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

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: read more

“Intro to Chironomid Fishing” Course – Trout Waters Fly & Tackle – Saturday, April 14th

By popular demand, we’ve added a third “Intro to Chironomid Fishing” course at Trout Waters Fly & Tackle in Kelowna, BC on Saturday, April 14th

Chironomid fishing is an incredibly productive form of Stillwater fly fishing.  Though they are small, chironomids make up a huge part of a trout’s diet through the open water season.  This course is a 3 hour indoor presentation that will cover the following: read more

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

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

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: How to Tie a UV Pregnant Shrimp

Freshwater shrimp, or scuds, are a staple item in a trout’s diet.  From the day the ice comes off until the day it goes back on, shrimp are never a bad option to tie on during periods of slow fishing or early/late in the day.

This particular fly is one of the only shrimp patterns I fish.  I gained a huge appreciation for it during a day of ice-off stillwater fishing in April of 2011.  Fishing was incredibly slow, I had only hooked two fish all day and went into a shallow flat that wasn’t more than 3 feet deep for last light. 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

1 2 3 4