care to school me on streamers?

Discussion in 'Stillwater' started by Ryan Hieronymus, Mar 31, 2013.

  1. Ryan Hieronymus Member

    Posts: 65
    Normandy Park, Wa
    Ratings: +8 / 0
    After what can only be described as a disappointing day on Pass lake with one fish on and zero in the net, I come looking for advice. I did not fish any chironomids today, and just stuck to the streamers. I towed around an olive bigger, a six pack, and a thin mint. Most of the time my method consisted of casting as far as I could, waiting about 10 seconds (full sink line) and trolling while retrieving. I obviously had poor results and was doing something wrong. I don't know what to change, but I want to keep at it until I get it. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
  2. troutdopemagic Active Member

    Posts: 400
    Lake Stevens, Washington
    Ratings: +131 / 0
    When I use to troll alot, I found that retrieving and trolling at the same time was alot less effective as retrieving or trolling separately from one another. Also, varying your depth and using two flies allows you to find what works alot faster. Don't get caught in the "i think it will work so I won't change" thing. We've all been there and its a bad place to be.
  3. Jeff Dodd Active Member

    Posts: 1,562
    Langley, WA
    Ratings: +349 / 0
    I agree, consider a dropped fly (something I don't often do when trolling). Vary your speed. Change direction (slalom) can change the presentation enough to entice a strike.

    I also pick up strikes if I strip the fly line as I coast to a stop (i can't be on oars while I do this). I don't strip the fly in I just pull and then release the line in an attempt to make the flies fibers come to life and add movement.
  4. Caveman Member

    Posts: 708
    N/A
    Ratings: +16 / 0
    Learn how to Chironomid fish Pass lake. This time of year is a Chrony lake for the most part. Keep searching until you find a school of fish.
  5. GAT Active Member

    Posts: 3,949
    Willamette Valley, OR
    Ratings: +2,535 / 0
    Sometimes, if you tie a streamer or baitfish imitation on as the bottom pattern and a nymph as the upper pattern, this will induce a strike... on either the streamer or the nymph.

    The idea is to give the impression of a fish following a bug. Because most fish are very competitive, if they see one fish chasing something they sometimes assume whatever the other fish is chasing must be edible and they'll rush in to take it. Plus, it can also induce an attack on the "fish" following the bug.

    Sounds weird but it has worked for me.

    I got the idea from watching small mouth bass on the Umpqua. The water is crystal clear so you can see how the bass are reacting. Many times I'd see a bass following my pattern and another bass would come out of nowhere to attack the fly ... evidently to take it from the first bass.

    Sometimes two streamer or baitfish patterns work better than just one. Again, the "chase" factor.

    One day, Deke Meyer and I were fishing a slough for LMB. We were both using two patterns. A black WB and a white WB. The bass would hit the upper fly. As an experiment, we tried switching up the patterns. The bass would still hit the upper fly be it the black or the white WB. So we tried fishing the patterns as single offerings -- zippo. The bass would only hit a pattern when fished with another one and then only the upper pattern.

    That's when we came up with the chase theory. This time of year I'd tie in a midge emerger pattern for the upper fly and some manner of streamer or baitfish imitation for the lower fly.
  6. chief Active Member

    Posts: 341
    Portland, OR
    Ratings: +123 / 1
    Lot's of good advice here. I have never fished Pass but in general I agree that you need to be willing to change tactics if you aren't getting strikes. This includes abandoning a technique that was working earlier (or yesterday, or last year) as the day evolves and conditions change. Changing flies, stripping faster or slower, different location, shallow water, deep water, ledges, edges, etc can all be keys to success. Personally, if I go more than 15-20 minutes without a strike I change something, usually starting with my fly selection. You know the fish are there, so if you are not getting strikes you need to show them something different.
  7. Stonefish Triploid and Humpy Hater

    Posts: 3,856
    Pipers Creek
    Ratings: +1,260 / 1
    Were you using the same line all day?
    Sometimes something as simple as changing your line can make the difference in your success. I've had days were my full sink didn't produce much but my intermediate line was the ticket. I've also had success using a floater for casting and retrieving streamers when lots of fish are showing on the surface. Having multiple lines will increase your success rate by allowing you to cover the many fishing situations you encounter during a day on the water.
    I agree with Caveman as well. You really should get into chironomid fishing as it is a huge part of the stillwater game.
    SF
    Jeff Dodd, GAT and Jim Wallace like this.
  8. GAT Active Member

    Posts: 3,949
    Willamette Valley, OR
    Ratings: +2,535 / 0
    Very, very true. I'd have to say they are the number 1 bug for most stillwaters... year around.
  9. Kevin Kraxberger KDeuce

    Posts: 25
    Lake Stevens, WA
    Ratings: +6 / 0
    When I talked to Michael Bennett of Pacific Fly Fishers a couple of years ago about fishing Pass Lake, he told me he has more success fishing streamers by casting out with full sink and retrieving it as opposed to trolling around.
  10. Caveman Member

    Posts: 708
    N/A
    Ratings: +16 / 0

    Only certain times of year. Scuds is the #1 food source of a lake but it's more year round, Chironomids is the #2 and fished Late winter/early spring slacks off and then in the fall and they really key in on this when they are there.

