Volunteering information

I just joined the board after seeing all the great info the site, but my question is how do most feel about volunteering info while on the water. Situation: I was recently fishing Pass Lake with chironomids (new to this technique) and there were several guys lined up near the boat launch and a couple of them were just nailing em. I couldn't get a thing fishing just a short distance away. I watched these guys fishing long leaders and indicators with a slow retrieve, I tried to duplicate but nothing. So how do most feel about others approaching while on the water and asking whats working etc. I wouldn't crowd, etc, but I hesitated to ask. Just curious?? Second, any tips for pass lake, Thanks..

Chris Scoones

Staff member
Asking for information

No late tips for you on Pass unfortunately. Sorry.

As for obtaining an assist from those who are dialed in I've found the unassuming, straight forward request for info with a smile a winner even with those who look unapproachable. Don't crowd, wait till for a moment when you won't have to interrupt like when they are tying on a fly, and you'll probably be met with more information then you expected.

That isn't to say that you shouldn't make your own efforts first though.

As for how I feel about volunteering info, I personally feel no satisfaction with watching some guy struggle while bite is on. If they approach, I'll offer all I can including tossing patterns their way if I have extras. If I've seen your not releasing fish as carefully as possible though, your on your own.

Good luck on Pass and let us know when you've had a day when you were dialing in yourself.


Asking for information

I don't mind having someone ask me what i am using but if i have been sworn to secretsy i probably won't tell them.One of my favorite memories was at pass lake when i was playing a 22" inch brown and i had forgot my net so i waited for this guy in a boat to troll close buy and asked him if he had a net he didn't seemed botherd by the question but he also didn't have a net so i carefully cradled the big trout and released it, afterwards he asked me if i had caught anything besides the brown and i had caught 3 other bows on the same fly and he also asked me what fly i was using and since he said he had not caught anything that day i gave my last fly of that kind to him and as soon as i went off to fish i saw him bring in his line and tie on the fly, he casted it out and started to row he went no more than 10 feet and caught a 16" inch bow on the fly i had gave him,
after he landed the trout he gave me the thumbs up from across the lake.That was just as cool as catching that 22" inch brown. :THUMBSUP
You can ask me anything, anytime, and I don't mind you getting close enough to chat, as long as you let me fish me my water. I am always on my best behaviour when I'm catching fish. You may find that not everybody feels that way, but that's their problem, not yours. And of course, once you hear, you may decide I don't know what I'm talking about.

Once I was fishing for coho up in BC, and my partner and I were absolutely slaying them, fish from 10 to 15 pounds, on practically every cast. The only other boat around was an older couple, pretty casters, but they couldn't buy a take. Finally they called over and asked what we were using.

Pink and white clousers, we volunteered.

Do you have any extras?

Sure, what the hell? We motored over and tossed four or five flies over to them, exactly what we were using.

The old fellow looked into his palm. Oh, he said, these are not near sparse enough, and the wrong color pink!

So there you go.
I'll never forget being unable to buy a strike at Pass Lake about 15 years ago. There was another angler near me who was catching rainbows and the occasional brown at regular intervals without much effort while I just flailed away tossing a woolley bugger. After a while, he rowed over to me and we chatted while he showed me what he was doing. By the time we were through, he had taught me how to rig and fish with chironomids as well as giving me a couple of flies to boot.
His act of kindness (or maybe he just wanted to stop laughing when looked my way) turned one of my most frustrating days "fishing" into one of my best days "catching". Since that time, I will go out of my way to help someone that appears to be struggling........especially if I happen to be dialed in to the fish and they are not. (Exception: If you kill fish in a catch and release area or tromp through water that another angler is fishing in to get to me - you might as well save your energy!)
yeah me and my buddie have the best technique for catching salmon(inshore)that I have never told a soul about. but last year at sekiu I showed the ropes to some guy and his old lady from Idaho on how to troll hardware and motor mooch like the pros. they said I was a really nice feller for doing that.

Hi, I just joined the board also, I have no real advice as for the cronomids but try different dephts and hand retrieve back very very slow. I have found lots of people don't like to share, I have no problem with sharing info probably because most of the time I am the one who gains from the exchange. I have found some very knowledgable people who are most willing to share, I just ask and if they don't respond then I go on my merry way. Gary
There is a small group of guys that fish chironomids and that is all they do. They each have their own pram rigged with an anchor front and rear and a portable fishfinder. They are very good at what they do and they catch fish all day long. You will frequently see them at Pass and Lone on the weekend. I was out there last year during a huge chironomid hatch. Not only were there a lot of bugs coming off, but they were really big for chironomids. I managed to catch a huge brown on a chironomid, but they just schooled me! From watching them I could tell their leader lengh and retrieve technique. The only difference had to be the fly. Before leaving the lake, I paddled over in their direction and asked the youngest guy if I could see what pattern they were using. He wouldn't talk to me or show me any patterns, he just mumbled something about using a bright pattern. I thought it was pretty rude that he wouldn't talk, but when rowing away, his buddy showed me his pattern and a jar of stomach contents from a fish that he had pumped. I left with more questions than answers, but definately learned how productive chironomid fishing can be.

There are two great books on fishing chironomids. One is Fly Patterns for Stillwaters by Philip Rowley. The other is Morris & Chan on Fly Fishing Trout Lakes. Buy them, and read them cover to cover. (I now know what he ment by a bright pattern.) Then get out on the water and practice your technique. If you want more help, talk the Dennis, the manager at Kaufman's in Bellevue.

To answer your question. If you are polite and practice C&R, I will tell you what I know and maybe even give you a fly or two. If someone else is schooling me (Doesn't happen very often now.) then I don't hesitate to ask. If they don't want to share, I will find out soon enough. After all, the best way to improve you success is to learn new techniques and patterns from others that are successful!

Chris Grieve
www.northwestflyfishingadventures.com :COOK