Cutthroat Trout Winter Fishing
Winter is not the best month for seeking out and catching Cutthroat Trout. April though to October offers the best months for catching them.
Cutthroat Trout are found spawning in early December with the bulk of them spawning in the winter months. While the adults are spawning, those not ready to spawn are focused on feeding on an abundance of food from the decaying salmon carcasses left over from salmon spawning.
Cutthroat Trout Tactics
Cutthroat Trout prefer to lay in hiding waiting for bait fish and insects to come close by, which os why a steady current is important. Winter months bring colder water and most predatory fish like the Cutthroat Trout slow down and become less active, feeding much less than they do so in the fall. They will still eat and can still be caught.
The best way to find and catch them is all about knowing the life cycle and locations of bath fish during winter. Know the location of their food and finding them wont be so hard.
The best way to elicit a strike is to cast directly in front of them, no more than two to three feet away. This will often get their attention and may cause them to strike to defend themselves. Too close and they will be scared away.
Shore Cutthroat Trout Fishing
Shore fishing works with both fly fishing and bait casting. One technique that works for bait casting includes casting your line out into the river, waiting about five seconds and then reeling it back in. Continue doing so in the same general. If you are unable to get a strike, then move to another spot on the river and repeat.
Fly fishing techniques are a little different and work very well in all river conditions. Keep in mind that in winter, the Cutthroat Trout are found deep in riffles and pools and are slower to react and do not eat as much as in the summer months. Dry flies do not work as well as wet flies. Use wet flies to get in close to where you expect them to be. They will be found in deep pools and riffles in fast moving water and in deep parts of the river towards the mouth of the river. Spend about 15 minutes casting into the same general area before moving on.
Winter Fishing Tips
Set your expectations to winter conditions. As e said above, Cutthroat Trout do not eat as much and are slower in the winter. The fast action you got used too from April through to November is long gone.
The best days for winter fishing are when there is a high pressure system. The sun is out and the weather warms up a bit. The Cutthroat Trout are not any less lethargic, but it is easier to see them.
Flies that work well focus on nymphs, which include the ever popular Hare’s and Pheasant Tail to name a few. Cast in to slower deep water riffles and pools and long runs. Don’t be in a rush. The fish are not in a hurry so neither should you.
You do not have to be fishing in Canada to pay attention to the dangers of cold winter fishing. Hyperthermia is possible as far south as Florida in the winter. The key is staying war and dry. Do not go far into the wild without having a dry change of cloths, boots, medical kit and gloves to keep your hands warm. A survival kit is also recommended and having a cell or satellite phone is critical should you twist your ankle or break a leg. Don’t be that guy that had to cut his own arm off because he had no way of contacting support.