Chironomid fishing a deeper location?

Discussion in 'Stillwater' started by Ed Call, Mar 6, 2009.

  1. Riffling Hitch

    Riffling Hitch Member

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    I tye a indicator out of polypro yarn and loop it anywhere on the leader for depth and it will reel in and out of the guides without problem. Also casts very easily.
    Russell
     
  2. candr

    candr Daryl

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    Here's my experience with deep water fly fishing....
    Many years ago I was fishing at Lundbom Lk in BC, trolling leeches along the shore line and not catching anything. Just before noon a beat up pick up with an old aluminum pram in the back pulled up to the launch. Old guy, obviously local, drops his boat in, rows directly to the middle of the lake, and anchors bow and stern. I knew the depth in that area was over 30 feet so I was curious and decided to keep an eye on him. There wasnt much to watch. It looked like he was just sitting there with his line over the side of the boat enjoying the day. I couldn't see his hands but every so often he would cast so I knew he was using some sort of very slow retrieve. He started hooking fish. One after the other which is rare for Lundbom (at least for me). Finally I couldn't take it anymore and started to move slowly in his direction. I anchored a polite distance away and watched him cast a full sink line, let it hang down, and then slowly retrieve it. He was hooking up at various points in the retrieve and the takes were hard and straight down. At the end of the day at the launch I helped him load his boat and he was nice enough to explain the "hang down" technique for deep water to me. He was using a small bright green caddis pupae pattern (great fly that I still use to this day) with a very slow retrieve off the bottom.
    The next day I rowed to same spot, anchored up, put a #10 chironomid pattern on, and cast it out in over 30 feet of water. I started a very slow retrieve and almost had the rod yanked out of my hand (the rainbows in that lake are hot). I soon experienced the "why is that fish jumping over there - oh sh#t! it's the fish I'm hooked up to" scenario that everyone who's hooked hot fish in stillwater has experienced. I ended up having a great day of fishing and in the years since I have refined both my equipment and my technique so that this is my go-to technique for stillwater. I hate fishing with indicators! I always try to find the deeper depths of a lake and fish them "hang down". It works with many fly patterns, but I use chironomids a lot. I've found that often the big fish in the lake are deep (Pass Lake is a good example). I've had days on Pass where all I've caught are large browns in over 25 feet of water.
    I now use a line that I've spliced up that seems to work really well. It's basically the running line from a cheap fast sinking fly line. I cut off the head and splice 10 ft of T14 to the running line. The T14 drops the fly directly to the bottom and you can fish patterns that are unweighted very effectively. To the T14 I splice 2 ft of Rio shock tippet to cushion the leader. I then use about 4 ft of fluoro for a leader. I like to use a longer, slow action rod for cushion as casting and presentation isn't important with this technique. I use an old spark plug for weight to measure where the bottom is. I lost to many hemostats when I used to use hemostats.... The takes are hard and straight down. You don't miss a lot of fish on the hook set. I see guys fishing indicators in 20 ft of water and missing lots of fish on the hook set. You can also get your fly back in the zone faster than when using an indicator and waiting for everything to settle back to the bottom.

    One last thing, generally fish are not boat shy. I've used this technique in 8 ft. of water. The T14 isn't even through the top eye of the rod, and the fish are still taking the fly directly under the boat. I've attached a couple pics of fish that I've caught with this technique. Good luck.
     

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  3. Daryle Holmstrom

    Daryle Holmstrom retiredfishak

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  4. Jay Burman

    Jay Burman Fly Fisher, Bon Vivant, Layabout.

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    Use the type of indictor with the peg in the center that releases and slides freely down the leader when you set the hook. They sell them at most fly shops and they will show you how they work. I got a bunch at Creekside in Issaquah.:thumb:
     
  5. candr

    candr Daryl

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  6. pfournier

    pfournier Do it outside!

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    Those quick release indicators work great. But back to Mumbles point, it is a real pain to cast all that leader/tippet material. I am increasingly interested in the the sinking line/slow retrieve method for deeper water.

    Fishing 15 or less feet, not an issue.
     
  7. rlight

    rlight Member

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    What knot should you use to tie a chironomid on your line? Or does it even matter what knot you use?

    rlight
     
  8. pfournier

    pfournier Do it outside!

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    I use a loop to allow the fly to dangle and move.
     
  9. Creatch'r

    Creatch'r Heavies...

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  10. Ed Call

    Ed Call Mumbling Moderator Staff Member

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    pf, I'm crappy and not versitile with many knot types. Is that loop a sliding or fixed one and how do you tie it?
     
  11. Daryle Holmstrom

    Daryle Holmstrom retiredfishak

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    It would be interesting to see the new contours
     
  12. _WW_

    _WW_ Geriatric Skagit Swinger

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    I don't thik the contours have changed all that much. It mostly seems to me that either the lake has been allowed to retain more water than in 1946 or the original survey was inaccurate.
     
  13. Andrew Lawrence

    Andrew Lawrence Active Member

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    It's basically the running line from a cheap fast sinking fly line. I cut off the head and splice 10 ft of T14 to the running line. QUOTE]

    This would be a line with a sinking tip; not a full sinking line. Is that correct?
     
  14. Ed Call

    Ed Call Mumbling Moderator Staff Member

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    alawrence, I'm pretty sure he is talking about a full sinking line. He took part of the head portion off and spliced on an even heavier material, the T14. I'd call that full sinking line mod a Rock Taper! It should get down fast as a rock.
     
  15. pfournier

    pfournier Do it outside!

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    Back on topic: I tried the sinking line method with a black chironomid yesterday. Boy did I get the jolt of a life time. OMG, they do hit hard. Of course I'm just so used to watching the indicator twitch. This was not no twitch. I highly recommend the experience for anyone willing to revive your boring day!