Unicoi Outfitters is north Georgia's premier guide service and fly fishing outfitter, located on the Chattahoochee River near alpine Helen. Look for fishing reports, gear and book reviews, and general musings here from our staff and guides.

Monday, November 14, 2022

Transition to Winter (Hot Coldwater Bugs)

Brrrr, it’s chilly up here in White County, and the long range forecast shows more winter temps ahead. In fact, Cherokee, NC is expecting some morning lows in the teens!  What does that mean for all of us trout angling addicts?  It’s transition time. Break out your winter attire and techniques.

As air temps plummet, stream temps dive. And so do our trout, as they hunker down near the bottom and seek out slower flows. We’ll provide a few tips that may help you transition from your shallow summer game to a winter dredging game. That’s especially important for our rookie flyfishers so they can still score, too.

We’ll cover some bugs, weights, and indicators that can help add to your point totals.  As always, we also welcome tips from you veterans out there, so feel free to comment yourselves and also share our intel with other anglers.

Let’s start with the bugs. You already have a good start with the November lists we shared a week or so ago.  They’re on our blog, too.  Don’t leave home without some eggs, pheasant tails, and hares ears. Two more good ones for the deep ground game are rubberleg stones and Walt’s worms. Tie or buy some soon, and consider stocking up in a couple sizes, maybe #8 and 10 for the stonefly nymph, and # 12 and 16 for the Walts. Make sure they’re weighted heavily. Tungsten beads and heavy round wire hook wraps are your winter best friends!

I think Tim’s tying videos are the best teaching tools out there. Recipes for both flies follow:



For those of you without the UV glue, here’s another good legs video. 


I follow a slightly edited version of this recipe to speed up production. First, I don’t bother with front antennae. Second, I lash down all three pieces of leg material togther in one spot on the top of the hook.  I cut the legs long, lash them down, and then wrap the chenille up between pairs of legs to separate them. Then I’ll trim the legs to size. I like “quick and easy” guide flies over lengthy ties.

Roll those two bugs slowly along the bottom in a deep, soft seam and see what happens. What’s the price for our prime intel?  Send us some fish pics and we’ll call it even. Good luck. Don’t forget your hand warmers. 

Unicoi Outfitters: Friendly. Local. Experts.


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