Trying Different Chironomid Technique

#16
This has been a great discussion. Being new to fly fishing generally and chironomid use specifically I don't have much personal information to offer. However I did buy the book "Morris & Chan on Fly Fishing Trout Lake" which is loaded with great information. I also obtained a book by Phil Rowley on tying Stillwater Flies which also contains a ton of information.

If you are a rookie like me and are interested in Stillwater fly fishing I don't think you can go wrong with information provided by these three experienced fly fishing authors. I have been fortunate to attend presentations by Skip Morris and Phil Rowley who are excellent speakers. I know these are friends from North of the boarder, but their views should be equally relevant in the PNW.

Mike
 
#17
you can never have too many rods!

right now im packin a 5wt with 3 spools and lines. usually deep and leechy or a floater and an emerger. then a 6wt and floater (chiros) or an intermediate (streamer) and then i have an 8wt with 6 inches of bunny, deer and bird hanging there.

the system gray ghost describes (unless i missed the point) is a quick release indicator that comes in 3 sizes and 2 colors and retails for a buck ($1 USD) at pacific fly fishers.

anyways they are money for fishing deep. just dont set the peg too tight or else the fish wont pop it loose. set it too loose and it will break free on the cast.

the line tends to kink (not kink more of a curly q) where you peg it. so re-setting your depth isnt too big a deal. a sharpie also solves this dilemma. its a killer setup so long as you rig your leader correctly (basically all tippet) and its my go to when fishing 20' or less. 20' plus on a calm day..... sinking line time my friend.

tight lines ballers.
 

dryflylarry

"Chasing Riseforms"
#18
For deep water indicator fishing try making a quick release sliding indicator:

Take a Q-tip stem and cut it to the length of your favorite hard foam indicator.
Take a lighter and melt a small lip on one end of the cut Q-tip stem. This allows you to grab the Q-tip stem when mounted into the indicator to disengage it to make depth adjustments.
Drill out the indicator to the diameter of the cut Q-tip stem.
You now have a quick release sliding indicator.

To install:
Slide the melted lip end of the Q-tip stem on your leader first towards the fly line.
Then your drilled out indicator.
Tye your fly or flies on.

Adjusting the depth:
Slide the Q-tip stem and indicator up the leader to the depth you want to fish.
Put the Q-tip stem and a little bit of folded leader off the end of the Q-tip stem into the indicator, pinching some leader inside the indicator and fixing the indicator from sliding on the leader.

When a fish is hooked the Q-tip stem is pulled out of the indicator, releasing the pinched leader. The Q-tip stem and indicator slides down the leader to your fly or flies allowing you to land your fish in a easy manner. With this quick release sliding indicator I'll fish leaders as long as 25' and still be able to land my fish easily. Casting that long of leader works best when you have a little bit of wind. Make a short cast and then feed fly line out as the wind pulls your indicator farther out to the desired fishing distance.
iagree---------Good description Gray Ghost! :thumb:
 
#19
you can never have too many rods!

right now im packin a 5wt with 3 spools and lines. usually deep and leechy or a floater and an emerger. then a 6wt and floater (chiros) or an intermediate (streamer) and then i have an 8wt with 6 inches of bunny, deer and bird hanging there.

the system gray ghost describes (unless i missed the point) is a quick release indicator that comes in 3 sizes and 2 colors and retails for a buck ($1 USD) at pacific fly fishers.

anyways they are money for fishing deep. just dont set the peg too tight or else the fish wont pop it loose. set it too loose and it will break free on the cast.

the line tends to kink (not kink more of a curly q) where you peg it. so re-setting your depth isnt too big a deal. a sharpie also solves this dilemma. its a killer setup so long as you rig your leader correctly (basically all tippet) and its my go to when fishing 20' or less. 20' plus on a calm day..... sinking line time my friend.

tight lines ballers.
You are right on. Their are a few commercial quick release sliding indicators sold. They usually have a heavier plastic slide stems adding more weight to the indicator than making your own using a Q-tip stem. My favorite choronomid indicator right now are the football shaped Frog Hair indicators with the added quick release sliding Q-tip stem, they float high to see easy and cast well. As far as resetting to the previous depth, you are right, you get a little kink in the leader where it was set previously. You will get a few kinks up and down your leader from the previous depths you fished at. Once you know you are close on the leader from your previous adjustment, just look for the kink in the leader and reset.
 
#21
using the hemo's is the way to go
Or take a 1/4" strip of thin sheet foam (the kind for making Chernobyl ants, etc) and run it through the eye of a 1/2 oz bank sinker. Add a drop of superglue, fold the foam over to pinch the glue between the two halves, and trim the resulting foam tags to about 1/2" long (whip finishing the tags together works too). Then all you need to do is hook your bottom fly into the foam and drop it down like using the hemostats....and you don't risk losing the hemos.
 

