Stillwater with floating line

Discussion in 'Stillwater' started by Jake Tucker, Sep 29, 2008.

  1. I'm new to fly fishing lakes, and I've been reading about how trolling leech patterns is usually a go-to tactic. Right now I only have a floating line, and have been unsuccessful in a handful of trips where I trolled leech patterns. I also thrown some muddlers our there, but I'm having a hard time to get them to go down. Y'all have any tips for a lake-nube?
  2. Padawan,

    I am a lake newbie as well but I have gotten some good advice from several people that are old veterans and also gotten some good advice from WFF.

    The following article from here should give you some starter tips.

    Read the second article in that series as well as it builds on what is learned in the first article.

    Because of budget, I only have a floating line as well so I will share what I do that has been fairly successfull for me.

    I use a long leader and tippet. My setup so far is a approximately 7 foot long tapered leader, ~4 feet of 12 lb test tippet, and then finally ~4 feet of 6 lb test tippet which I tie my flies to. That gives me around 15 feet of leader. When fishing a wooly bugger and I want to get it down fairly deep, I use a bead head version and then place two splitshots on the 12lb test line. This setup worked really well the other night and I got 4 fish in about 45 minutes in the last hour of daylight.

    Color can be very important sometimes. Earlier this spring I was fishing a black wooly bugger in Rattlesnake and a friend was fishing a thin mint and he had 3 on to my none when he graciously gave me a thin mint to try. In 5 minutes I had my first fish on. If they aren't keying in on the color you are giving them, try another color.

    From what I've experienced a quick 3 inch strip every few seconds while trolling helps bring the fish out. It gives the leech an up and down action that I think is more life like than just trolling at a constant rate.

    Hopefully that helps a bit.

  3. do yourself a favor and get some intermediate sink line.

    this is decent line, it's worth $40 to catch some fish. you can probably save some at sportsmans warehouse, joes, or even walmart. frankly quality is less critical with sinking lines. ebay always has some great deals on lines.

    fast sink lines can be easier to find and even cheaper. but they are more difficult to fish, harder to pick up and harder to cast, and you get hung up more easily. intermediate is more user friendly.
  4. Agree w/ Tony + every stillwater guy on here will back that up. Type III or IV would do it. If lucky you might access 10% of fall/winter fish on that floater. With exception of Rattlesnake I can't think of a lot of lakes where October is great near the surface. Meantime, until you own a sinker, I'd bomb weighted streamers against any shore where the cover is good early morning and late eve (beaded leeches, buggers or minnow patterns). Good luck!
  5. I agree with the others. I picked up my first type IV full sinking years ago and my catch rate went up dramatically. I catch far more down deep than near the surface. Even when they are feeding on top, I can cast my sinking to them and strip back. Only for chironomids do I normally have to switch to a full dry.

  6. Yup, trolling leeches catches lots of fish. But as others have said, you'll do much better trolling with a sink line. Eventually, you'll rig more than one setup so you can switch between different tactics as conditions change or you move between locations.

    Keep your floating line on one rod and learn to bobber fish. Just accept it, chironomids flat catch fish. You'll think it's a lame until you get on a real chironomid bite.

  7. split shot is your friend
  8. "split shot is your friend"

    As long as it's legal to use it.....
  9. Don't confuse a Sinking Tip line with a full sinking line. A full sinking line works best in still water. Also, if you're using a Type 3 or type 4 line there's no need for additional weight so you can use Non bead head, unweighted flies for the most natural action.:ray1:
  10. You must be assuming it's lead shot; not all shot is lead.
  11. I use a sink tip on my floating line, makes for quick changes and not having to carry an extra rod or extra spool in the boat.
    I like to bead head my buggers and weight them with some red wire around the body, wire helps make the bugger last longer on those days when it's one fish after another until your arm hurts.

  12. Wow, 15 ft. of leader material. Seems a little much, and makes for very difficult in casting. I would go down to at least 4 lb test leader or 5X in a lake. You can catch the biggest trout in most of our lakes with 5X (approx 4 lb test) I would go with a 9 ft tapered leader that tapers down to 4X (approx 6 lb test) and tie on your tippett of 5X to that of about about 2 - 3 ft. The smaller the leader the less spooky the fish. When you get really good at playing fish you may want to go down to 6X leader. Some even fish 7X leader, that means you must have some really quality equipment with a good drag system. I have never fished 7X, now I'm too old to see it. I have an old tackle box that I have converted to a "reel box" , I carry reels and spools with floating, sink tip, and sinking line. I would invest first in sink tip, then sinking line, but that is my preference.

  13. Richard,
    I think he's probably referring to fly only waters where "Anglers may not use ... weight attached to the leader or line". So far as I know, the use of lead sinkers has not otherwise been restricted in Washington state.
  14. All these replies and not a single person has suggested trying to fish dries, I know the question was about sinking flies but still why don't you try tossing a dry with your dry line, I've gone out 5 times in the last 2 weeks and have gotten into fish every time on dries and have had a blast doing it, ants, termites, midges, mayflies, and caddis have all been present at different times on different days, I've never even gotten around to putting on a sinking line, too much fun to be had fishing the top.
  15. Right On. Even dragging a dry fly near the surface will work.

  16. I'm with you troutpocket, carrying two rods set up is the best way to fish stillwaters. I always have a rod strung-up with an indicator and chironomids. I usually start out with an intermidiate line trolling (casting and stripping) until I locate fish and then anchor and bobber fish. Unless the fish are tearing up leeches or buggers. I also carry a type VI sink.

  17. Bobber fish? Like blue gill fishing with worms or something? Sorry, I'm ignorant to the technique of chrionomid fishing, and i'll learn it eventually I'm sure, but I guess I'm just a slow learner.
  18. Basically Mumbles. I am no expert by anyones reckoning, let alone my own but here is what I've done.

    You determine the depth at which you want to fish your chironomid, scud, nymph or other underwater slow moving creature and place an indicator at that spot on your leader. Then you toss it out there and wait. Twitch it every once in a while, bring it in a little closer to get their attention but thats about it.

    A lot of people will fish different flies at different depths using a dropper system to up their chances of getting fish and sometimes even the same fly but different sizes in case the fish are being picky.

    Oh, if you can bring a friend while indicator fishing, it really helps to while away the time.

    Hope that helps!

  19. Chris, i know chironomid fishing is the staple of fish feeding, but I've yet to really get into it myself. In time I will, but for now when I fish it is a bit more active. Anyone ever fall asleep while chironomid fishing? I've used a dropper when legal from time to time and increased the action. I've got a lot to try and learn, I hope I have enough time for it all.
  20. I'm right there with you Mumbles, I've got a lot to learn. Slowly but surely I am learning from clubs, friends, the internet, and actually getting out there.


Share This Page