February is when my fly-fishing hopes increase. The sun is riding much higher, the days are longer, and Winter Stoneflies/Snowflies get more active.
I’ve had good luck fishing with small and black nymphs during winter, including one late-December day (here) when the water was 33 °F and the air was 0 °F.
To get ready, I’ve been fiddling with new Winter Stonefly/Snowfly patterns, recently. Making a size 14 isn’t too tough; you can put on goose biots, peacock herl and a ruffed grouse feather.
But, a size 18 can be challenging. I posted a pattern on Instagram (where we quickly have gained many followers, thanks to you!; our feed here) that featured herl and black pheasant tail. I wasn’t happy with the result and asked for advice.
Last but not least, the February Red.
Dave Hughes in Wet Flies writes that this soft hackle is a good pattern to throw when Winter Stoneflies are in the drift. It’s a size 18, made with red thread and a Ruffed Grouse feather.
For grins, I added a thorax of “touch dub” black rabbit fur to make it look more buggy.
I’m looking forward to fishing all of these flies in the coming weeks!