    A guy told me once I was not a complete fisherman since I didn't chironomid fish. I saw him school me and that converted me right then and there. Just takes practice and patience. Can be the best fishing ever.
  11. Kevin Kraxberger KDeuce

    Posts: 25
    Lake Stevens, WA
    Ratings: +6 / 0
    Chironomids are definitely the way to go at Pass Lake. All my fish at Pass Lake have been on Chironomids.

    I may not have written my post the clearest, I was trying to say when fishing streamers (not that they are the most successful fly style to use), Michael has had more success casting/retrieving than trolling. I was just responding to Ryan's post which was asking about ways to fish streamers.
  12. GAT Active Member

    Posts: 3,949
    Willamette Valley, OR
    Ratings: +2,535 / 0
    There are no scuds in the majority of Willamette Valley lakes. There are very few in the high Cascade Lakes. There are, however, always midges.

    I know this from doing a lot of insect collecting and stomach samples from trout we've caught.

    At one private lake in the Willamette Valley (Red Hills Lake) we did a year around study of the insect life. We never, ever found scuds. But we always found blood worms and midge emergers and adults. During the winter, the midges are very small but they are there.

    Because the lakes that hold scuds seem to also hold the largest trout, the owner of Red Hills had a plan to introduce scuds into his lake... but he never got around to it and after he talked with the entomology dept at OSU, they told him the lakes in The Valley do not provide whatever a scud needs to thrive so he gave up on the idea.

    So, I still say midges are the number 1 bug for just about any lake -- at least in Oregon. I honestly only use scud patterns for the Crooked River. I've never had much luck using scud patterns anywhere else.

    Of course scuds could very well be the most common bug in Washington lakes.
  13. Ryan Hieronymus Member

    Posts: 65
    Normandy Park, Wa
    Ratings: +8 / 0
    Wow, thanks for all this great advice! I only used a sinking line with the streamers, I only have full sinking and floating. The budget does not currently allow for another spool and line set for intermediate. I'll give chironomid fishing a try next time. Does it matter where you put them? I noticed a lot of guys bobber fishing near the weedbed, but I'm not sure if that is a "hot spot" or if it really matters.
  14. GAT Active Member

    Posts: 3,949
    Willamette Valley, OR
    Ratings: +2,535 / 0
    Yes, it matters where you put the emerger... you have to try different depths, there is no fursure spot to attach the fly.

    And yes, it does matter where you are fishing on a lake. Normally, around or over weed beds are the best areas for fly angling. ....because... that's where the bugs tend to hang out.
  15. bwillroll Member

    Posts: 180
    bellingham, wa, whatcom.
    Ratings: +13 / 0
    Ryan,
    You sound a lot like me. I was at Pass for most of the day on Friday. Instead of trolling I would anchor up and use my full sinking V to fish at various depths and various retrievals. I fished both shoals, and the far shoreline working my way towards shore, and always being aware of my depth. I only managed one fish to the net! I was very disappointed as I felt highly confident about getting into fish. I covered water from all depths! I'm so jealous of guys who have double digit days fishing on that lake. I want to join the club! I saw the chironomid guys consistently hitting fish. I think I'm going to have to give it a try since what I was doing didn't produce. Although I'm still convinced that locating fish is by far more important then anything else. Another thing I learned is that I hate float tubes for any lake over 50 acres!! Couldn't feel my toes! And another issue...has someone came up with a catheder systems for fisherman other then just peeing in your waders? I've never have to go to the bathroom as much as when I'm in a float tube as far away from the bathroom as a you can be.
  16. GAT Active Member

    Posts: 3,949
    Willamette Valley, OR
    Ratings: +2,535 / 0
    willroll, there once was a company that produced a bag and catheter system for float tubing they called the "Whizzer".

    Of course, this meant attach the bag to your leg under your waders and then positioning the catcher in the right spot... it wasn't really practical so I don't think it is still available.

    I'd look into the zipper waders but the suckers cost a fortune and I have no intention of paying that much money just to make taking a pee easier.

    There's always Depends :)
  17. Richard Olmstead BigDog

    Posts: 2,479
    Seattle, WA
    Ratings: +782 / 0
    Ryan -
    No one should feel bad about getting skunked on their first outing at Pass Lake, or even in their first few outings. Lots of good advice here, but it isn't a lake known for giving up lots of trout easily, even though you may seem to hear such stories frequently. They guys who score big numbers there have spent lots of time figuring it out.

    D
  18. Caveman Member

    Posts: 708
    N/A
    Ratings: +16 / 0
    By far the toughest lake i have ever fished
  19. Skyler Evans Active Member

    Posts: 223
    Fort Lewis
    Ratings: +33 / 0
    If anyone wants to show a new guy to chronomid fishing at pass lake i will be there on April 19th and 20th and would love to get a good lesson in lake fishing.