What works?

Discussion in 'Stillwater' started by fly-adventures, Nov 10, 2013.

  1. Does going deep do any better than staying near the surface during the winter for trout? I fish near the surface, but was wondering if going to intermediate lines would help catch more and bigger fish? I would like to know if it is worth buying? Thanks.
  2. Nick Clayton

    Nick Clayton Active Member

    Learn vertical presentation. Catch fish. Be happy.

    Seriously though, it all depends on what the fish are feeding on and at what depth. If they are eating bloodworms on the bottom then you may not catch too many fishing an emerger on a floating line.

    The key is being prepared to cover any part of the water column. You can add an intermediate, then a type III, then a V...and so on and so on as most of us eventually do. But if you want to save money you can cover just about any situation with a floating line and vertical presentation. Kinda comes down to your own personal preference I would say.... but ultimately you need to have a way to put your fly in front of the hungry fish....at whatever depth that may be.
  3. Steve Unwin

    Steve Unwin Active Member

    I use my intermediate line quite a bit. Some guys prefer faster sink lines, as an intermediate will keep you fairly close to surface (5'-10'), and some prefer a floating line with an indicator and weighted flies. What ever method you use, getting deeper is probably going to be more successful than waiting for fish to come up to the surface.

    Check out some of the recent (and not so recent) topics about chironomid fishing for some of the tips for deeper fishing with an indicator.
  4. Topstoy

    Topstoy Member

    You should have a clear intermediate or camo line in your arsonal. There are times when you don't want to go deep or for shallower waters. Yes, in the fall the bigger fish are at higher levels, unlike summer where they like to camp out deep.
  5. Thanks you guys! I will take what you guys said and use that to make the decision. I will try the vertical presentation and see how i like that way of presenting my fly.
  6. Steve Unwin

    Steve Unwin Active Member

    If you don't want to spend the money then just use your floater and vertical. It definitely works! But I also agree with Nick that you'll most likely end up with a few different lines anyway. Having options is always good
  7. WA-Fly

    WA-Fly Active Member

    remember last winter when we went fishing, the only reason I caught so many fish was because I was using a sinking line.
  8. Scott Salzer

    Scott Salzer previously micro brew

    I carry two floaters, one set up for chronies, the other set up with an emerger; Type VI and clear intermediate. Not quite a gear whore just like to be ready. I will try the type VI first, generally moving to a spot to use chronies. I like the intermediate for casting to the shallows water next to reeds or in flats. The floater could also be used to this type of fishing. Others will use the fast sink with a chronie, no bobber, for deeper water stuff. The fish finder can help determine a likely depth.
  9. troutpocket

    troutpocket Active Member

    The first sinking line I bought was a type III. Good for working 8-15' deep. It opened my eyes to how critical is it to get your fly to where the fish want to eat it. Now I use my sinking lines when I'm searching for concentrations of fish then switch to a floater/indicator rig to work the area. All sinking lines work at one time or another. Where the fish are feeding can vary by the hour which is why dedicated stillwater anglers carry so many rigged-up rods. . . which is really about having multiple lines ready to try when the bite fades.

    Winter fishing can be as good as any other time of year if you find the fish and keep your offering in "the zone".
    triploidjunkie likes this.
  10. Stonefish

    Stonefish Triploid, Humpy & Seaplane Hater

    You mentioned winter so I thought I'd add this. This doesn't happen that much around here anymore, but when I first started fly fishing in the 80's it was quite common. That is lowland lakes in western wa completely freezing over for a few days.
    I'm not sure what the ice does to the fish but if you hit it just after the ice comes off you can have some stellar winter dry fly fishing.
    Perhaps it has something to due with bugs getting trapped under the ice and the inability of the fish to rise to them.
    I was told about this by a well known shop own and really didn't believe it until witnessing it myself multiple times.
    dryflylarry and Nick Clayton like this.
  11. PT

    PT Physhicist

    An intermediate is only going to get you down a couple feet. I'd consider that fishing near the surface. I use a type 2 and 4 regularly.
  12. Nick Clayton

    Nick Clayton Active Member

    Now that would be pretty cool to encounter. My favorite little lake freezes from time to time. I'll have to pay a bit more attention to it around those times.

