Nymphing a limestoner is always the default technique. Day in and day out, the fish just feed better on the bottom than on the surface. For Spring Creek sowbugs and shrimp (scuds) are 24-7-365 flies, patterns that work virtually year round. Zebra Midges, to match the midges on the water, also make sense. Dun-winged Black Midges will be the predominant hatch until March. If a fish is rising, it will be eating midges.
This could really be the outlook for most of the winter. Pick days that are above 32F for your fishing. Line freezing in your guides does NOT constitute good fly fishing. Whatever flies are willing to emerge will hatch when the weather is at its warmest, that is, midday. Trout will be more interested in feeding on the bottom when the water warms a few degrees, too. Finally, fishing during the warmest part of the day feels better for the angler.
As long as the stream flow stays low, expect the fish to work the top when there are abundant midges. No one likes to fish consistently low water and skittish trout, but dry fly fishing in the late fall and winter is a nice and unexpected benefit of low water.
Dress appropriately for winter fishing. Dressing in layers with good head covering just makes sense. Polarized sunglasses are vital, especially when bright sun shines off fresh, white snow, Lastly, save the two-mile trek into wilderness water for warmer times. If you are out of sight of your vehicle, you are probably too far away. Taking a dip in a trout stream can be a shock in spring or summer. In the winter it can be deadly. Hypothermia can set in quickly. If you do go down, get to your car as quickly as possible and get the heater on immediately.
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