We are in the thick of swing season here on the Mo, and for the most part the bite has been stellar. The water is cold, hovering around 37 degrees which has pushed the fish into their winter habitat. Deep and slow. Great news for the seasoned wade angler because once you find one fish you can typically find several more.
When choosing a tip this time of year it’s important to remember you need to get your fly deep. Most people are using a Rio 5×5 iMOW tip or Scientific Anglers Third Coast Sink2/Sink4 tip. If you’re feeling brave you can cut up some old tips and create something new. I cut two feet off of a Rio iMOW 5×5 turning it into a 5×3 and honestly I personally think it cast better than the original ten footer. It has also swung up quite a few trout over the last couple of weeks so it definitely gets your fly into the sweet spot.
Flies that have been in play include Ninch’s Red Delicious #8, Rio’s White Pocket Rocket, and the #6 Olive/Grizzly Wooley Bugger. If you like spinning up your own flies, try tying up a couple different Wooley Bugger variations. Hard fly to beat here on the Mo. Another fly that has been producing really good numbers on the swing is the #6 Clouser Minnow, Foxee Red. I defiantly wouldn’t hit the water without it.
If you plan on coming out any time in the next few weeks, be sure to fish between Holter Dam and the Wolf Creek Bridge, below Craig, or even the Mid Cannon boat ramp. These spots are obviously subject to change but normally fish consistently all winter. Either way, you should totally swing by the shop and get a little intel on where the trout are hiding.
If you don’t dig spey rods, that’s cool too. You can still probably catch some fish. Anglers utilizing single hand rods are getting trout by either stripping or swinging streamers. They’re also finding a tremendous amount of success nymphing. Again, deep and slow. Scuds, sow bugs or anything pink will get inhaled right now. You’ll need to be fishing in deeper water with about 5’-6’ between your indicator and your split shot.
If you are DFO person you can always go Holter Dam to Craig in the hopes of finding a few trout rising to midge. That being said, there really hasn’t been much dry fly opportunities as of late. Maybe swing by the shop and demo a spey rod. I Bet you’ll enjoy it. If not you can get a Rusty Parachute Just Add Vise kit and day dream about those summer sippers.