02 - Top Winter Trout Flies for UK Fishing

The mercury might be dropping at trout fisheries around the country, but that
needn’t mean an end to your flyfishing season. In fact, as a cold water species,
rainbow trout continue to be active right through the shortest, coldest days of
the year. Provided the water isn’t iced over, you’ll still catch when there’s snow
on the ground. But which flies are best for winter trout fishing and cold weather?
You might need to ring the changes a little, whether that means exploring the
depths, varying retrieve speeds or following the wind. You might also want to
pack a sinking line along with that flask of coffee. However, the main thing is to
get out there because, contrary to appearances, cold days can offer great fishing.
Here are seven favourite fly patterns sure to keep the takes coming right through
December, January and February, along with some handy winter fly fishing tips:
When the water is cold and clear, a dark, fast-sinking lure can be an absolute
killer for trout. This one can get down well
even on floating lines, too. Mix up your retrieve speeds to see what they want on
the day.
Such a deadly little fly this one. Mini lures in general are
excellent for winter fishing- and an ideal choice whenever you get trout
following but not taking, or nipping tails and not getting hooked. 
When the fish are sitting low, or you are on a very deep stillwater, booby
patterns really come into their own. Try this fly on a fast sinking line with a very
short leader (try just as little as 3ft/ 1m), allowing it to sink right to the bottom.
A must for the box for any testing winter session, this fly is packed with
movement. Best allowed to sink well and then twitched back slowly with the odd
larger pull.
Loud as you like, not to mention very difficult to ignore for any stocked trout!
With a buoyant butt, this is a great fly for sinking lines or a “washing line” style
For those who prefer imitation to provocation, here’s a brilliant natural looking
shrimp, complete with eyes and legs. Try this one anywhere close to weedbeds
and marginal cover where real shrimps and hoglice will be present. Also a good
fly for those who fish the rivers for grayling.
Don’t expect hatches lasting hours in the winter. That said, afternoons can still
bring hatches of smaller chironomids. We stock various colours, but small and
subtle is often the way to go with typically smaller insects and gin clear water.