I love fishing in winter. I thrive in the cold weather, as do the fish that I’m after.


Don’t get me wrong, summer is nice but the fishing, at times, is nothing to write home about. It’s just too warm and the high water temperature does not make for good fishing. That’s why many southern still waters shut up shop during the hot summer months, it’s just not worth the hassle, and no one catches!


Autumn, in the south of the UK, can be as bad as the summer. The high water temperature means that the fish have slunk off to sit near the lakebed and can’t really be encouraged to take, not with conventional tactics anyway.


Winter into Spring though is different. Rainbow trout seem to thrive in these cold-water conditions and it’s at this time of the year that our stillwater fishing can be at its best.


Putting the strain on a small, five-weight outfit, a decent rainbow puts up an amazing fight in the cold, oxygen rich water that we can expect everywhere at the sart of the year.


The trout are fit and keen to chase your lures and at the same time, the resident trout, the ones that have established themselves and are feeding properly, tend to put in an appearance.


It’s the angler’s that tend to use nymphs, fished deep and slow, that pick up these better trout. This is no surprise really given that these trout are often only a few feet from the bottom feeding on bloodworm, shrimp and hoglouse.


The thinking angler that chooses to use imitative patterns just now may score big time in the form of an overwintered specimen!


We needn’t be too bothered about the cold nowadays either. We have all the technical clothing we need to keep us warm when the mercury plummets, you can also bring along a flask filled with tea, coffee, or my favourite, soup to keep your core body temperature up. Even better, head to the lodge for a cuppa and a blether with the other anglers that have been braving the elements. It seems the cold weather brings the bank boys closer together and you’ll often get a steady stream of ‘inane drivel’ as they chat about the week they’ve had. This, in my opinion adds to the winter stillwater experience.


Bugs fished under the bung score well too, as does pulling Blobs on an intermediate line, the choice is yours, most methods will score well, so whatever your preference, give it a go!


The other good thing worth mentioning is that you’re not out the house all day long either. Often a day’s fishing only lasts from 10 till 3. This leaves enough of the day to get some chores done and get some brownie points from your loved ones.


Get out there, go fishing and make the most of it while it’s good, you don’t want to be sitting there in the middle of July enduring another blistering heatwave thinking, I should have made the most of it early doors, because that my friends is what normally happens..


A proper rainbow, taken while fishing nymphs in relatively shallow water, water which, come the summer, will be devoid of fish like this!


Get all you need to tie all you need for winter stillwater fishing here: Materials for stillwater favourites