Kamloops Fishing Recap – April 22-29

Aside from a drizzly couple days over the weekend, spring showed up in full force over the last week.  Spring stillwater guiding season is underway and the fishing was excellent on Tuesday through Friday, with solid chironomid emergences taking place on a few of the sunny afternoons we experienced.

Lakes in the 3,000-3,500 elevation mark are icing off, with some of the lower elevation lakes already finishing the turnover stage and clearing nicely.  The best flies for us last week were UV Tequila blobs fished on Scientific Anglers’ SD S3/S5 full sinking line in the morning, with #18 chromie/brown rib being the chironomids of choice. read more

Stillwater Fly Fishing: Choosing a Reel

Choosing a reel can be confusing for a first-time buyer.  A plethora of different brands, drag systems, colours and spool diameters, here are a few things I look for in a reel:

Arbor:  Reels come in three primary arbor diameters: Small arbor, mid-arbor and large arbor.  What does this mean for you?  Because fly reels are a 1:1 ratio the larger the arbor means the more line pickup per rotation.  In English, that means it will be easier to catch up to a fish that is running towards you.  I like a mid to large arbor reel with a smooth ingoing click (or no click at all) that allows for speedy pickup to eliminate the amount of slack line a fish will have to work with.  Less slack line = fewer fish lost. read more

Stillwater Fishing During Lake Turnover

Nothing is worse than showing up to your favourite early-season lake to find poor visibility and floating debris all over the place.  While it does put fish down due to lack of consistent oxygen levels, it is not impossible to catch fish during lake turnover.  What is turnover? Check out one of Brian Chan‘s articles on understanding spring turnover.

Photo: National Geographic Society

One of the first things I will adjust while fishing during turnover is my expectations.  Turnover is often the most challenging and inconsistent period of the season, I do not fish a lake in turnover and expect to have outstanding results.  I have had good fishing during turnover, but more often than not it does not present much consistency. read more

Stillwater Fly Fishing: 3 More Early Season Tips

Stillwater season, the most wonderful time of the year, has officially arrived.  This week’s forecast is surely going to get some ice moving around and we should see plenty of fishing options start to open up in the next 10 days or so.  Here’s 3 tips to help out with early season stillwater that can be very productive or very puzzling.

1) Move Often

Early season means cold water.  Cold water means that fish aren’t going to be cruising the shoals at Mach speeds in search of food.  Sometimes the first few weeks that a lake is ice-free involves doing some searching to find feeding fish.  Don’t be afraid to move around a little bit more than often and you will be rewarded. read more

The Stillwater Fly Fishing App

Not only are they both great guys, but Brian Chan & Phil Rowley both know a thing or two in the stillwater fly fishing world.  They have pioneered many of the techniques that we use today, without people like them this tight-knit community wouldn’t be the same.

The Stillwater Fly Fishing App has made it easier than ever to carry a plethora of information with you in your pocket anywhere you go.  I have used this app since the day it came out and it is a lifetime of valuable information packed into one smartphone app. read more

The Most Humbling Piece of Equipment in Fishing: The Tape Measurer

Once upon a time, I think I called everything a “twenty-incher”.  I was young, new to fly fishing and wanted to impress my elders.  Can anyone guess what the most shocking item I purchased that year was?  Yes, a tape measurer.

How could this happen though?  All of a sudden my 20 inchers were 16 inches long, my 22 inchers were 18 inches long, and all of a sudden I gained a whole new appreciation for the “twenty-inchers” that I had been landing left right and center the last few years. read more

Photo Recap – Trout Waters Fly & Tackle Free Casting Demo Day

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Despite the annual gusting north wind and cool temperatures, the turnout for the annual Free Casting Demo Day put on by Trout Waters Fly & Tackle.  Each year the turnout is increasingly stronger, with great numbers of people who have never even tried fly fishing showing interest in the sport.

The great thing about events like this is the freedom to cast anything from a rod or line you are looking at purchasing to your dream setup.  Thanks to the reps that made their way out for the event, these would not be the same without the help of great people in the industry! read more

Early Season Stillwater – How Early is too Early to Launch?

Anglers aren’t the only ones that are permitted to sleep in during the early weeks of stillwater season.  Fish are just beginning to wake up and will typically be opportunistic during the warmest part of the day, and in my opinion, there isn’t much of a point getting to the launch before the sun comes up.

The “Crack of Noon”

Even though I make a point to wake up early and get everything prepared for the day, I typically don’t try and get the boat in the water before 9 or even 10 am.  The surface temp will begin to warm slightly during the warmest parts of the day, and peak activity is generally not at first or last light.  Fish will move into the shallows in search of staple food sources and potentially an early chironomid hatch. read more

Early Season Stillwater Tactics – Rod in Hand

Ice-off can be a great time of year for stillwater fishing.  After a long winter, a rainbow trout’s metabolism will begin to speed up as they forage for staple food sources such as bloodworms, shrimp and leeches.  A great way to target fish in the first few weeks after the ice leaves the lake is with a strike indicator (bobber…) setup.

Even with this method, in frigid early season water temps I am a firm believer in holding the rod in hand while fishing instead of resting it in the rod holder.  Of course, if you are pre-occupied and need both hands then set it in the holder, but having the ability to lift up on the most subtle of movement on the indicator will definitely connect you with more fish. read more

REVIEW – Ross Evolution R Salt 11/12 Reel

I will start this unbiased review by saying that after a week of testing it on some of the biggest and baddest fish that swim in the Caribbean, this reel is a beast.  It is an absolute machine that I would willingly put to the test against any size or species of fish found anywhere in the world.

One of the first things I noticed about this reel when it was first unboxed was the dual counterbalance points (for the non-anglers, this means two little metal things instead of one!) that are designed to reduce vibration when fish are taking long runs at high speed. read more

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