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

Fall Stillwater Fly Fishing in Kamloops, BC

Crisp morning air, leaves transitioning to vibrant shades of gold, yellow and red, fall is a special time of year.  Each year when the water temperatures begin to drop back to their prime levels and fish become active after a hot summer, it is amazing to me how overlooked this fishery is during the months of September and October.  Do not make it seem like this is upsetting, it is much more enjoyable showing up to my favourite lakes and having the launch to myself. read more

The Vast Differences Between Guiding and Fishing

First off, I hope everyone had an excellent summer.  Wildfires have plagued us again for the second year in a row, making some days on the water next to unbearable in a heavy layer of smoke.  Second off, I am back home and excited to be back on the blog again!  I returned home at 5 o’clock this morning after a nice night of driving home from my summertime workplace, and in the 7 hours I had to ponder in between sips of coffee I decided this was a fitting topic. read more

Stoney Lake Youth Fly Camp 2018 – Day 1 Recap

It has been a hot minute since a new blog post has been written!  Apologies, work has a way of consuming a hell of a lot of time through the busy months.  Couple that with not having access to wi-fi for the last 5 weeks and it makes things a bit tricky.  Luckily, we are at Stoney Lake Lodge this weekend for the 2018 Youth Fly Camp and things are off to a stellar start!

This event is for youth under 16 years old, and it is incredible to see such young people interested in the sport of fly fishing.  This morning I was lucky enough to take two young anglers aged 11 and 12 on the water, after a few missed opportunities I got to watch their eyes light up as one nice rainbow after another hit the net. read more

Using a Throat Pump Effectively

Using a throat pump to acquire a sample of what a fish has recently been feeding on is not an irresponsible or inhumane act.  A proper throat pump has a beveled end that tapers down slightly to avoid any harm done on fish, and the fish itself does not have to leave the water for more than three seconds to grab a throat sample.  A throat pump is not meant to be jammed into the stomach of the fish, only pull a sample of what has recently been ingested.

To throat pump a fish, cradle it upside down in your net with the pump in your opposite hand.  Fill the bulb with water, then allow most of it to be squeezed out while the tube remains wet.  Depress the bulb, insert it directly into the fish’s throat and quickly release the bulb.  Immediately set the fish back in the water and set your throat pump aside.  Release the fish before examining the contents. read more

Fly Tying: The G.B.D Micro Leech

Whether it is in a morning/evening session or after a big chironomid feed takes place, micro leeches are a staple food source that can save even the toughest of days.  This fly works great in the shallows under a strike indicator, fished on an intermediate sinking line, or in deeper water on a full sink.

This is an incredibly simple marabou micro-leech with a collar of Arizona Simi-Seal in “Black/Purple”.  To me, that is the most important part of the fly itself.  The iridescent and translucent qualities of this dubbing allow you to keep the fly sparse while still maintaining a teardrop profile. read more

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