Thursday, April 17, 2014

"Dope On a Rope" (Leech On a Leader)

This spring while fishing a few new to me stillwaters attractor patterns have been the bread and butter when it comes to locating fish.This pattern hasn't only accounted for finding the fish, but catching quite large, and aggressive trout as well.The fly is tied sparse to look lively in the water, and has lead wraps on the front 1/3 of the body to give the fly a distinct leach like "swim"  the bead and dubbing catch light and adds some attraction as well.I also tie this pattern on a curved shank hook in smaller sizes for indicator fishing and it can be just as effective.Also works in olive/orange, and maroon with the same red bead (my favorite). If you are looking for a pattern to use when searching for trout this fly will get the job done, and because it is some simple to tie, and is durable, can be a time saving alternative to tying woolly bugger type patterns with hackle and all of the extras.

Black/red Simi seal leech

Hook: TFS 5263 sizes 8-12
Thread: utc 70, wine
Bead: red silverlined glass
Tail: black marabou (sparse)
Body: Black/red arizona simi seal
Rib (optional) small red ultra wire
Weight: small lead wire (wrap front 1/3 of shank for good action)

Monday, April 14, 2014

Stillwater Sunday

       On Sunday, Sam and i were invited to fish a private trout lake in the hills outside of town. The lake,formerly a bass/panfish fishery, was stocked with trout  last year.It is a healthy body of water with all of the components needed to sustain a trout fishery, but knowing large bass inhabit the lake made me question the lakes potential.We arrived a little before 9 and started fishing from float tubes.Water was murky with 2-3 ft visibility and a muddy tint, surface temp in the mid 50's.Fishing a new lake can always be frustrating because you never know what the fish are eating, and where they are at in the lake.Luckily there was a map showing how deep the lake was, making it easier to find feeding fish.

I started out with a clear intermediate sinking line and a size 10 black/red simi seal leech and worked the shoal area to the east of the channel that runs down the middle of the lake, side by side with jay and his wife slowly trolling our patterns. Not long into the morning we began to hook into some fish but not a ton,action was consistent.After about half an hour of bites and jay still hooking good amounts of fish, i narrowed down an area that seemed to have lots of fish.I anchored in 14ft of water to the side of the channel, and rigged up with a two fly chironomid rig, with a maroon pupa on the point, and a small red bloodworm on the dropper. Almost immediately after my patterns sunk it was bobber (indicator) down! it pretty much remained the same way on and off for the next few hours, with the bite picking up then dropping off for a bit here and there. Depth really seemed to matter, as the fish were cruising a narrow water column about  1-2ft off the bottom.I stayed in the same general area the whole trip with good success, and after lunch sam and jay both joined me for some chironomid fishing and the action continued until we had to call it quits. The day ended with several large rainbows to net for us all. What an excellent day on the water, and more to come as the lakes over eat open up soon.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Filling The Box

       Starting to fill my box as a lot of lakes and streams open in a few weeks like i mentioned before. With school daily ive had to split my tying time up into two segments, but ive been able to get a good amount tied.I am heavily focusing on chironomids for stillwater fishing at this time and will be for the next few days, though nymphs for the favorite stream will have to be a focus because it opens soon as well.Lots of time at the bench ahead preparing for a low water year here in oregon. 18 days and counting

Monday, April 7, 2014

Stillwater Mode Activated

Spring has arrived and along with it a whole host of opportunities.Lakes are icing off, and hatches are starting.Music to the ears of any avid stillwater trout angler as he knows the time has come.Flies are being tied by the hundreds, and unfortunately the local fly shops run short of materials often (haha) ive been fortunate enough to fish two awesome lakes in the past week, and had the chance to catch 6 different kinds of trout.It was a very long week of riding in the trucks, tying leaders, and fortunately, hooking lots and lots of fish, having my personal best day on the favorite late winter lake with two good friends.

After that trip sam and i headed east to a desert lake and spent our time in windy conditions stripping leeches for lahontan cutthroat, which was an incredible experience.  in 4 days of fishing last week i only broke off two fish (both lahontans while stripping flies) but none while chironomid fishing in the other lake. My hook up to land ratio has been incredible and i can only hope it continues.With a few weeks of hard school work on my plate it is time to take a break from the water and tie flies, before the central Oregon lakes open up and begin to fish well. Full fly boxes and tight lines ahead.

Photo credit: Sam Brost-Turner