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John or "LC"
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Intermediate lines topics have been beat to death here, but with some new lines out I am looking for user opinions.

Probably 75% of my fishing is in stillwater for trout, and like the rest of us the I line is my primary line, making the selection very important.

I've always fished a slime line, currently a Cabela's clear intermediate which is OK but coils in sub 50 degree weather, and Aqualux which is better but is still a PITA at times.

I like the new Sonar Type III line so much I've wondered about a ghost tip line, like the Sink 30 Clear, with a 30' monocore tip and the rest traditional coated running line, all 1.5 ips. The one review I found made it sound more like an estuary line than a stillwater line.

The InTouch Camolux would be a new line for me--never touched any Camolux. Some of you have described it as insulated wire. That's not very compelling, but if it behaves better than a full clear intermediate, maybe it's a better choice?

Is Aqualux II better than the previous versions?

Are we sure that a clear line is beneficial? I think a clear tip may be, but the entire line? If you've fished both, is there an observed difference in hookups?

Thank you, as always.
John
 

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I've used the RIO Aqualux and Aqualux II lines and to me they seem very similar. The Aqualux II may be a bit stiffer, but it is a very subtle difference. I've also tried the Cabela's clear intermediate line and to me it is too stiff and coils too much, although it is cheaper in price; I like the Aqualux lines better, for sure. The Aqualux lines also lasted a very long time for me; the Aqualux II is too new to know, but I'd guess it will also last a long time before cracking. I haven't tried the other lines you mention, so I have no opinion on those.

I believe the clear line is definitely beneficial. Even though I'm sure the fish can still see the clear line, I think it doesn't spook them as much as a brightly colored fly line or even a dull colored fly line. Also, the floating line (or floating portion of a sink tip line) creates wakes or chevrons in the water surface when retrieving your fly, and I think that water disturbance also spooks fish. I specifically remember one outing where a friend was using a floating line with a long leader and I was using the Aqualux line, both of us using the same fly and same retrieve, and I was catching way more fish. The lake was very shallow, so it wasn't like I was fishing a different depth than he was, and I've experienced similar situations a number of times on other lakes as well.

Rex
 

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John or "LC"
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks, Rex, that's very helpful.

What about the Airflo Delta Ridge clear? I love my new SA Sonar Titan Type III textured sinker, best line I've ever owned, so I think I'm a textured line fan, but I have to wonder if those ridges would create an underwater disturbance? Hate to spend $85 for line I don't like, then have to sell it, but maybe it's OK. Reports are it doesn't coil as much as the others. I know GAT likes his Airflo clear, but his model is discontinued and I can't find it in a 200 grain size.

I think the SA Sonar Sink 30 clear ghost tip is out. The running line is very bright.
 

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I haven't tried the Airflo Delta Ridge line you mention, so I can't comment on it. I did try an Airflo Ridge floating line many years ago when Airflo first came out with those Ridge lines, but didn't like the way it cast or felt, so I eventually gave it away. I doubt that those little ridges would create an underwater disturbance, but maybe it could, as fish can detect minute vibrations in their lateral line really well. But, wouldn't our bulky knots and loops create even more of a disturbance than those little ridges? Good fly lines are so expensive these days, so it is hard to keep buying and trying out different lines. Trying out a line at the fly shop just doesn't compare to trying out a fly line on the water for several days in real life.

Rex
 

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John or "LC"
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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
I just bought an Airflo "Velocity" clear intermediate, which is the "beginners" series, and appears to have replaced the 7000 series for $27 from the UK via the auction site, free shipping. It isn't ridged, but has a taper possibly more appropriate for the glass rods I use, and has the same coating as the other Airflo lines. It's worth a couple of bucks to see if the non PVC coating works as represented. If not, I'll find a home for the line and reboot. As Airflo doesn't use grains much in their descriptions, I'll also know if the WF7I is the appropriate weight for my 5-6 wt. rods I'll use with it. I try to use about 200 grains for those.

I also ordered a spiffy burnt orange reel from Allen. It will look good on my new Epic 686 nude rod plus it's the largest arbor I could find. My Galvans are the best, but I would use a wagon wheel for an arbor for these lines if I could.
 

