Stillwater Fly Fishing: Using Throat Samples to Determine Depth

Throat pumps are one of the great tools of stillwater fly fishing.  When used correctly, they do not harm the fish at all and allow you to see exactly what was on the recent menu.  They become very effective during a chironomid hatch, as what’s in the throat pump can give you a great idea how deep you should be fishing.

When a chironomid pupa transforms from a larva and ascends the water column, they will build up a gas inside of their abdomen.  This is what gives them the silvery sheen that is often referred to as a “chromie”.  Seeing this silvery chironomid pupa in a throat sample is a great indication that fish may not be feeding all that close to bottom.  Typically, fish that are stuffed with shiny chironomid pupa are actually suspended in the water column.  Using a depth sounder to pick up fish will give you confirmation of this. read more

Fly Tying: The Cranberry Larva

Though it was -9C when I got in the truck this morning, I know that we are almost halfway through March and ice-off is not all too far away.  Laying eyes on an ice-free interior lake you’ve been dreaming of since December is one of the best feelings in the world for an obsessed angler.

This tutorial covers one of my favourite ice-off patterns.  This fly has proven effective for over five seasons now in the early windows of spring stillwater as well as late fall and even mid-summer lake fishing.  The cranberry holographic Flashabou is (in my opinion) what makes this pattern.  It is dulled a little bit by the red scud backing but I believe that is a good thing.  A subtle amount of sparkle from the holo flash mixed with the true hemoglobin colour that the red scud backing brings is a deadly combination. read more

Michael & Young Chironomid Fishing Courses – Saturday, March 24th

Find chironomid fishing frustrating, boring or downright futile sometimes?  Have you had some success but still want to further your knowledge?

Calling all of those on the Lower Mainland of BC, don’t forget about the two upcoming “Intro to Chironomid Fishing” courses at Michael & Young Fly Shop on Saturday, March 24th.

This course runs three hours in length and includes the following:

Proper boat setup

How to approach trophy stillwater fisheries

Locating and effectively covering a chironomid emergence read more

Under 16 Giveaway: Intro to Chironomid Fishing Course – March 15th

The first of the springtime “Intro to Chironomid Fishing” courses was a huge success this morning at Trout Waters Fly & Tackle.  It is so rewarding to see so many people interested in learning more about our interior stillwaters.  The great part about it all is that there is always something to learn, regardless of how many years you have under your belt.

I received some great news that a generous customer, Rick Simpson, donated a spot for our March 15th course to someone under 16 years old.  Seeing the next generation eager to learn is very exciting, so we are going to do a draw for this one spot. read more

Stillwater Fly Fishing: Three Tips on Fishing Two Rods Simoultaneously

In BC we are not allowed to fish two flies while stillwater fishing in a boat alone, but we are allowed to fish two rods and this is something everyone should take complete advantage of.  Time on the water is not unlimited, so why not maximize your chances each and every time out?

Fishing two rods at once allows you to capitalize and experiment when fishing is good, as well as the opportunity to see what is (or isn’t) working when things are slow.  Here’s a few things to help when fishing two rods at the same time: read more

Fly Tying: Chironomid Underbody Colours

One of the things that makes a body material great for imitating chironomid pupa is translucency, being able to change the underbody material to give off different effects opens up a world of options.  Anti-static bags used to package computer parts have long been one of the most popular materials for imitating the dull silver sheen that the natural pupa themselves take on as they ascend the water column, but what you put underneath this material can change the whole fly itself. read more

Stillwater Fly Fishing: How Often is Too Often to Change Flies?

We’ve all felt it.  Pure desperation, that helpless feeling of somehow not being able to get one single fish to eat the wrong bug, fly fishing can downright hurt your feelings sometimes.  The fish show up on the sounder and the occasional sound of splashing on the surface assures you that surely they do exist, but it just isn’t happening.  It’s easy to put blame on your fly choice, and sometimes it takes many changes to find “the one”, but how often is too often? 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

Stillwater Fly Fishing: The Crack of Noon

I love waking up early.  I love being on the water as the sun is coming up, even days not spent fishing those early hours of the day are my favourite.  But is it necessary to have your lines down first thing in the morning when stillwater fishing season rolls around? I don’t think so.

I used to be adamant about launching the boat first thing, but found myself doing a lot of sitting and waiting for the bite to start.  You can pick up fish on a variety of flies early including leeches, scuds and attractor patterns but I do not find chironomid fishing and first light necessarily go hand-in-hand. read more

1 2