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A Look at December...Tying and Bubba

Happy Holidays! We have plenty of gifts for that special angler and gift certificates are available. Matt Grobert will be our featured tyer this Sunday at 9:30 am and John Collins will return next Sunday December 22nd. Bubba Watch has begun........

Fly fishing in December may seem strange to some but for others it is the start of a much anticipated time of year on our local waters. Yes there is the weather. December is the first month where winter is official. The snow is blanketing the trees and the ground but last night's snow was really just a dusting and the trout don't mind the cold. It is important to keep warm but sensible layering does a great job on a cold day. I prefer to fish when the temps are above freezing, the guides don't ice up but if they do, a coating of fly floatant can help to minimize guides freezing. I'll wear a base layer and some wool socks along with at least one warm shirt or a sweater. I don't wade too deeply either unless I have to cross the river in an appropriate location.

Why am I out fly fishing in the snow? First of all it is beautiful. The austere setting of the leafless trees, the frozen ground with patches of snow is in many ways a primal landscape and it is quiet. When I connect with a trout and the rod bends it is more meaningful to me perhaps than in the warmer months full of a display of living things- green leaves, insects, birds. In winter, we must be observant for the slightest signs of life on the water. In the spring, I expect to catch fish, now each fish is a prize and a confirmation of the success of the hunt. Sometimes, I'll nymph and one of my favorite tandems is the Hare's Ear Nymph usually a #14 or 16 followed by a Grey or Tan Scud of the same size. Scuds are aquatic shrimp-like creatures common to all of our waters and trout key on them especially in the colder months as they are quite abundant. They can be fast swimmers so I would recommend them as the trailing fly on a slightly longer than average tippet, approximately 18-22 inches should separate the flies in the tandem and perhaps even longer in slow deep pools. Please watch the Simple Scud video from our friend, Tim Flagler. He includes some great video of the live scuds underwater.

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