  13. Jim Mcallister

    Jim Mcallister AKA stillwater guy

    When I fish lakes I always run 2 lines.If there is a rise I will run a clear intermediate and afloating line.The deeper line gets a green purple or brown nymph. The floating gets a soft hackel that leaves a wake.If I get no love I will start swaping out flys.I give this about an hour then I will swap it out with one of the other rods .Thats my 2 cents
  14. Lue Taylor

    Lue Taylor Lue Taylor/dbfly

    Go get Tim's book I never seen him indicator fishing but I have witness him catching 4 to my one while I was bobber fishing
  15. candr

    candr Daryl

    Tim's book is great - it emphasized to me how important it is to first find the depth the fish are feeding at (probably more important than fly choice) and also to keep moving if you aren't catching fish. I used to Stillwater fish with indicators a lot - anchored in one place, moving once in a while. I still like to static chironomid fish but in recent years I have concentrated on fishing "loch" style - casting in front of a moving boat that is on a controlled drift (using a para-drogue). I switch lines regularly to find the depth the fish are at (floater, midge tip, type III, type VII etc). I find it much more effective day in and day out than indicator fishing and so I don't fish indicators as much anymore. I also used to not like windy days and now a nice stiff breeze usually means good fishing. There is lots of internet information on this style of fishing although it's not that popular in N America. I guess that no matter how you fish if you concentrate on finding the fish and presenting a fly at the correct depth for the longest period of time possible (using a vertical presentation or with a particular line), you will catch lots of fish (fly choice is a distant 3rd or 4th in priority for success imho).
    kamishak steve likes this.
  16. GAT

    GAT Active Member

    I'd be in big trouble without my fast, full sinking line. I fish deep lakes and during the cold weather, the trout hug the bottom.

    I use three lines for stillwaters and doubt if that will ever change. I catch fish so the approach works for me. I always carry a floating, a clear intermediate sinking and a full fast sinking line.

    I'm not keen on the "bobber fishing" (vertical) and prefer using sinking lines instead. However, if push comes to shove, I can and will switch to a dry line, weighted patterns and very long leaders.

    Probably the move valuable tool I use for flyfishing stillwaters is my portable depth/fish finder. The screen indicates the depth where the trout are holding and this information is instrumental in my line choice. About this time of year, the fish normally hold within a foot or so of the bottom of the lake. ... but no always. That's where the depth/fish finder is so danged handy. I may not catch the fish I mark but at least I know the depth they are holding so I can choose my line and presentation accordingly.
    Jim Wallace likes this.
  17. Starman77

    Starman77 Active Member

    I also recommend adding a full sinking line to your arsenal. In our eastern WA lakes, the trout are often way down deep, like 20 to 30 feet deep. I use a RIO Deep 7 full sinking line to get down that deep. You could get down that deep with a floating line and really long leader, but it is difficult to cast that kind of setup.

  18. Irafly

    Irafly Active Member

    Yeah, in this case there isn't much of a cast, but I have been experimenting with a switch rod now and I'll be honest I can haul it out there fairly far with long leaders now, which allows me to play around with my retrieve while still presenting my fly vertically within a specific zone, versus using a sinking line and taking it out of a zone.
  19. ryfly

    ryfly Addicted to flyfishing

    I'm a big fan of the Dupont Stimmie. Light, throw, paddle away like crazy, and reap the benefits.
  20. Red Arch

    Red Arch Active Member

    Just a quick two cents.

    My favourite lines to use right now are a intermediate sink and a type 3. The type 3 was used with a weighted pumpkinhead in around 6-9 feet of water on a fast hand twist. I usually always use hangs in there but sometimes the straight twist is what gets the fish. Biggest fish I caught in a lake I had just finished a pause, went to hand twist and hit a solid wall with a nice 6-8 pounder on.
    This technique works well on brookies to except they like speed variances (like 4 fast strips 4 slow).

    As for the intermediate I use it in shallower lakes to avoid hitting bottom. Same technique. Beauty with a hand twist is you can go fast (to a point) or really slowly.

    Also here are two visuals from a lecture regarding winter and Turnover. Turn over.jpg Fish distribution.jpg
    Mark Kraniger and ryfly like this.