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Trouts Journal

Gear Guide for the Tailwater Junkie

Ivan Orsic / Dec 3, 2019

As winter settles in, it's time to get techy. It's Tailwater season. With excellent sight fishing opportunities, the opportunity to fish small flies to big fish, and some downright stunning winter vistas... there's a lot to love about this time of year. Here in Colorado, we have access to a lot of great year-round tailwater fisheries.

When you approach your favorite winter run, we want you to be prepped and ready to cast and cast well. With that in mind, we've put together a collection of gear that will help you step up your tailwater game this winter.

Pat Dorsey's Fly Fishing Guide to the South Platte - New Edition

Dying to catch more trout on the picky tailwaters of the South Platte? Looking to increase knowledge of this trout-filled paradise? Need help with access? This book covers it all in-depth. Written by arguably the most experienced South Platte River guide Pat Dorsey, this is a must-read for any South Platte Fisherman.

G Loomis NRX+ 9 foot 5 inch - 5 weight Fly Rod

Designed for our Front Range tailwaters, the 9 foot 5 inch 5 weight G Loomis NRX+ is adept at handling everything from techy nymph rigs to small-to-medium sized dry flies. With a little extra reach for line management, this rod is built for whatever the South Platte might throw at you.

Fishpond Flathead Sling Pack

Tailwater trout are famously picky eaters. So, when you approach a feeding trout on the South Platte, you know you better be prepared. With ample room for all the necessities for your average tailwater, the Flathead Sling combines both agility, and ease of use in one comfortable system to give you unmatched access to your gear when you need it most. The sling’s ambidextrous design allows the pack to be carried on either shoulder with a quick flip of the strap.

Fishpond Nomad Mid-Length Net - Riverbed Camo

Always trust your net, man. The all-new Riverbed Camo edition of the Nomad Mid-Length Net is meant to hold your wintertime trophy.

Costa Del Mar Fantail - Sunrise Silver Mirror Lenses

There's not much light this time of year. Low light is generally the enemy of any good sight fisherman. Instead of squinting through lenses that might filter out too much light, embrace the low light and put some of Costa's Sunrise Silver Mirror lenses in front of your peepers. While the average copper lens transmits 10-12% of light, the Sunrise Silver Mirror lenses transmit 25% of light. This means you get the sight fishing benefit of a polarized lens even when there isn't much light on the water.

Fishpond Tacky Original Fly Box X2

Enter the 2X, sporting all the game-changing features of the Original Box with double the space. Whether you are looking to guide out of a single storage system, or simply don’t want to be caught without a full complement of wet flies, the Original 2X offers a tremendous carry capacity in a slim profile. The highly durable, recycled polycarbonate box will not warp under pressure or extreme temperatures and stays tightly closed in your vest or pack with our signature latchless magnetic closure.

Scientific Anglers Amplitude Smooth Infinity Fly Line

Roll-casts, long dry fly casts to picky risers, and reach casts are all necessary tools when approaching a feeding tailwater trout. The Amplitude Smooth Infinity fly line is our go-to fly line on the South Platte. A great all-around fly line that can get the job done when called upon in flying colors. What more can you ask for?

Scientific Anglers Absolute Fluorocarbon Trout Tippet

At this point, it's no secret. We absolutely believe wholeheartedly in the brand new Absolute leader and tippet from Scientific Anglers. Fluorocarbon is a necessity when chasing those elusive tailwater trophies and tippet that has industry-leading wet knot strength seems like a no brainer.

Abel Vaya

Protect the TIPPET. When fishing size 24s to a 20 plus inch fish, you've got to fish light tippet. When you fish light tippet, you've got to protect it. Enter the Abel Vaya. The carbon / stainless multi-disk drag system of the Abel Vaya produces substantial resistance, while providing a wide range of adjustability for delicate tippet.

Mojo Mud Tungsten Puddy/JPs Gray Nymphing Mud

Depth is king in the winter. Sure, you can switch or downsize flies, but the number one key to success with tricky tailwater trout is depth control. Fine-tune your presentation with this soft tungsten weight. Once you use soft tungsten weight its tough to go back to classic split shot. Pinch off the amount you want, apply to a knot, soak in water for a few seconds and you're good to go.

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