Although small midges are often recommended for winter trout fishing, don't overlook streamers. In the winter months insect life is scarce and although fish metabolism slows and feeding is less frequent, when trout do feed it is often on small fish. One fish that resides in New England waters is the sculpin. The sculpin is a small bony fish that lacks a swim bladder. Because of its reduced buoyancy, the sculpin stays near the bottom tucking into rocks. However, when it needs to feed it swims up into the water column and subsequently drops down again. Given this behavior, a retrieve that includes long strips followed by pauses, letting the fly sink back down are the best bet. Starting January 1st in New Hampshire you can give this technique a try and consider the Cold River Guide Service fly shown below.
Mitch Harrison's parents gave him his first fly rod at age 12 and almost 40 years later he is still casting, teaching and learning. Another passion of Mitch's is bird watching. Mitch is a licensed NH guide and a science educator in Alstead, NH.