021, the winter fishing is just fine! Relatively mild temperatures thus far have provided ample days to get out and catch some trout.
The shop will be temporarily closed on Monday, January 18, and will reopen on Thursday, January 28, while I do a little research on Lowcountry redfish! So stock up on tying supplies and flies, leaders and tippets this weekend!
The Upper Deerfield continues to fish well, especially up closer to Fife Dam, but fish can be had throughout the river, at least until ice and snow make access to open water on the lower river more difficult.
I like to fish a bigger attractor nymph like a stone fly and then drop a smaller nymph like a #16 pheasant tail or Frenchie off of that. Junk flies like mops, squirmies and eggs will work as well. Slow and deep is generally the name of the game in the winter. Sustained higher flows (around 1000cfs or better) tend to get the fish stacked up into holding lies on the insides of big bends and in the deeper pools, where they will generally be out of the main currents in softer water, usually near the bottom. As a rule, these fish are not feeding aggressively so you really need to get your fly right on their noses.
As long as there is not much snow, the warmer the better. But as we get some decent snow cover, those warmer sunnier days in the low 40s can work against you by causing some snowmelt that actually cools the river down and I tend to look for days in the mid to high 30s. That said, there are always some very nice fish pulled from area waters on really cold days for the hardier among you!
Streamer fishing can also work quite well this time of year. Again, slow and deep is the usual mantra, but mix it up every once in awhile just in case there is a more aggressive feeder lurking around.
The Swift River is always a good winter spot to try if you are willing to brave the crowds. Junk flies will work here as well, but so will much smaller nymphs like Zebra midges in 20s to 24s. You may even run into the occasional fish rising to tiny midges.
Area freestones like the Westfield and North can also fish well, though access will be difficult as it gets colder and the ice builds on the banks.
Happy New Year everyone! Thank you all so very much for your continued support of the shop. We are looking forward to a great 2021 here at the Deerfield Fly Shop–keep your eyes peeled for some big announcements coming soon!
Guided trips and lessons available. Call us at 413-397-3665 or email email@example.com.
Dries: Midges, BWOs in 20 to 22
Nymphs: Pat’s Rubber Legs, Golden or Black Terminator Stone 8-12, eggs, hares’ ears 12-18, Pheasant Tail Nymphs 12-18, Frenchies 12-16, Tan/Olive Mops, Squirmies, Natural/Olive Caddis Pupae/Larvae 12-16, Red/Copper Johns 12-16, Sexy Walt 12-16.
Water release schedule for the next day is posted after 5pm. Check again before you head to the river. Minimum Flow 130 CFS (Cubic Feet/Second). Ideal for wading and Dry Fly Action. Normal Release 800-1,000 CFS