I have written here before about having memorable Winter fishing in Central Oregon at Tetherow Crossing on the Deschutes R. one very cold day. I wasn’t prepared to identify or even have the right patterns to fish for the browns. There were smaller fluttering insects landing on the water followed by little wallops at the surface. I had no clue if the insects were coming off or landing and laying eggs. In those days I focused on the fish and were they visibly feeding. That was about it. I tied on the closest pattern I had, a black Elk Hair Caddis and caught fish.
Later, I described the where, when and what of it all and a Sisters, Oregon shop owner filled in the details. Little Winter Stoneflies. I have tied up some black Stimulators in the past, but frankly I am superstitiously fond of the all Black Elk Hair Caddis. You can explore other patterns, just be alert for the hatch. There does not have to be snow in the ground, although they be easier to see. Small (size 10-12, slender, Hare’s Ears or more exacting) black nymphs would round out your presentations. Remember how these Stoneflies emerge and how they return to lay eggs.