Fishing has been good in the catch and release areas of the Deerfield River. Stocking trucks have been busy and some of our smaller rivers will come to life this coming month. Most takes have been subtle so be on top of your game with hook sets. Good Luck!
Nymphs: Pat’s Rubber Legs, Golden or Black Terminator Stone 8-12,14-18, Pheasant Tail Nymphs 12-18, Frenchies 12-16, Tan/Olive Mops, Natural/Olive Caddis Puppa/Larvae 12-16, Red/Copper Johns 12-16, Pink Squirmies 12, Sexy Walt 12-16. McCheese/Clown Eggs 14-16.
Streamers: Olive and Gold/White Mini Drunk & Disorderly, Woolly Buggers Olive/Black 6-10, White/Olive Sculpzilla 8,Bank Robber 2, Mini Headbangers, Complex Twist Bugger, Heisenberg Baby Bow/Cowboy/White 6,Mini DD, Sculpin Bunny, Black/Brown Rubber Bugger 4.
Recommended equipment for Winter: 4-6 Weight Rods. WF And sink Tip Lines. 2X-5X Leaders and Tippet. Rubber + Studs. Wading staff highly recommended
Water Flows for Fife Brook Dam can be found here: https://www.safewaters.com/facility/22
Water release schedule for the next day is posted after 5pm. Check again before you head to the river. Minimum Flow 130 CFS (Cubic Feet/Second). Ideal for wading and Dry Fly Action. Normal Release 800-1,000 CFS
When fishing the Deerfield in winter, mid 30’s and sunny is ideal. Long underwear, Fleece pants, rubber or studded soles are recommended. Do not wear felt in winter. Wading staff highly recommended. Use hand warmers on your wrist and toe warmers in your boots. Carry a towel to dry your hands off. Keep as much water as you can off your rod. Wiggle rod to clear off water. In below freezing temps try to fish with a fixed length of line out.
Best access for fishing in the winter is Fife Brook Dam to Rt2. Water release schedule for the next day is posted after 5pm. Check again before you head to the river. The river tends to run high in the winter months (1,000cfs) so find the soft pockets and eddies close to shore but don’t be afraid to fish faster water occasionally. Fish will be closer to shore if a high release has been consistent.
When fishing streamers use a sink tip line or heavily weighted flies with a short leader (4ft-7.5ft). Vary your retrieves and presentation. Cast 45 degrees down river and swing your fly. Twitch your rod tip making the fly drop back and move up and down. Cast straight across and give them a sideways view of the fly. Vary retrives. Strip pause strip pause. Strip strip pause strip strip pause. Just let the fly sit out there. Use small (sz8-10) to medium (sz2-6) streamers single hook and articulated. Olive, black and brown work good and use white and other colors. Don’t be afraid to experiment.
When fishing nymphs get deep using a heavy fly or split shot with 9ft leader. Adjust your indicator to achieve the right depth. Use two fly set ups. Heavy fly for weight with a smaller second fly. Nymphs with tungsten heads help get the flies down. Adjust weight and depths according to water flows. Golden Stones, Pheasant Tails, Caddis. Use attractor nymphs with hot spots. Frenchies, Sexy Walts, Hot Butts, Pink Squirmies. Sometimes you have to go small sz 18-22.