For being mid December, it's amazing that we are still able to fish without getting frozen eye lids and having to warm our hands after every fifteen minutes. The weather has been fantastic so far this month until the last 3 days which were cold and brought in lots of rain. Today was an amazing sunny day, but still colder than what it should have been. I have noticed that the bite for whitefish in riffles has gone down significantly compared to a couple of weeks ago and believe this is because of the cold weather that has been coming in.
Today I decided that I would go back to one of my favorite spots near Eagle Island and meet up with a couple of clients while I was over there. They were out fishing for a couple hours before I arrived and they said that they were having just an okay day bringing in two fish each. They stated that part of this reason was because they ran out of Pink Frenchies. As I gave them some extra Frenchies, they instantly started to hook into some small Whitefish and Browns.
For the first half of the trip, I decided to chat and watch them fish. Almost all of the fish that they caught were on the Size 16 Pink Frenchies.
Watching them hook into numerous fish, I got anxious to get my line into the water. I did not want to fish much with the Frenchie as both of them were fishing with it and also because I wanted to explore other patterns to see what was working best that day. After trying numerous patterns, the most productive pattern I found was the Ribbed Hare's Ear tied on a size 12 jig. I would have preferred to fish this in a size 14, but didn't have any at the time.
The shocking thing was that I was fishing this on the top fly and still found it to produce better than whatever I threw on the bottom fly. I didn't have much luck hooking into big fish today, but this pattern sure did bring in a fair amount of fish into the net.
Despite having good luck with the Hare's Ear, my friend found a very good hole was pulling fish out left and right with the Green Frenchie. It was then when he hooked into a very nice fish that convinced me to stop experimenting with flies and put on the Green Frenchie in size 16 as well... First cast I was able to hook into a trout and several whitefish.
I hooked almost all of my whitefish in the faster moving water. However, I think the trout are hanging out in slower water and more at the bottom of riffles now. Past this point of the trip, I have been fishing alone for some time and found that another pattern that worked well was a pattern we don't have a page for yet, but will soon in the future. It was a soft hackle frenchie that seemed to work well and brought in this nice Brown Trout.
Overall with the fishing still being decent and still being able to catch fish on the larger size 10 and 12 hooks, I think it is time to start changing styles. The cold weather is drawing the fish to be less active, so start fishing the slower water along with smaller bugs and this should treat you well on your trips. Be careful to check the weather before you go... I had a very cold and wet outing this week that I did not plan for.
Feel free to always reach out if you have any questions.