Wildwood Outfitters Blog and Fishing Report
The fantastic steelhead season we've been enjoying has rolled along seamlessly until the last few days. Extremely mild temperatures in December, coupled with consistent rains, have made this one of the best runs in recent memory, and our anglers are having some outstanding success on the PA tribs! Winter finally caught up to us though, and this week we've started to deal with some icy/slushy conditions, particularly early in the mornings before the sun has a chance to burn some of it off. As we progress further into January and February, it will become increasingly important to time up trips in accordance with those warmer windows when ice will be lessened and the fish more active.
As winter sets in, the fish will start to congregate more in the deeper holes as they try to use the cover of ice shelves and hunker down to the bottom. Fishing the edges of these ice areas is a great tactic, but keep your eyes peeled for fish still continuing upstream in faster runs! These steelhead are often feeding and are prime targets to go after. Not surprisingly, egg patterns in red, white, orange, pink, and chartreuse will still produce the most fish, but going with more natural imitations isn't something that should be overlooked. Caddis nymphs, stoneflies, and even the occasional midge nymph have all been in our rotation lately and offer a nice change of pace when fishing a tandem nymph setup.
Also of note, keep an eye out for fish redds! These divot-like depressions in gravel areas are popping up all over the tribs and anglers should do their best to avoid fishing for steelhead on them, as well as watch their step and not walk through the spawning grounds. While the PA natural reproduction rate is low, we should still do our best (and it's good practice for trout streams!) to let nature do its thing uninterrupted!
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