Stillwater Fly Fishing | “How Heavy of Tippet Should I be Fishing?”

“How heavy of leader should I be running?”, this is a very common question that comes up often in emails from readers as well as guests on the boat during guided fly fishing trips.  Everyone has a different way of doing it, but I like to keep it very simple by finishing my leaders with 6 pound test in almost all situations.  This is usually following sections of either 2x or 3x for the butt section, which allows for easier turnover and in the event of breaking off you will not likely lose more than just your tippet. read more

Stillwater: What 4 Rod Setups We Have Rigged at All Time

On each and every day of Stillwater fishing, there are four rods rigged and ready to go in the boat at all times.  During both spring and fall season, this does not vary a whole lot aside from changing fly lines to match a specific situation.  Here is a quick rundown on each setup:

Rods #1 & 2 – Floating Line/Indicator:  Probably 80% of our Stillwater fishing is done with a floating line setup, and a large majority of that floating line fishing is done with a strike indicator setup.  Leader length will vary depending on the depth of water being fished, and sometimes one rod (or both) will be stripped of the indicator for naked line chironomid or scud fishing. read more

Fall Stillwater Fishing: 2 Deadly Ways to Fish Micro-Leeches

Fall Stillwater fly fishing season is in full swing, and the weather at 3500 feet is reminiscent of early December!  In the fall, fish will often begin to key in on staple food sources such as scuds, leeches and bloodworms.  These are meals that are readily available when no emergences are taking place.  Leeches are a great pattern all year, but in the fall they can yield some incredible action.

Medium Sink/Hand Twist – Fishing leeches on a moderate to slow full-sinking line (my favourite line is the SA Sonar Int./S1/S3) coupled with a hand twist retrieve at various speeds can produce some awesome grabs.  You can vary your retrieve by stripping slowly or twitching the fly back to you.  More often than not, a short pause to allow the fly to fall and undulate can be just enough to get a fish to commit. read more

Fly Fishing on Instagram vs. Reality

posted in: Fly Fishing | 0

Social media is such a great way for anglers to share their experiences with the world through photo and video, but it is time to be honest for a moment.  “How do you guys seemingly always catch big fish?”, this was a message that I received from someone a few weeks ago that inspired this article.

I scrolled through my business account on Instagram, and it dawned on me that the impression given is just that.  If I were looking from the outside in, I would think that there are just big fish hitting the net on every outing without a lot of down time in between.  Well, guess what?  That is very far from the truth! read more

Chironomid Fishing: What Your Throat Samples Mean

There are few things that can put the missing piece to the puzzle like taking a throat sample.  When done properly it does not harm the fish, and you can get an exact reading on what the fish are choosing to eat on that given day.  Throat sampling is essentially drawing up what the fish has recently eaten, and you can expect most of the bugs to still be alive.

Super, super nerdy.  I mean, I really try to tell as few people as possible that I like to force fish to regurgitate the bugs they ate for lunch, so that I can put them in a glass vial and take photos of them with a macro lens.  However, this does allow you to get a perfect idea of what can be created at the tying bench. read more

What does “Pro-Staff” Mean?

posted in: Fly Fishing | 0

This was inspired by someone that asked this exact question.  What does the term “pro staff” mean to both a company and an angler?  Pro staff does not mean getting all the free rods, reels, fly lines, buffs, sun gloves, waders, boots, jackets, magazine features or exotic destination trips you can handle.  The idea behind having a pro staff is to bring something to the table that is both beneficial to the company and the angler. read more

The 11th Hour: Story of My First Ten-Pound Rainbow Trout

I was twenty years old, working a fly shop job and fishing every waking moment possible.  I was single, responsibility was a word that was not even in my dictionary, and my time was fully devoted to racking up as many new angling experiences as possible.  I did not have much in the way of money, but the freedom to fish on as many occasions as possible made me the richest person in the world!

My 8:00pm departure to a lake that had been on my list for years would leave me arriving somewhere around 3 in the morning.  As I rolled in, I was physically too tired to set up camp but mentally too excited to sleep.  I knew there were rainbows over ten pounds swimming in the waters not 100 feet in front of where my vehicle was parked.  I grabbed a beer from my six-pack that had dialed itself down to room temperature over the duration of the drive, and broke out my fly tying kit.  Sleep was not in the books anytime soon. read more

Three Must-Have Fall Stillwater Patterns

Fall is upon us, and some of the best Stillwater fly fishing in the Kamloops area is underway.  Cool nights, comfortable daytime temperatures, and fish that are actively willing to eat!  Fall can present some excellent chironomid fishing, in fact some lakes will fish equal or better in the fall compared to the springtime months.  Here are three flies not to leave home without:

1) Simple Dubbed Micro Leech read more

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

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