Three Key Things Your Depth Sounder Does for You

There was a time when I thought that depth sounders were cheating.  How could someone just attach this little mechanism onto their boat, be able to see the whole underwater world and still call it fair game?  This all changed when I broke down and purchased a Humminbird Fishin’ Buddy 120 (which I still use to this day!).

Why have I not upgraded? Because I don’t quite feel the need yet!  There are so many great sounders on the market now that undoubtedly offer much more than the one I am using, but as long as I have the following three things I feel I can execute accordingly from there.  The only three things (in my opinion) your sounder needs to do are, in order of importance, as follows: read more

Angling Through Intuition

In a split moment of unconscious decision, I steered the vehicle off the highway onto the gravel road.  I had a guest that had no experience in fly fishing, why did I feel so drawn to put the boat into a lake that had yielded me just as many days of disappointment as it had glory in the past?  Memories of hopelessly watching my strike indicators for hours on end ran through my mind, contrasted by fonder memories of rainbow trout pushing the magical ten-pound mark.

“Would someone who has never experienced Stillwater fly fishing even appreciate landing a trophy sized rainbow trout?”, I attempted to replace doubt with hope as the vehicle neared the launch.  The lake was glass, there was only one other boat on the water, and as the seventeen-footer slid off the trailer I began to get excited about what could take place on this day.  I turned the key and we slowly glided along the water’s smooth surface film in search of hatching bugs or moving fish. read more

Don’t Let Confidence Limit You

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Today I realized how easy it is to get into a thought pattern that just because something worked on a certain lake once upon a time, I should always be able to rely on that one method or location to be successful.  Though the lakes themselves do not change drastically the fish that swim them are ever-changing.

I spent three hours this morning staying hung up on methods that had worked in June on one of my favourite lakes.  June!  Did I not realize that these fish have literally had over seventy days since our last meeting?  But there I sat, with complete confidence that the flies I had on were going to get eaten any moment, despite the fact I had gone 3 hours without a sliver of interest. read more

What Makes a Good Net for Fly Fishing?

There are few things more relieving than sliding a fish into the basket and having a moment to take a breath.  There are scenarios where a net is not necessary, but more often than not a net will be your best friend when bringing a big fish to hand.  Not only does it increase your landing ratio, but a fish-friendly net will decrease your catch-and-release mortality and impact on our fisheries.

What makes a good net?  Here are a few things to look for:

Floatability:  I once had a customer come into the fly shop I was working at and complained that his new $200 net sunk to the bottom of the lake while he was releasing a fish.  The net itself was a work of art but liberally varnished and very heavy.  When choosing a net, make sure that you have the freedom to use both hands to release a fish without worrying about the dent it may make in your pocket. read more

Fall Stillwater Fly Fishing in Kamloops, BC

Crisp morning air, leaves transitioning to vibrant shades of gold, yellow and red, fall is a special time of year.  Each year when the water temperatures begin to drop back to their prime levels and fish become active after a hot summer, it is amazing to me how overlooked this fishery is during the months of September and October.  Do not make it seem like this is upsetting, it is much more enjoyable showing up to my favourite lakes and having the launch to myself. read more

The Vast Differences Between Guiding and Fishing

First off, I hope everyone had an excellent summer.  Wildfires have plagued us again for the second year in a row, making some days on the water next to unbearable in a heavy layer of smoke.  Second off, I am back home and excited to be back on the blog again!  I returned home at 5 o’clock this morning after a nice night of driving home from my summertime workplace, and in the 7 hours I had to ponder in between sips of coffee I decided this was a fitting topic. read more

Stoney Lake Youth Fly Camp 2018 – Day 1 Recap

It has been a hot minute since a new blog post has been written!  Apologies, work has a way of consuming a hell of a lot of time through the busy months.  Couple that with not having access to wi-fi for the last 5 weeks and it makes things a bit tricky.  Luckily, we are at Stoney Lake Lodge this weekend for the 2018 Youth Fly Camp and things are off to a stellar start!

This event is for youth under 16 years old, and it is incredible to see such young people interested in the sport of fly fishing.  This morning I was lucky enough to take two young anglers aged 11 and 12 on the water, after a few missed opportunities I got to watch their eyes light up as one nice rainbow after another hit the net. read more

2018 Spring Stillwater Season in Photos

It is hard to believe that another spring stillwater season has come and gone already, I would like to extend a sincere thank you to everyone from Canada and the United States that came to fish with us this spring.  It is amazing to have people come from all over to experience the incredible fishery that Kamloops has to offer.

I will be guiding in a land far, far away for the months of July & August, but will be back in Kamloops for our September/October stillwater fishery.  A lot of people ask how the fishing is in the fall, and I can honestly say that I would take fall over spring.  There are far fewer anglers, and the fishing is absolutely incredible.

Here is a small selection of my favourite photos from our 2018 spring stillwater fly fishing season, enjoy!

They do not come easily, but fish over ten pounds like this make for some unforgettable memories.  This fish was taken on a #16 chromie in 18 feet of water, when it ate the chironomid the indicator barely submerged below the surface.
Ken from Park City, Utah battles a big rainbow while the 20+ he just landed rests in the net
A huge cloud of chironomids emerging on the surface of a local Kamloops lake
Last light surface fishing during a Fishing BC hosted trip at Corbett Lake Lodge
Landing the first stillwater rainbow of the season in mid-April.  Photo by Brennan Lund
Brian Chan ties his coveted “BMW” at Stoney Lake Lodge

A Brook Trout that is carrying some serious weight!

A pair of big rainbows cruising in 4 feet of water in search of Hyalella shrimp

The ladies hooked up on a double header, this was their first day ever fly fishing!

A big, shiny Pennask strain rainbow trout!
A healthy Blackwater strain rainbow trout from a local lake moments before being released

8 pounds of rainbow trout that fell victim to a #18 Zucchini chironomid pupa

A nice rainbow taking flight as a storm cell closes in

A common sight during the stillwater season on our local Kamloops lakes read more

Stillwater Fly Fishing: “How Far Should I Be Casting?”

Being able to cast a long distance is a great tool to have in your bag.  Anybody can cast a full fly line, regardless of how many reps you did at the gym this morning.  I am a firm believer that having sound fundamentals and timing is much more important than the diameter of your biceps, I also believe that just because you can cast a great distance does not mean you will catch substantially more fish.

A very common question while guiding both new and experienced anglers on our local waters in the Kamloops area is “how far should I be casting?”.  The response depends greatly on the situation we are presented with at that time.  Are we in shallow water?  Is the water off-colored? Are the fish being very particular?  There are scenarios where longer casts will catch fish and scenarios where shorter casts will catch fish.  Here’s a quick breakdown of both: read more

How to Fish a Naked Line Chironomid Setup

Strike indicators are an incredibly effective tool in stillwater fly fishing, but sometimes it is more fun to take the indicator/swivel setup off and fish a naked line.  Though it may feel very approximate at first, it can prove quite effective in some situations and can even out-fish the traditional static presentation.  I will typically fish a naked line when I am in water deeper than 15 feet and I know that fish are suspending themselves a little ways off the bottom of the lake. read more

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