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John or "LC"
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Will do of course, but it will take some time, I've learned. When I first got my Cabela's clear intermediate to replace the Cortland, it didn't coil at all. Now two years later, that's certainly not the case. We'll see how the Airflo does in the winter in 40 deg water.
 

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I've been fishing the InTouch Camolux for a couple years and like it. It replaced an Aqualux line that was pushing 10 years old. I think the Camolux sinks a touch slower than the Aqualux and feels totally different in hand - I don't know about "insulated wire" but it's a braided core with a coating on it. Not a clear line. I've had it out on some winter days, air and water temps near freezing, and it handled better than any clear lines I've fished.

I gave up on most clear lines several year ago because of the coiling issue. These days I find myself reaching for my fast sink lines more often and targeting deeper water (10+ feet). When I do fish the shallows, I do just fine with my hover and camolux lines, neither of which are clear. I fish a long leader, at least 14-15' when I'm fishing shallow so that probably plays into my success.

FWIW, I really like Airflo Sixth Sense Type 5 and Type 7 full sink lines. Almost no line memory and multiple integrated "hang markers" rather than the cheesy shrink wrap on the Rio InTouch full sink lines.
 

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John or "LC"
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
All our observations are anecdotal, so we really don't know about the lines. But, tests like Rex's are compelling, and I think you Troutpocket are a very good and disciplined fisherman so you make some good points too.

We've probably all been in a situation where we or that other guy is catching fish and the other isn't, and I'm often convinced it's the line, especially when you're practically on top of each other using the same fly. My bet is it's often the depth and the way the line is acting rather than the actual visual impact, but who knows, and there's this.....

Once I was fishing the river for shad, and my friend, maybe 15 feet away had hooked about 20, and I none, same water, same T-200 line, same fly. When we finished our drift and pulled out, I realized I had tied on a Maxima brown leader--that was the only difference, but we both concluded that did it. Next day, same spot, same fly, same leader, and we were about one for one the whole evening. So, there's an argument for a clear rig.

The one thing I DO know is that SA Uniform Sink--isn't. Or at least my two weren't. I used them with success for over a decade, but then recently did a pool test and there's a huge difference in sink rate between the head and the sink belly, like 4-5' at least initially. The SA Sonar Titan is practically flat and sinks very evenly.

Recently at Crane Prairie I was using 13' -14' leaders which was really fun with a 7 1/2 ' glass rod. It's doable, but annoying. Last few years I've used furled leaders with very short tippets with most of my lines, but I might go back to 10' or so flouro to see if there's any difference in catch rate. I've also been fishing for dumb fish the last couple of years and wild trout are a different animal for sure.

I don't have a hover line, but I do have an AirFlo 10'polyleader hover I'm going to try on a floater. With any success I'd certainly want a full hover line as well.

Thanks for your comments and advice. Important topic for us stillwater people, with no clear answers.
 

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I've been fishing the InTouch Camolux for a couple years and like it. It replaced an Aqualux line that was pushing 10 years old. I think the Camolux sinks a touch slower than the Aqualux and feels totally different in hand - I don't know about "insulated wire" but it's a braided core with a coating on it. Not a clear line. I've had it out on some winter days, air and water temps near freezing, and it handled better than any clear lines I've fished.

I gave up on most clear lines several year ago because of the coiling issue. These days I find myself reaching for my fast sink lines more often and targeting deeper water (10+ feet). When I do fish the shallows, I do just fine with my hover and camolux lines, neither of which are clear. I fish a long leader, at least 14-15' when I'm fishing shallow so that probably plays into my success.

FWIW, I really like Airflo Sixth Sense Type 5 and Type 7 full sink lines. Almost no line memory and multiple integrated "hang markers" rather than the cheesy shrink wrap on the Rio InTouch full sink lines.
I received a RIO Camolux by accident one time, but just didn't like the way it looked so I returned it, but it is interesting to hear you say that it doesn't coil as much. I found that with the Aqualux line, it did have to be stretched at the start of my fishing day, but after that it was usually just fine. With these new RIO InTouch lines, you can't stretch them, so you save some time not having to stretch them.

