Stillwater Fly Fishing: Early Season Shallow Water

It’s official, ice-off is coming and each day that passes we are closer and closer to putting the boat in open water!  Fishing the first few days of ice-off can be excellent, and can also become challenging.  I love fishing shallow water, and the first place I will usually start searching in the first few days of open water is in the shallow flats.

Fish will often cruise from the safety of the deep water into the shallows to feed, before returning back to where they feel most comfortable.  Staple food sources such a freshwater shrimp, leeches, immature damselfly nymphs, and bloodworms are all readily available and make for an easy early-season meal. read more

Five Applications for Intermediate Sinking Fly Lines

Clear intermediate sinking, or “slime lines” are an extremely versatile fly line that I believe don’t receive the recognition they deserve.  What these lines are is a full sinking line that simply falls at a very controlled rate of 0.5-2 inches per second.  They don’t hang up in shallow water, they’re very useful in fishing sub-surface and best of all they’re totally clear.  Here’s my 5 favourite applications:

1)      Scuds & Ledges – Freshwater shrimp are a huge part of a trout’s diet, they are the Big Mac of the underwater world and there’s a reason that lakes holding massive rainbows will typically have a large scud population.  What I will do with my clear intermediate line is find a ledge or a dropoff and anchor parallel to it.  If I can’t visually distinguish it, I’ll use my depth sounder to tell me right where the transition is.  From here, I will cast along the drop off or slightly over it onto the deep side.  With a quite erratic twitch retrieve I will bring the shrimp back to the boat with the occasional pause to allow my fly to fall.  Takes are usually quite savage. read more