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

Fly Tying: Two-Tone Chironomid Ribbings

This morning en route home, I was thinking of the small things about the website that I couldn’t quite seem to get dialed in.  Then I started to think about more and more small things, which eventually led me to the idea I was going to do a complete overhaul.

It only took twelve hours, but I have to say I am proud of how the new site looks.  It is easier to navigate, cleaner and more visually appealing in my opinion.  There will be a few quirks being worked out over the next few days, and if you have any suggestions I have thick skin so don’t hold back! read more

STORY: The Stillwater Fly Fishing Trip That Changed My Life

Before I spill this whole story, I want to extend a thank you to everyone for the great messages and emails over the last few days.  I publish daily articles because I am grateful to be able to share a few things I have learned in the last ten years of stillwater fly fishing, not because I want to become famous in the fishing world or act like I invented the wheel.  Now let’s get down to how the fishing trip that flipped my whole world upside down.

Fly Tying: Two-Tone Chironomid Bodies

Tying two-tone chironomid bodies is not a new practice by any means, but it’s one that is a lot easier than it may look at first glance.  I’m sure there are many ways to do it, but this is the method I taught myself at a younger age and have not found reason to change yet.

Chironomid pupa will retain residual hemoglobin when transforming from their larval stage, often you will see dark bodied chironomids with a very prominent red butt or segmentation.  Of course there are many variations of this, but for this tutorial I’ve chosen red and dark brown UTC thread for the body, tied on a size 16 Dai-Riki #285. read more

White Beads: When & Why You Should Fish Them

White beads, often referred to as snow cone or ice cream cone patterns, can really play a big part in the Stillwater chironomid game.  Here’s a few things to consider when using white beads.

Water Clarity:  The big advantage to white beads is that they stand out and can help fish locate them in murky water.  Often fishing tannin, or “tea coloured” water white beads will really shine.  Another great application for chironomids with white beads is during an algae bloom, as traditional pupa tied with yarn gills can grab clippings of algae on their way down the water column.  On the other hand, I will rarely ever fish a white bead in gin-clear water. read more

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