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With the arrival of winter we enter into my sanctuary. The river seems so pure shrouded in snow and ice and there is a peaceful quietness to the surroundings. No shrieks of "fish on", no curses at fish lost, nothing to distract you from the absolute beauty of being out there in it. Only the occasional elk, eagle, owl, duck, or deer emerge, puzzled, not used to human visitors this time of year. Winter fishing takes me back, makes me feel as if I'm discovering new water that has never been fished before. The fish glow in the monochromatic landscape. The water droplets hanging, shimmering in the sun. And to top it all off, the fish are eager to take a fly...
With the Fraser river mostly froze, the Colorado is your best bet from Parshall downstream or any of the tailwaters in the state. San Juan worms and small hare's ears have been getting it done, but look for some midges to start popping. Dry fly fishing can be outstanding when midges are hatching. Keep an eye out for fish rising, but if midges are around and there aren't any risers look to throw midge emergers (midge winker, vc midge, tubing midges etc..). Other good patterns to try would be a wd40 or wd50, and rainbow warriors, eggs, juju midge, and small pheasant tails. Get out there and see what winter fishing is all about!

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