February may be on the outs soon, but winter fly fishing opportunities still abound on many of the top fishing waters. If you are trying to find a place to fish near you using onWater Fish and you need help with fly selection, here are some solid tips to help.

From our friends at Fly Fish Food, here is a legit education on the best way to know what trout are eating this winter. Be sure to watch till the end….and after you watch the video check out our list of the top flies for late winter.

Top Flies for Winter Fishing from onWater Fish

Zebra midge. The pattern is very simple and is tied by adding thread to a hook, adding a bead, wrapping the layers of thread with some wire, and calling it good. As fly patterns go, it cannot be simpler. As flies that catch fish go, it’s versatile and effective. In winter it’s best fished as a nymph as part of a two-fly rig, but an un-beaded Zebra midge can be fished as an emerging insect under a dry fly or small indicator.

Pat’s Rubber Legs. This fly makes every “must-have” list out there. You will most often fish it as a lead fly in a two-fly rig. Similar to the Zebra midge, it is easily tied and also easily fished. Very few flies are truly effective year-round, but a Pat’s Rubber Legs is one of those rare patterns that can entice a fish to eat any day of the year.

Griffith’s gnat. As winter wanes, the potential for hatching midges increases. Midges are small insects that provide the bulk of a trout’s winter diet. The Griffith’s gnat mimics a midge cluster on any river. This pattern should work on any body of water where midge clusters dominate in winter. The original pattern is tied with hackles to allow it to sit high on the surface, making it easier to see, but a colored post can also be used for better visibility.

Any firebead nymph.
From Czech nymphs, Ray Charles, Scuds, Sunkists, and worms, any firebead should do the trick. In winter trout are on the lookout for easy meals with lots of calories, and a firebead is just that. Firebeads burst onto the angling scene around ten years ago. A few purists argue the firebead imitates an egg. We’ll never know what a trout is thinking while eating a fly, but there’s no arguing this fly’s effectiveness.

Jujubee midge. In addition to having the coolest name of the group, this fly is a fish-catching machine. Created by Charlie Craven and inspired by the ultra-selective trout on pressured waters, the Jujubee midge has become a favorite. Jujubee’s are tied in a variety of colors. Similar to a Zebra midge, they can be fished as a deep nymph or emerging insect. Once you go Juju you’ll catch trout through and through.


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