I think when RIO went to the InTouch technology with the Deep 6 & 7 lines, the coating didn't keep up with the newer technology and I went through those lines in 3 months on average for the first 3 lines whereas those lines would normally last me a year to 18 months before cracking (RIO did good warranty work on those defective lines, by the way). However, I think RIO has solved the problem, because the most recent InTouch Deep 6 line I've been using has a slightly different coating and has lasted me for over a year now. I use this Deep 6 line more than any other line, so it gets a lot of work from me. Might give the newer versions a try, but I don't know how one would tell an older InTouch line from a newer InTouch line just by looking at the box. If you are able to look at the line, the newer InTouch Deep 6 lines have a coating that seems to have little ridges similar to the Airflo Ridge lines, whereas the older InTouch lines have a smooth coating.

Rex
 

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John or "LC"
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Interesting that so many of you use the Deep 6/7 lines. Down here I don't know anyone who uses them. I rarely fish below 15 feet for trout, and 12' seems to be the magic depth which the clear intermediate reaches. I'll go down 20' for smallmouth, but I just use the T-200 for that, although one could argue that there are better lines for more time on the bottom.

During the summer it's simple, we don't fish for trout in stillwater often, at least on the west side. The WT on a mid elevation lake can be in the high 70s, low elevation in the mid 80s, so they're at least 40' down and who wants to screw with that.

What compels you to use such a fast sinking line? I bought a Deep 6 last year from someone on here and have never used it. I may be missing an opportunity.
 

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All our observations are anecdotal, so we really don't know about the lines. But, tests like Rex's are compelling, and I think you Troutpocket are a very good and disciplined fisherman so you make some good points too.

We've probably all been in a situation where we or that other guy is catching fish and the other isn't, and I'm often convinced it's the line, especially when you're practically on top of each other using the same fly. My bet is it's often the depth and the way the line is acting rather than the actual visual impact, but who knows, and there's this.....

Once I was fishing the river for shad, and my friend, maybe 15 feet away had hooked about 20, and I none, same water, same T-200 line, same fly. When we finished our drift and pulled out, I realized I had tied on a Maxima brown leader--that was the only difference, but we both concluded that did it. Next day, same spot, same fly, same leader, and we were about one for one the whole evening. So, there's an argument for a clear rig.

The one thing I DO know is that SA Uniform Sink--isn't. Or at least my two weren't. I used them with success for over a decade, but then recently did a pool test and there's a huge difference in sink rate between the head and the sink belly, like 4-5' at least initially. The SA Sonar Titan is practically flat and sinks very evenly.

Recently at Crane Prairie I was using 13' -14' leaders which was really fun with a 7 1/2 ' glass rod. It's doable, but annoying. Last few years I've used furled leaders with very short tippets with most of my lines, but I might go back to 10' or so flouro to see if there's any difference in catch rate. I've also been fishing for dumb fish the last couple of years and wild trout are a different animal for sure.

I don't have a hover line, but I do have an AirFlo 10'polyleader hover I'm going to try on a floater. With any success I'd certainly want a full hover line as well.

Thanks for your comments and advice. Important topic for us stillwater people, with no clear answers.
You're certainly right about our fly line opinions being anecdotal, as we have neither the time or money to do side-by-side tests over a period of time. Even when someone does do side-by-side tests, they usually aren't able to test out the lines over a year or so to see how the lines perform in different temperatures and to test for durability.

I'd certainly agree about the use of brown Maxima leader material putting fish off the bite, so it is interesting that you discovered that the shad didn't like it. I use the RIO Fluoroflex Plus tippet material; even though it is really expensive, I think it really works and is very strong for its diameter.

I've always felt that the SA Uniform Sink lines weren't as advertised, but never did the pool test like you did. Good for you! I like that! Reminds me of one of my fly tying friends who after creating a new fly pattern will put it under water to make sure it behaves under water as he expects.

