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Winter stillwater


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Ronan's report

Sunday, November 16th 2014

In the stillwater trout fishery I know best (my abandoned gravel pit with "wild" - as in stocked once every 3-4 years - trout), winter means fishing slow and deep. And the small fish imitations that work so well in spring and summer become less effective. Wooly Buggers are still effective, but small outfishes big - big time. Buggers tied on a size 10 wetly hook are much better than my usual size 4 and 6 on streamer hooks.

I often fish two flies during the winter, and one is almost always Morten Valeur's Vaarflue Provo (vaarflue means sedge or caddis in Danish). This fly has several things going for it. It's heavy, it's incredibly durable, relatively easy and fast to tie, and maintains a narrow profile, so it sinks even faster.

The rubber legs and soft hackle gives it lots of movement and the colour combinations are endless. The two in the PoD are my favourites.

It works well although I'm not sure the trout takes it for a caddis pupae - the narrow profile and the long rubberlegs look more like a damsel nymph.

The fly combination is usually this and a small Wooly Bugger in black or a small North Country Spider (the Waterhen Bloa being an all time favourite of mine). Usually a floating line and a long, thin leader is enough to reach feeding depth without having to wait too long, but sometimes I'll use an slime line or even a sinking shooting head. But I do thin that using the floating line gives the fly a nice, up-and-down movement when retrieved. Probably doesn't make a difference, but I believe in it.

Have a great weekend!

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