So winter swinging isn’t all about throwing big, blingy streamers. Fish eat nymphs too you know! The key is to catch their eye and not scare them off and ingredients such as rubber legs, soft hackles or subtle bling can really make trout want to eat your fly. With the low, clear conditions of late fish have been a little finicky, at least here in the south. With the Clutha running around 130 cumecs and nearly crossable in places, and the Kawarau crystal clear, big, bright intruders haven’t really been sealing the deal. Last season my buddy, Matt Klara of Big Sky Anglers in Montana sent me a couple boxes of flies to swing, and amongst them, non descript rubber tailed nymphs. So that got me thinking. Last week on the river with Steve we fired cast after cast and swung superbly through some of the nicest low water lies you ever could see...nada. Switching it up to a pair of contrasting Simons Uglies, it wasn’t long before the first fish was hit. Trout will pick out a swinging nymph in clear conditions from a surprisingly long distance.
Experiment with your patterns and see what hits for you. Below is a hit list of my favourite nymphs to swing, both in summer and winter. See if you can add to it…
Simons Uglies Black
Silly Stone Brown
Kellers Peach Fuzz