Working slow-sinking lines in shallow to moderate depths
As we mentioned previously, fishing shrimp under a strike indicator is a deadly effective method. This rings especially true near bulrushes and other structure.
Sometimes they simply want to see the shrimp moving, and simply will not touch a suspended shrimp imitation. This is when we break out my favourite method of fishing shrimp, which is fishing an intermediate or medium-sinking line in shallow water.
Though fish will slide into shallow water in search of scuds at any time, early spring and late-fall are the most popular times of the year to see big fish happily rolling in 10, 6, sometimes 2 feet of water.
So, how do we do it?
The first thing to look for is fish activity. Ideally, when conditions and water clarity permit, you will be able to see fish cruising in shallow water. This is not always the case, and sometimes you will simply look for fish that are rolling or poking their nose just above the surface.
There are two lines that cater well to this style of fishing, Scientific Anglers’ Seamless Density S1/S3 and Clear Camo. I prefer the former of the two if I am fishing 5 to 10+ feet of water, and the latter if I am fishing 5 feet or less.
Once the fly lands, a short, rapid cadence of strips followed by a pause seems to work best. In my experience, fish will either eat on the pause, or just as the fly begins to pick up speed. This doesn’t mean they can’t eat at any given time during the retrieve, so be ready.
Another great thing to remember is to never assume that you are too close to the boat to hook a fish. I have taken many nice rainbows as my leader to fly line connection (roughly 9′ ending in 4x fluorocarbon) approaches the tip of the rod.
To those who have not yet put their boats away for the year, enjoy the last short window of Stillwater fishing, and we look forward to seeing you on the water next spring!