PODCAST: Winter Skills Series, #4: Nymphing in the Winter — S6, Ep4

by | Feb 5, 2023 | 15 comments

 The Troutbitten Podcast is available everywhere that you listen to your podcasts.

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In this episode, we dive deep into winter nymphing strategies. Specifically, we highlight what is different and what is unique about nymphing in the winter versus other seasons.

With fewer hatches and with trout that are less willing to move for a fly, presenting a nymph to winter fish is often our best strategy. But having success requires a refined approach, and winter nymphing can seem like the toughest of the year. However, with a great presentation and a good understanding of where fish feed in colder water, trout can be caught. In fact, with these skills, winter nymphing may sometimes provide the fastest fishing of the year.

We Cover the Following
  • Why nymphing is our favorite winter tactic
  • Trout behaviors in cold water
  • More predictable water types, methods and fly selection
  • Low and slow?
  • Trout grouping and trout spreading out
  • Favorite rigs, tight line and indy
  • Favorite flies
  • Fly pairings and placement
  • Long drifts vs short drifts
  • Bobber holes

READ: Troutbitten | Category | Fly Fishing in the Winter
PODCAST: Troutbitten | S1 Ep 14 —  Winter Fly Fishing
READ: Troutbitten | Fly Fishing in the Winter — The Go-To Nymphing Rig
READ: Troutbitten | Fly Fishing in the Winter — The Secondary Nymphing Rig

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Next Time

Season six of the Troubitten Podcast continues next week with episode five. So look for that one in your Troutbitten Podcast feed.

Fish hard, friends.


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Enjoy the day.
Domenick Swentosky


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Domenick Swentosky

Central Pennsylvania

Hi. I’m a father of two young boys, a husband, author, fly fishing guide and a musician. I fish for wild brown trout in the cool limestone waters of Central Pennsylvania year round. This is my home, and I love it. Friends. Family. And the river.

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  1. Hey Dom,
    Just wanted to say that your videos, articles, and podcast episodes have helped me a lot.
    I’ve been very interested in getting myself a dedicated mono-rig setup and was wondering, if I am only going to use the mono-rig for this setup, is fly line necessary?

    I understand that it can play a part in weight and balancing out the rod/reel and possibly for increasing the arbor size when reeling in the mono rig. Do you have any thoughts on this?


  2. Another fantastic podcast. Enjoy them all. I have a question. How do you keep the hand warmers in place under your gloves ? Thank you. Keep up the great work.

    • HI Jim,

      We covered that in Episode 2, about your hands. I use wrist bands, sometimes, to keep the heat packs more in place and to keep the heat in. However, the cuff of the wool glove is often enough.

  3. In the winter, today for instance I have been getting into trout with small zebras,juju Baetis 18’s and 20’s.

  4. Hey, not sure if anything has changed on your end, but fwiw, this episode isn’t showing up in the Overcast player as of Feb 6. Which has automatically downloaded every episode to date. I’ll just use the player link you posted above for now, but wanted to give you a heads up. And thanks for all the knowledge and laughs. I look forward to the fresh episodes every Sunday night.

    • Thanks very much for letting me know. I checked into this. Nothing I can do from here. Overcast picks up their feed from Apple Podcasts. So, it’s something on their end. It will probably resolve soon enough.


      • Hey thanks, and yes, turned out is was an issue on their end. Turns out none of my podcasts had been downloading and updating the app solved it. Good episode!

        Also, I found myself on a creek in Western NY yesterday morning with water temp at 32° and air in the low 20’s til the sun popped out. Yes, it was some slow fishing. There were a few sections that required a bobber and my yarn indy (NZ) was icing up and turned into a splashy chunk of crunchy wool. Luckily I had a tiny plastic air-loc in my bag that was a tad more effective though not ideal. Does the Dorsey macrame yarn tend to ice up, or is this just another opportunity for problem solving and adaptation?

  5. I love this series. Just started fishing in winter last year, and really like it. You have not discussed what to do when you fall in winter. Last trip it was 27°, I caught Four nice fish, Was in the Sweet Spot and excited to catch more when I lost my balance and sat down in 18 inches. That was quite unpleasant. My friend got my wading suit and boots off me but my hands are too cold and I couldn’t get anything else off. Fortunately, I had a quilt, but it was an unpleasantly long drive home. I know to never go out alone

    • Hey Doug. Good stuff. But if I waited to have a friend to fish with, I’d fish about a quarter of the days that I do. That’s especially true in the winter. People tell you this about night fishing too — “Never fish alone.”

      Meh . . .

      • I hear ya

  6. Dom,

    This has nothing to do with fishing but I thought you may find it humorous. My feral turned loving cat Gypsy attacks my cell phone when, and only when I listen to your podcast. I’ll start one up sitting up in my bed and she will come from from wherever she is to attack. Now she hears everything from Gospel to AC/DC come out of this phone but you are the only thing she goes crazy about. It’s like Kramer hearing Mary Hart’s voice. Keep the great stuff coming!
    Scott Miller

  7. Good work, guys. Dom, I notice that your B+H experiment is in full swing. Are you using a rather unobtrusive, short shank hook?


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Domenick Swentosky

Central Pennsylvania

Hi. I’m a father of two young boys, a husband, author, fly fishing guide and a musician. I fish for wild brown trout in the cool limestone waters of Central Pennsylvania year round. This is my home, and I love it. Friends. Family. And the river.

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