I recently purchased a RIO InTouch Hover line, but haven't installed it so I haven't used it on the water yet. I'll try to keep you posted on how it performs. My hope is that it will allow me to fish the shallow water of 12 to 18 inches deep where I want to retrieve a fly fairly slowly, like a damselfly nymph, without having to use a floating line due to the floating line disturbing the water surface, and the Aqualux line sinking too quickly. Fish in water that shallow tend to be very skittish, so we need all the advantages we can get.

Rex
 

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Interesting that so many of you use the Deep 6/7 lines. Down here I don't know anyone who uses them. I rarely fish below 15 feet for trout, and 12' seems to be the magic depth which the clear intermediate reaches. I'll go down 20' for smallmouth, but I just use the T-200 for that, although one could argue that there are better lines for more time on the bottom.

During the summer it's simple, we don't fish for trout in stillwater often, at least on the west side. The WT on a mid elevation lake can be in the high 70s, low elevation in the mid 80s, so they're at least 40' down and who wants to screw with that.

What compels you to use such a fast sinking line? I bought a Deep 6 last year from someone on here and have never used it. I may be missing an opportunity.
It may just be that we fish different waters and the fish reside in different depths? Here in WA and BC, where I mostly fish, the trout are often quite deep. They could be that deep because of hot summer temperatures that force them down into the thermocline to stay cool and get enough oxygen, as at Grimes Lake where the fish are usually about 18 to 28' deep. I agree about not fishing for rainbows when the water temperature gets to 70 degrees or higher, but I feel that the Lahontan cutthroats at Grimes (or Omak or other lakes that hold Lahontans, but not Lenore as Lenore is mostly shallow) can tolerate the high water temperatures much better than rainbows. After all, the Lahontans originally came from Pyramid Lake in Nevada and over the many centuries were selected to survive hot temperatures and alkaline waters. Or it could be that in some of our desert spring-fed lakes that the spring entrance is way down deep, so the fish like to be down there by the spring entrance, even when it isn't that hot. I believe that's the case at Quail Lake where I often find the fish down deep in the 24 to 34' depths. Or for lakes that have good chironomid hatches, sometimes the hatches occur over deep water where there is a good mud layer on the bottom, as with many of the BC lakes, where the fish are just cruising around down deep, like 25 to 35' deep, even though the surface water temperature isn't that hot at those high elevations. I also find that most fly fishermen concentrate on the shallow water, so the fish on those shoals or edges get beaten up quite a bit, whereas the fish down deep appear to me to generally have never been caught and they fight like it. That's why I use the full sinking lines, like the Deep 6 or 7, as those lines get down deep very nicely.

To me, the Deep 6 line casts a lot easier than the T-200, but of course, everyone has their preferences. I think it also stays down in the zone longer since the entire line sinks. For water between 8 and 40' deep, I like to use the Deep 6 or 7 lines. A sink tip line might be better for fishing the intermediate depth drop-offs, and I used to use the Versitip line for that purpose, but I found that I have better depth control with the Deep 6 line, so I rarely use the Versitips any longer.

The Deep 6 or 7 lines are also useful for deep water chironomiding using the full sinking line method or naked fishing (meaning no strike indicator), where your line is going straight down below you. I feel it is a lot easier to fish that way than using a floating line with a really long leader and a quick release indicator, although I know Irafly will dispute that. :) I'll admit that the floating line method will usually be more effective because the fly is out further away from the boat and anchor lines. I try to offset that by paying out a lot of anchor rope so that the anchor rope is as far from the fly as possible, but that does mean you sway more with the wind, which makes it harder to control your depth (unless you double-anchor, but then you have two anchor ropes for the fish to get tangled up in, and if you're in a pram, you get waves slapping against the side of the boat); it is a trade-off problem, for sure.

So don't sell your Deep 6 line yet, or if you do, let me know and I might want to take it off your hands. :)

Rex
 

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John or "LC"
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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Great stuff Rex. As i suspected, the main difference is the bodies of water. In California we have exactly TWO natural lakes. One is a bass lake (Clear Lake) and the other is Lake Tahoe. Our lakes seem to be 12-25 deep or like 250' deep! I remember when I lived up there seeing all those lakes around Spirit Lake (ya, I'm old) and around Longview. Here we don't have those, probably because you're volcanic and we're granitic. Of course there are some very small natural lakes but most of them are a couple of acres and generally inaccessible.

