3 Essential Stillwater Ice-Off Patterns
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3 Essential Stillwater Ice-Off Patterns

Finally back and settled from a long day of travel that started at 5:00am in Houston, Texas returning from Tarponville Fishing Lodge in Costa Rica.  Tomorrow there will be a full recap of the trip, safe to say it is one of the most incredible fisheries I’ve ever experienced.

Despite the current weather in the interior of British Columbia, ice-off is right around the corner.  Fishing the first few days after the ice leaves a lake can be tricky, but when approached properly will yield some great results.  Here are a few patterns I swear by during the ice-off period:

1) UV Pregnant Shrimp

Fish will forage in the shallows in search of staple food patterns that are readily available in this cold-water period.  Shrimp are always available and provide a great meal for our fish in the interior.  Lakes with a very high scud population tend to yield large fish, do not overlook fishing this fly in water as shallow was two feet deep.

There are many ways to fish scud patterns, but I usually end up resorting to two preferred methods.  The first is under a strike indicator, especially when fishing the shallows.  This allows me to control my depth without hanging up on bottom.

The second method is with a clear intermediate line, fishing an erratic twitching retrieve to mimic the sporadic movement of freshwater shrimp.  To learn how to tie this fly, click here.

2) Cranberry Larvae

This fly is absolutely deadly at ice-off.  Before chironomids transform into their pupal stage, this is exactly what they look like.  Bloodworms are essentially a small worm-like organism made up of hemoglobin.  Fish this fly under a strike indicator close to the bottom and watch for light strikes as fish will be moving fairly slowly in the cold water temps found in early spring Stillwater fishing.  To learn how to tie this fly click here.

3) Brushed Dubbing Leech

This fly is not only a must-have for Stillwater fishing at any time of year, it is incredibly easy to tie.  There is essentially only one material that goes into it, forming both the tail and the body with the dubbing of your choice.  This fly can be fished with everything from a floating line and strike indicator setup to a full, fast-sinking line.  For a step-by-step on this fly, click here!

Thanks for reading everyone, we are closing in on the springtime Stillwater guiding season.  If you are interested in booking a trip or just want to leave a message, fill out the form below and I will get you on the calendar!












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