By now we’ve made a point to inform you about the many nuances of winter fly fishing and the tactics that go along with it. However, we wouldn’t be doing you justice if we didn’t make a few recommendations around the type of gear we use and why it is important to our success on the water. As such, we’ve partnered with the pro’s at AvidMax Fly Fishing to give you the rundown on our go-to set-ups and gear as it relates to winter fly fishing. That being said, this blog merely scratches the surface and we highly encourage you to check out the video of our time on the water with AvidMax for a more in-depth conversation around winter fly fishing gear!

FlyCast Set-Up - Video Time: 15:26

At FlyCast, we prefer to err on the side of simplicity and take a more holistic approach when it comes to our winter fly fishing set-up. While there is certainly merit to specialty set-ups, by keeping it simple it allows us to cover more ground and adapt to changes around us. Below is a breakdown of our go-to set up. In our video with AvidMax we take a deeper dive into the specifics.


Taylor Co-Founder: Mystic Reaper X (9 ft. 5 weight)

Travis Co-Founder: GLoomis NRX+ (9ft. 5wt)


Taylor Co-Founder: Ross Animas (5-6 Weight)

Travis Co-Founder: Ross LTX (5-6 Weight)


Scientific Anglers Amplitude MPX WF5F


RIO Powerflext Trout (9ft 5x)


Taylor Co-Founder: Scientific Anglers Absolute FluorocarbonTrout (5x-6x)

Travis Co-Founder: RIO Fluoroflex Strong Tippet (5x-6x)


Any small buoyant yarn indicator set 1-1.5 times the depth of the water.

Split Shot:

Go big! Position 8 to 12 inches above lead fly.


Lead Flies: Often small and imitative midge larva (#22-24). However, smaller leeches, scuds and stoneflies are at the top of our list.

  • Mayer’s Mini Leech
  • Dorsey’s UV Scud
  • Pat’s Rubber Legs
  • Flashback PT

Trailer Flies: Small and imitative midge larva/pupa are the name of the game (#22-24). That said, don’t hesitate to toss some baetis into the mix. Regardless, we like to trail our lead fly with a midge larva followed by an emerger or pupa pattern.

  • Miracle Nymph
  • Blood Midge
  • Mayer’s Tube Midge
  • Mercury Black Beauty
  • Mercury Midge
  • Top Secret
  • Mercury RS2
  • Foam Back Emerger

FlyCast Line to Tippet Formula

FlyCast Rig

Avid Max Line to Tippet Formulas

Steve Rig

Max Rig