I think the deepest trout I've ever caught was at 22', that was last year, and it was almost 6# so it was a fun battle.

I've never tried the naked fishing, but I want to. I don't use indicators, and won't. My chiro fishing is pretty much emerger fishing with a floater which can be very productive, but not in the winter, and I need to force myself to try it. I don't want to sell the Deep 6, i want to learn how to use it effectively, and you've helped me understand how, thanks. I assume you're "drop shotting" with that method?

As an aside, I'm fishing Pyramid in about a month. During this early season we're float tubing. This is my first trip to the lake so I'm pretty anxious to learn it--I don't know why I've not gone before, probably because the best fishing is in the worst weather which is miserable there in the winter. I do know we cast to 50' depths (we'll use our OBS lines for that), then slowly work up the dropoff and expect fish to hit 15'-20' depths.
 

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Great stuff Rex. As i suspected, the main difference is the bodies of water. In California we have exactly TWO natural lakes. One is a bass lake (Clear Lake) and the other is Lake Tahoe. Our lakes seem to be 12-25 deep or like 250' deep! I remember when I lived up there seeing all those lakes around Spirit Lake (ya, I'm old) and around Longview. Here we don't have those, probably because you're volcanic and we're granitic. Of course there are some very small natural lakes but most of them are a couple of acres and generally inaccessible.

I think the deepest trout I've ever caught was at 22', that was last year, and it was almost 6# so it was a fun battle.

I've never tried the naked fishing, but I want to. I don't use indicators, and won't. My chiro fishing is pretty much emerger fishing with a floater which can be very productive, but not in the winter, and I need to force myself to try it. I don't want to sell the Deep 6, i want to learn how to use it effectively, and you've helped me understand how, thanks. I assume you're "drop shotting" with that method?

As an aside, I'm fishing Pyramid in about a month. During this early season we're float tubing. This is my first trip to the lake so I'm pretty anxious to learn it--I don't know why I've not gone before, probably because the best fishing is in the worst weather which is miserable there in the winter. I do know we cast to 50' depths (we'll use our OBS lines for that), then slowly work up the dropoff and expect fish to hit 15'-20' depths.
I'm not the expert in the deep water full sinking line method (or fishing naked as some call it; to me, fishing naked means fishing a floating line with long leader, but without a strike indicator) as I don't do it very often, but as I understand "drop shotting" the weight is below the lure/fly, but I usually instead just put a split shot (if allowed by the regs) about 18" above the chironomid pupa pattern. You don't need a long leader for this method, just 4 to 5'. I use a 4X to 5X tippet. To get the depth right, I attached a small weight to the fly hook with a rubber band (the hook point piercing the rubber band), and then let down the weight to the bottom and reel up any slack line plus one foot, as you want to be one foot above the bottom. Retrieve and remove the weight. Some guys attach their hemostats to the fly, but after losing a pair of hemostats that way, I don't use that method any longer, and I've never lost the weight/rubber band setup, and if I did, it is a lot cheaper than losing hemostats. Just cast out and let the setup sink (about a minute); I like to see about a foot of the line above the water so I can see if the line is vertical; you want it as vertical as possible. Sometimes I then just do a very slow hand twist retrieve, about 10 hand twists, and if I get no hits, I let it sink again and repeat. Other times I just lift the rod tip very, very slowly up in the air about 5' and if I get no hits, drop it back down very slowly and repeat. Hits are often very hard, as the fish sees the fly above it, swims up to grab the fly and then turns down, realizes it is hooked and then zooms toward the surface to jump out of the water, sometimes almost into your lap or boat. Your rod dives down into the water as a result of what the fish is doing and this is where you might break off if you grab the line, so just set your drag loosely and let the line go out so you don't break off. If it is windy and you're swaying with the wind (you need to be anchored for this method of fishing), you may have to add one or two feet of length to your line to account for the swaying motion. If you have a fish finder and it is telling you that the fish are two feet off the bottom instead of one foot, then you need to shorten up a bit to account for that. It is all about getting the depth just right so that your fly is hanging right in front of or slightly above the fish's nose. But, once you get it right and assuming that there are fish there who like your fly pattern and especially if there is a chironomid hatch in progress, you should be getting a hit on just about every cast. If you're sure you've got the depth right and aren't getting hits, then change the size of the pupa or the color or both to try to match the natural. The other guys who are chironomiding experts will probably chime in with their better advice on this method, but that's how I do it.

