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

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

Last Call: Michael & Young Fly Shop Chironomid Fishing Course – March 24th

IMPORTANT: We have merged our two courses tomorrow into one course at M&Y’s Surrey Location.  The course is at 10am and costs $45 per person.

This is a great course for those looking to sharpen their skills before the upcoming Stillwater season.  Spring is right around the corner, give yourself an extra edge on some of our interior trophy fisheries.

This course covers:

Proper boat setup

How to approach trophy stillwater fisheries

Locating and effectively covering a chironomid emergence read more

How to Approach “Trophy” Stillwater Fisheries

We are blessed with a huge number of what would be considered trophy stillwater fisheries in the interior of BC.  Lakes that hold some of the biggest triploid rainbow trout in the province, fish that will push well over the thirty-inch mark.  Is it difficult? Of course, they grow to these sizes for a reason.

These lakes are a test, they can be mentally draining if you approach them with the wrong mindset.  Do no push your boat into a trophy lake with the idea that you are guaranteed to have lights-out action the whole day.  Mindset is everything, accept the fact that you might come away empty handed and that’s okay.  I couldn’t even count the number of times I have been totally blanked by lakes like this without even an interaction with a single fish over an 8+ hour period. read more

“What is Prime Time for Interior Stillwater?”

This is a question that comes up often, and I try not to sound like a used car salesman when I tell people that there really is not a “perfect” time to visit the interior weather or fishing-wise.  Some lakes fish best early season and begin to taper off somewhat quickly, while others take a while to get going and seem to have a prolonged period of consistent fishing.

Elevation, depth and amount of sun or shade that a lake receives are just a few contributing factors to the timing of each fishery.  There is no way to tell what the weather will do, you can have shorts weather in April and you can have a hail storm in June.  There are lakes that seem to peak when everything else gets past ideal temperatures.  Tunkwa Lake is a prime example of this, if I were to plan a visit there I would pick late July into August to fish their “bomber” chironomid hatch. read more

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