In Utah, there is one mystical practice that transcends all faiths, all social class distinctions, and all political philosophies: If you don’t know it’s fly fishing. Believe me, spend five minutes talking with any fly fisher. Although known as a sport for warm weather only, winter fly fishing in local rivers can be even more rewarding with frequent catches during the chilly months.
Near Park City, rivers and streams give anglers a chance to participate in their favorite sport in the heart of ski season. Though cold-water temperatures make fish somewhat lethargic, they still must feed during the long winter. With patience, anglers can catch enough trout to satisfy their sense of sportsmanship.
The Provo and Green River offer world-renowned fly-fishing experiences. Week after week throughout the year fisherman from all over the state converge here. Midge hatches come off regularly through the winter and there will be fish rising even when the temperatures are below freezing. During the winter months, try using fishing streamers if you’re looking for big ones, and nymphs, since the majority of the fish will be laid up in the deep, slower holes.
Dressing for the elements is crucial, a fisherman’s biggest concern during cold weather is getting cold and wet. Layering is important for a winter day of fishing, just as you would if you were skiing. The number one reason people get cold is because the clothing they are wearing doesn’t “breathe”. Merino wool is an exceptional layering fabric for outdoor winter days because the fabric regulates your body temperature by keeping you warm during cold days and vice versa, while providing excellent moisture management. With Gore-Tex® waders, a good pair of wool socks and a dependable waterproof jacket, you’re ready for a snowy day on the water.
Winter is the perfect time to go out with experienced guides. They take all the hassle out of fishing trips by providing everything from rods and reels to lunch. You’re certain to see deer, eagles, otters and other wildlife who frequent the river during winter. Local fly shops can “hook you up” with guides who know just where the fish are biting.
If you regard a snow-covered pine tree as a marvel of nature, or if the sound of a river calms your soul, you will treasure the tranquility of a winter’s day spent fishing.