Good luck on Pyramid Lake! I've never fished that lake either, but from the videos I've seen and articles I've read, it seems like the guys are fishing relatively shallow water, like 5 to 8' deep. I wouldn't expect the fish to be down deep in the winter, but since I've never fished that lake, I don't know. The online videos show guys using step ladders to spot fish and cast to them.

Rex
 

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John or "LC"
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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Very detailed, the way I like it, something I'll have to try but probably when nothing else works ;).

Pyramid has three seasons. Starting October 1, the opener, the fish are deep from the summer and will chase chubs into the shallows. Around mid November the stepladder season starts. They're much more shallow then, still chasing chubs, and that's when the 15 lb.+ fish are taken. That's also the season when there's usually a boater or two who thinks they can beat the wind and weather is lost, often in an ice storm. Spring is the numbers season, similar to the fall, fish will average either side of 5 lbs. but a five-ten fish day is fairly common. On our upcoming mid-October trip we hope to hook a few over the weekend, but nothing very large. That's really striper fishing, casting clousers with a fast retrieve, using 8 wt. rods., but from a float tube. Should be fun.
 

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I do carry one sink tip line for a very specific scenario that I don't encounter as often as I'd like . . .because it's really fun. At times during callibaetis hatches that occur around weed beds in the shallows, fish get selective for the actively swimming nymphs. I like a short clear intermediate tip line in these situations. I think it helps move the fly at an upward angle on the retrieve and then settle very slowly on the pause. I use a Teeny Mini Tip clear (3' clear intermediate tip) with a long leader and finger twist retrieve. Usually the right presentation is to place the fly around the feeding fish and just let them find it. I retrieve just enough line to keep it tight and then give it an occasional 6" pull to make it rise, and then pause to let it settle.

It's very rare that I employ this tactic in WA waters but fairly common when I fish in the Rockies and central OR.
 

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I'm not the expert in the deep water full sinking line method (or fishing naked as some call it; to me, fishing naked means fishing a floating line with long leader, but without a strike indicator) as I don't do it very often, but as I understand "drop shotting" the weight is below the lure/fly, but I usually instead just put a split shot (if allowed by the regs) about 18" above the chironomid pupa pattern. You don't need a long leader for this method, just 4 to 5'. I use a 4X to 5X tippet. To get the depth right, I attached a small weight to the fly hook with a rubber band (the hook point piercing the rubber band), and then let down the weight to the bottom and reel up any slack line plus one foot, as you want to be one foot above the bottom. Retrieve and remove the weight. Some guys attach their hemostats to the fly, but after losing a pair of hemostats that way, I don't use that method any longer, and I've never lost the weight/rubber band setup, and if I did, it is a lot cheaper than losing hemostats. Just cast out and let the setup sink (about a minute); I like to see about a foot of the line above the water so I can see if the line is vertical; you want it as vertical as possible. Sometimes I then just do a very slow hand twist retrieve, about 10 hand twists, and if I get no hits, I let it sink again and repeat. Other times I just lift the rod tip very, very slowly up in the air about 5' and if I get no hits, drop it back down very slowly and repeat. Hits are often very hard, as the fish sees the fly above it, swims up to grab the fly and then turns down, realizes it is hooked and then zooms toward the surface to jump out of the water, sometimes almost into your lap or boat. Your rod dives down into the water as a result of what the fish is doing and this is where you might break off if you grab the line, so just set your drag loosely and let the line go out so you don't break off. If it is windy and you're swaying with the wind (you need to be anchored for this method of fishing), you may have to add one or two feet of length to your line to account for the swaying motion. If you have a fish finder and it is telling you that the fish are two feet off the bottom instead of one foot, then you need to shorten up a bit to account for that. It is all about getting the depth just right so that your fly is hanging right in front of or slightly above the fish's nose. But, once you get it right and assuming that there are fish there who like your fly pattern and especially if there is a chironomid hatch in progress, you should be getting a hit on just about every cast. If you're sure you've got the depth right and aren't getting hits, then change the size of the pupa or the color or both to try to match the natural. The other guys who are chironomiding experts will probably chime in with their better advice on this method, but that's how I do it.

