Brian Speier Freeport Shares 5 Tips for the Winter Angler

Whether you’re an experienced Maine winter angler or new to it, tips from experienced anglers help more than fish tales. Here are five tips to haul in a bigger winter catch.

1. What to Wear
Your success fly fishing requires patience, curious fish and the right gear. Your gear needs to include the proper attire, so you can last longer in cold, especially knee deep or more in frigid water. Lay out your winter wear the night before, preferably by your heater. You’ll wake up to toasty, warm fishing wear. Here’s the best outfit to wear for long lasting warmth.

  • a hat,
  • fingerless gloves,
  • layer a couple of wool or synthetic fiber long-sleeved thick t-shirts,
  • top with a wool sweater if it is really cold,
  • fleece-lined pants,
  • two pairs of fleece socks,
  • rubber soled boots with studded bottoms,
  • rubber waders.

Avoid felt soled boots in winter. Always turn your waders inside out to dry, so any condensation on the interior dries completely before you wear them again. If you fish from a boat, cover the studded sole boots with a crocs styled protective cover called “Over Boot Stud Covers,” so you don’t damage the flooring. Keep some hand warmers in your pocket to pluck out and thaw your fingers, so you can bring in that big catch.

2. Tow the (Right) Line
Line choice matters more in winter. You’ll need to fish sub-surface, so try a 5′ sink-tip line, such as the Orvis “Streamer Stripper.” Rio and Scientific Angler also make good lines for Maine winter fishing. This versatile line lets you fish in shallows to about a depth of 10 feet with no adjustments except highsticking and cast angle.

3. Mind Your Flies
Expect to lose your flies. It happens. Learn to tie a simple knot that you can manage even with numb fingers. Some swear by the Orvis knot. Try smaller flies in winter. Flies to try:

  • black and gold stone,
  • grey or tan dry size 22 or smaller,
  • midge style (Orvis example).

4. Fishy Behavior
Fish enjoy finding a comfortable environment in winter, too. They favor staying close to the banks in winter. They tend toward slow water, so they don’t have to fight current (a waste of their energy). The energy fish willingly expend in winter also means you need to closely watch your line because it’ll experience more subtle hits than warmer seasons. If your indicator budges at all, set the hook.

5. Little Icebergs
While you watch your line, also watch the waters. Maine in winter means freezing or below freezing temperatures. The water isn’t wearing your toasty get up and freezes. Watch for ice. Large blocks or chunks of ice break off from banks or ice shelves and float down river. This happens more often when you fish down river from a dam. The ice can knock you off your feet into the icy water. This puts you at risk for hypothermia. Watch for ice. Always carry a dry change of clothes with you. Store them in your vehicle. If you do hit the water, stop fishing immediately. Go get out of the wet clothing and visit the emergency room. Your body temperature can quickly drop to a dangerous level. Always fish with a buddy for fun amd safety. The buddy system can save your life.

Prepare yourself for a cold winter’s day and enjoy a sizzling pan of seared fish that evening. Before you hit the water, review the state fishing regulations, local information and obtain an appropriate license. Also, bookmark the state’s fish identity guide. That way, you know what to throw back. Not every species is legal to catch in winter. Stay warm and eat well.

5 Tips To Successful Portland Fly Fishing

Runoff is a depressing season of the year among Portland fishers and this comes with lower returns from their trade of fishing. During such a period, you need to have some unique skills that can allow you to increase your effectiveness. Fly fishing is an activity that calls for special skills and knowledge to reduce the wastage people get into while doing it. To help you achieve your goals while fly fishing in Portland, here are simple tips you should adhere to.

User brighter or darker colored flies

One of the things that could distract you while fishing is the color of the water. Sometimes when the water is too dirty, it could take you longer to get your first catch, so it would be advisable to choose darker flies in this case. This is because fish is able to see the silhouette of the dark fly easily than when you use a bright specimen. Again, in off-colored water, fish is more likely to understand the brighter colored flies, so whether you are using nymphs or streamers, apply this rule and you will have success at the end of the day.

Fish worms

Many people in Portland underestimate a fish worm, but in most cases it works. Worms offer a good amount of protein that fish will not ignore, so if you find using insects slow, you could try out fish worms. The most recommended option in this case would be the San Juan worms, which work well and have a high rate of success.

Keep track of patterns

As a fly fisher, you should record details after every fishing trip. This information can be used in the future and will help you to remember subtle details and patterns that come up during each fishing day. If you fish on some water bodies consistently, this method is likely to work since you will be in a position to predict what to expect so you can prepare adequately in advance. Having knowledge about a certain water body also gives you the privilege of applying specific techniques that are bound to work, which saves you time besides increasing your chances of success.

Tying effective knots

The other subtle yet effective strategy you could apply is tying effective knots. The biggest failure when fishing comes as a result of poorly tying the knots, and this is something you can avoid with the right knot tying techniques. To tie effective knots, it is advisable to moisten the knot before you pull the line tight and make sure to do this slowly. Also watch for some weak frays or abrasion that could render your knots incapable to hold a lot of weight. The best way to know if the knot is perfect is to test it with a strong pull.

Practice casting

To make a perfect cast, you need to have the highest levels of accuracy and this only comes with practice and learning. You could even practice against a wall in your compound. Doing so each day will improve your skills in fly fishing.