Chironimide Fishing: Breaking it Down for "Dummies"

Discussion in 'Stillwater' started by Chef, Jan 24, 2011.

  1. (Assuming one is using a floating line with..... and wanting to chironimide fish....)

    When I was out on Martha yesterday, I got the rod ready, slip indicator on, and flies tied. Went out on the water, fastened the hemostats to the bottom fly and lowered it down to get the depth. Now.... the depth took all of my leader and some of my fly line. When this happens, what do you do? Where do you set up the indicator? Not on the fly line itself??? What would you do if this happened? Add more tippet? Move to a shallower part of the lake?
  2. Add tippet or change over to a full sinking line on depths where you cant see the bottom.
  3. Phil nailed it! I had someone show me full sinking line "high sticking" in places where the depth was greater than a leader that I could effectively cast with an indicator/chironomid rig. If you think you are going to be adding tippet to make for greater depth on a floating line, consider some sort of shooting floating head that will help you carry all that leader, chironimids and indicator junk out to where you are hoping to fish it.
  4. I almost always fish the same way first regardless of depth. Long leader, 15 foot minimum. floating line. relatively heavy fly, meaning nothing buoyant, not the "Dryfly" version of the hook shape, v-rib or wire body, etc. Long cast, and let things settle for a bit. At least a minute. Then do the worlds slowest hand twist retrieve. Only trying to keep slack out of the line, with the rod tip in the water. That's it. sometimes up to a 20 foot leader. You don't need to straighten it on the cast, In fact a non-tangling unstraightened leader will sink faster. First of all you're actively fishing, even if it is a very slow twist. Secondly, without slack the hits can feel brutal. Which is a good thing. Easy, and you KNOW when you have a fish.

    I go to other methods if this fails. But that's rare.
  5. I'm not an expert by any means but when I go for the extreme long leader set up I use an extra spoo with dry line that I have set up just for that purpose, it has a short section of heavier leader material say about 2 foot nail knotted to the end of my line with a loop knot at the end to this I attach the lb test I'm going to use, I know roughly the depth of where I usually fish this rig so I then measure out the length I think I need, I then tie on my fly hook on the hemo's and drop it over, because I use the same lb test usually 4lb for the running portion as I do the tippet if its shorter than required I just add some more. A tip, when trying to cast 25' of tippet material with a bobber on one end and a weighted fly on the other take your time, I usually strip out the length of fly line I want, flip it out the end of my rod with the tippet portion laying on the water and the fly held between 2 fingers I raise the rod backcast and then on the forward throw just before all of the tippet lays out I let go of the fly, this works pretty good for me and because I rarely have more than 20' of flyline out casting isn't a problem and it really seems to hold down an those very annoying birdsnests.
  6. Next time try ditching the bobber. Also, for a longer fish, if you want, you can simply kick away from your start point feeding line. gives your rig time to sink. If you don't have to see your bobber, you can keep your fly in the water a very long time. I always use at least a couple tapers in my leader, so I can cast it. I have done what you're talking about with multi fly rigs, but with a single fly, I like "true" casting. Chiro fishing is already so dull for me, I don't want to lose the casting aspect too!
  7. Chef:

    All good advice.

    1) Longer tippet to get where you want to be for the depth.
    2) Move to shallower water.
    3) Although, near the bottom is preferred, fish will hit the chronie in other parts of the watter column. The first fish that I had below a bobber was at Pass. Fishing down 6' in 19' of water.

    I'm not that good with the full sink line technique but I know it was killer on a certain dry side lake in 20+ feet of water last year.

    I have also fish shallower water with the bug 6-8" under the bobber.

  8. For ME, I would either go shallower OR add more tippet. Without sonar, you are truly flying blind. First off, you have no idea if the fish are in 20' or 15'.
    If you only needed maybe 3' more, I would definitely add that in tippet or fluoro, or mono, whatever you are using.
    I am not sure how that 20' leader casting tech works. I have tried to cast long leaders but found it much safer to just drop straight down, then kick away. Maybe even pulling the set-up to a new location at times.

    The sinking line is definitely a good idea, but if you don't have a fast sinking line, you can do it with floating, indicator and long leader.

    I also set my rig with one Chironomid on the bottom about a foot off the bed then a tag and another 2' to 3' up....this helps find where they are hanging.
  9. When I gear up for chirono fishing I start with a 12ft leader then add tippet length neccessary to depth. I limit myself to 18-20 ft of depth using a floating line/indicator setup. Fishing deeper than that I go to a full sink line. When trout are feeding 20 ft down or so you can sit right on top of them if you're still and not thrashing about.
    One spring day last year on a local lake a midge hatch began in shallow water. I was geared up for chironos with a floating line so I backed my boat slowly and carefully into the area and tied up on a downed tree at the water's edge. I sat there for a few minutes allowing the fish to get use to my presence and adjusting my terminal gear with the right fly. As I sat in my boat I could touch bottom with my feet, water depth was only 18 inches. The fish were feeding on emergers right out in front of me 10-15 ft away. Cattails were to my sides and back there was no back casting room at all. With a short roll casting flip I had no problem reaching those fish, there was barely 3-4 ft of flyline out. I sat in that spot and caught almost 20 fish. I was fishing in close to the boat and in very shallow water. The fish were tolerating my presence because of the hatch.
    Trout in lakes, especially those lakes that get fished regularly have a pretty good tolerance for boats and people. A fisherman can use that to his advantage if needed.
  10. Chef - how much leader did you start with? My chironomid rig starts with a 15' leader and I'll add up to 5' additional tippet when necessary. My most common depth range for hanging bugs under a bobber is 6-20'. If you start with a 9' tapered leader (I don't use packaged tapered leaders for chironomid fishing; I'm happy to share if you're interested), you'll need to add tippet accordingly. Another important piece of info - how did you choose your location? Did you see birds working the surface? Any shucks on the surface? Good structure nearby (dropoff, weeds, wood)? See other people catching in that area?
  11. Thank you all for your advice.

    I will need to use a longer leader and tippet or go with a sinking line. No problem there.

    Trout pocket: well... location.... I need to work on that. I was going in blind for the most part.
  12. trout master is right. I should have done research on this before asking the questions or assuming.
  13. I had a similar experience last spring. I love it when things go like that!
  14. It takes practice, and research ,heck I have caught them deep 40+ feet and less than a foot of water. At Nunnally acouple years ago I was fishing at 6" under the indicator and just slamming them, Then I went nekkid and continued to slam them. Read about their life cycle that can help if you are seeing fish are they slurpinng or just under the surface? They are a blast to fish.
  15. Long leader is the way to go, with the floating line. The only issue is trying to land a fish if your indicator (please dont call it a bobber) is 18 feet away from the fish. In this case you have to resort to some ingenuity. Making your buddy run the net is always a good option, but otherwise you need to come up with some creative way to move your indicator so that you can reel up more of the leader. For me this usually involves both hands, and my teeth, and usually results in a lot of slack, but with some practice you can do it pretty quick. I advise doing it early in the fight when the fish is still spunky because it will keep tension on the line for you. If you wait til the end of the fight and he is tired out, you are going to end up with a lot of slack and potentially lose him.
  16. Zagnut, I got what you need.....(indicator) PM me and i will tell you about it.
  17. Zagnut, try the quick release indicators, I have been using them for about 5 years they work great.
  18. There are a number of quick release bobbers out there(yes bobbers you can call them what you want so your sensibilities aren't offended but face it a bobber is a bobber) I only use a quick release bobber which allows me to easily land the fish that are hooked.

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