Good luck on Pyramid Lake! I've never fished that lake either, but from the videos I've seen and articles I've read, it seems like the guys are fishing relatively shallow water, like 5 to 8' deep. I wouldn't expect the fish to be down deep in the winter, but since I've never fished that lake, I don't know. The online videos show guys using step ladders to spot fish and cast to them.

Rex
I've been fishing the fast sinking lines vertically for a long time, naked (while fully dressed). Rex has done a great job describing the technique I use.

In the old days, when we'd go up to Grimes, we would tow our 14-foot boat up, minus gas outboard, but fitted with two electrics and two batteries. Scouting the lake's thermoclines and/or springs, we'd anchor up. Anchoring properly was one of the keys to effectively fishing. If, as Rex mentions, there is wind, swinging on anchor isn't effective. To help counter this, we'd deploy the bow line anchor and back away until we had 70 or so feet of anchor line scoped out, then drop the stern hook with some slack. The final step was to then retrieve line on the bow anchor till both lines were relatively taught. When anchored perpendicular to the wind, this minimized swing and maximized line and fly control.

Fly selection was, as it almost always is, a big part of it. I like to fish two flies on the same leader when fishing naked, I think it gives the fisherman more chances to find the right pattern.

Rex describes very well our technique for measuring bottom. One additional trick we have used is to tie a small piece of monofilament to the fly line between the reel and the stripping guide once the proper fly depth is found. This way, when you hook the big fish and he pulls lots of line (Lahontans can do this), you don't have to remeasure with your hemostat, rubber band bumper or whatever tool. You just find your monofilament "marker" and you're set.

We often would hand twist retrieve our flies more than five feet - sometimes you'd look over the side of the boat when the bloom wasn't too bad and you could see a large opened mouthed Lahontan following the flies up. Try not over reacting when you see a 20 plus inch trout with his mouth open a few inches away from your fly! Retrieving two small flies on a slow hand twist retrieve when you're in 30 feet of water requires patience. Varying the retrieve is one tool.

Grimes takes on midges (and blood worms and hares ears and...) when fished vertically are, in my experience, not hard takes but are, in fact, super subtle at times. Often the take would be missed if you weren't watching the rod tip as the take was often an almost imperceptible one-inch rod tip dip which requires an instant hard lift on the rod for a hook set.

Now with all that said, this past season, fishing with Rex (that could be a book title), I employed his technique more often than not. That's casting as dang far as you can, counting down to the right depth and stripping in the fly pattern at the right retrieve. So darn much fun! (when it works). Like @troutpocket, I really like my Airflo Sixth Sense and its nifty "hang markers".

I have yet to try the "naked" technique with a floating line and long, long leader without an indicator. I do have two leaders set up for it and have read some wonderful write ups about using this technique in BC lakes. Maybe next spring, reservations already made. I watched a guy fish a certain submerged island on a BC lake using this technique, he was a very, very successful angler while us indicator guys struggled.... why? I don't know and I've spent time pondering that. Probably that dang brown Maxima, or maybe it was the split shot. No, it was probably the swivel. ;-)
 

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John or "LC"
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1,324 Posts
Discussion Starter · #20 ·
After Rex's instructive post, then Buzzy's specific reference, I was trying to visualize any lake on the west side of the Sierra where this technique could be used effectively--and I came up with nothing off the top of my head. Checking the Grime topo, now I get it. This topo is much more typical of a high desert lake, rather than a typical west slope, largely sterile impoundment. In this case, the maximum depth is much more shallow than we usually see here on the west side of the Sierra. Still, there are a few smaller power company managed lakes where I'd like to try this during the winter. This thread has become a lot more interesting than when I started it. Thanks so much.
 
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