February and March are notoriously the hardest two months in Maine to catch a fish on a fly rod. Cold weather produces iced over stillwaters and rivers and streams that are often much too dangerous to fish due to unpredictable and dangerous shelf ice that forms on the banks. This is especially true recently with the very cold temps and then shortly afterwards a swing of 20 degrees warmer. Opportunities at fish will be totally dictated by weather and it is not uncommon to go long periods of time during these months where absolutely nothing is fishable. Always keep an eye on the weather patterns, and river flows to find those few opportunities that may pop up.Use great caution when fly fishing out on waters where unstable ice may be present.
Trout and salmon will be the name of the game, as they will actively take flies throughout the winter months and are often found in moving water that is less likely to freeze. For fly selection, streamers fished slow and low will produce bites, as well as nymph rigs that can get the flies down in front of the fish's face. Streamer selections should consist of Woolly Buggers in various sizes and colors, as well as smelt and other small baitfish imitations. For nymphs, small Pheasant Tails, Hare's Ear, and of course midges are reliable bets.
Check out our Winter Fly Fishing: How to Stay Warm Article for tips and tricks to stay warm on even the coldest of days.