PeteM

Active Member
#22
Another technique, on certain bottoms, is to put a foam fly on the end of your full sinking line. The line will come to rest on the bottom of the lake and the fly will suspend up the water column as high as your leader will allow. When you strip your line, the fly will dive down imitating a diving beetle, caddis, etc. and then rise back up.

Pete
 

ceviche

Active Member
#23
Chironmids fish best when moved very slowly(natural movement).
If you saw Ralph Cutter's video on aquatic insects, you might think otherwise. He documented a surprisingly fast ascent by a chironomid pupa.

On the topic of floating vs sinking lines, I have some thoughts. 10ft or less water depth, I will use a floating line with an adjustable indicator. 7ft or more, I go with a full-sinking line. With the latter, I will use a hemostat clipped to the fly to find and set depth by reeling in slack in my line. If the going is slow with that rig, I will use a "finger nibble" retrieve to explore the water column. If/when I get a strike, I will reel in slack and play the fish in off the reel (not reeling in the remaining line). That way I don't have to figure out all over again the depth fish are holding at.

I've said this before, and I'll say it again: Having an emerger pattern is very useful. You never know when you might find trout rising to emergers. Having a back-up rod rigged with a surface pattern will increase the chance of boosting the fun factor. Personally, I'd rather catch two trout on a dry pattern than five with wet ones. Seeing the take totally amplifies the fun! :beer2:

BTW, it would seem that now is the time of the year when trout seem to be more inclined to rise for their eats. Last year and this year, during this part of spring, my favorite lake gave up some great surface action.

--Dave E.
 

TexBC

Fly Addict
#24
On the topic of floating vs sinking lines, I have some thoughts. 10ft or less water depth, I will use a floating line with an adjustable indicator. 7ft or more, I go with a full-sinking line.
So do you use both at the same time between 7ft and 10ft? lol

If/when I get a strike, I will reel in slack and play the fish in off the reel (not reeling in the remaining line). That way I don't have to figure out all over again the depth fish are holding at.
From listening to Brian Chan (considered the Guru of Chironomid fishing up here in BC), he says that is not a good idea, especially if the bite happens near the surface. More times than not the fish has followed your fly up from the bottom and taken it. I can't speak to it personally though, as I've had limited success with the full-sink technique.
 
#25
I can say this to what I did on my first, albeit successful experiment with this technique, I counted the number of pulls to the bottom with hemostats attatched. I let out that many pulls with the fly and then went some more as the fly did not go straight down. I then used my fins to slowly keep me in position, I did not anchor. There was some drifting and movement and I believe this is what I liked about the experiment, I was not stuck in one spot. This slow drift is why I think my halebop was tagged two times, and I also caught fish on the bottom chironomid. Because I was catching fish on or close to the bottom I did not explore the virtical water column. I will do that next time. I am also going to look into the quick release indicators and use them in conjunction with something that I use from the Frog Hair indicators. When you use those floats you slide a little rubber stopper onto the fly line. It is what you set your bobber depth with. One of those little rubber indicator stops could very easily be used to mark the depth on a quick release float. It will make accurately resetting your depth a snap. It is also easily adjustable if you beging to search virticle water column. Now, do I try to make my quick release indicator, or do I run to Pacific Fly Fishers and buy some?
 

ceviche

Active Member
#26
From listening to Brian Chan (considered the Guru of Chironomid fishing up here in BC), he says that is not a good idea, especially if the bite happens near the surface. More times than not the fish has followed your fly up from the bottom and taken it. I can't speak to it personally though, as I've had limited success with the full-sink technique.
Yes, trout will and do follow a fly upward. That can happen even when retrieving a leech pattern. However, it wouldn't take much to figure out that the last fish you caught actually followed your fly up, if you find that fish aren't striking at the newly adjusted depth. A lot of fly angling knowledge comes via process of elimination.

--Dave E.
 

_WW_

Geriatric Skagit Swinger
#29
If/when I get a strike, I will reel in slack and play the fish in off the reel (not reeling in the remaining line). That way I don't have to figure out all over again the depth fish are holding at.
Picked up this trick from some of TexBC's buddies up north.

I carry a small bottle of white-out from the local office supply. I use this to mark my sinking line after I find bottom with the hemostats. The stuff is semi-permanent in that it will stay on all day but can be removed with a little vigorous finger rubbing. I usually mark the line so that the mark is somewhere in the middle of the rod next to a guide. This way I can use the same mark if I move and the depth has changed by a few feet either way.