First off, I want to encourage you all to attend as many seminars, presentations, talks, and shows as you can on our sport. I have only been fishing for a few years but I am sure 40 plus year veterans get something out of every talk they go to.
Last week Taylor and I had the pleasure of attending a talk at the Concord Rod and Gun Club, given by Dan Harrison from Harrison Anglers, on winter trout fishing in Western MA. Harrison Anglers provides guided drift boat fly fishing trips on the Deerfield River in Western MA. Dan is down to earth and very enthusiastic about fly fishing and in this post I will do my best to re-cap the tips he gave.
- Great fishing in the fall, winter, and spring. Water gets a little too warm in the summer for productive trout fishing.
- Rarely fished, big trout can be caught all the way up into the concrete portions of the river in North Adams, MA.
- The Hoosic is much more accessible for wade fishing, a drift boat allows you to cover lots of water and find where the fish are holding, but its not necessary.
- Again, don't be afraid to go big, very big. Dan recommended stripping large articulated streamers to trigger a reaction.
- The upper 20 miles of the MA portion of the Deerfield typically doesn't freeze in the winter because of strong tail waters.
- The Deerfield is deep. Fish are holding down deep and usually aren't accessible by wading.
- Don't be afraid to go big. Dan suggested large eggs, worms and pheasant tail nymph patterns
- Fish egg patterns with a good amount of space between the fly and the shot. Egg flies don't drift naturally if they are run to close too split shot or Czech nymphed.
- Don't hammer the bottom. Fish sit on the bottom and need to see the fly slightly above them.
One day we will hopefully get to fish with Dan and we will be sure to write it up here. Until then, don't let the cold weather get you down. Layer up and get out there!