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I have never been much of a chironomid guy. Pretty much the extent of my experience had been fishing with my grandpa right after WWII. We would go to the lake with cane poles and real red worms-not blood worms! He would rig me up with a bobber and said: "When that goes under-jerk!" We caught lots of panfish and bass and I was as hooked on fishing as it was possible to be.

Nowadays one of my best friends makes an annual drive of almost 1,000 miles to Hegben Lake to stare at a bobber for 10 days. I understand this because he lives in an area with very little trout fishing and he has to go somewhere to get his fix. And you might as well go somewhere that the fish are large and willing if you have to go at all. I on the other hand am surrounded by trout water and have never really needed to resort to cronie fishing to do well. A good selection of sinking lines and a number of proven patterns have always been enough.

But in October of 2008 I was fishing a nearby lake with a reputation for big fish. I was joined on the water that day by 2 guys cronie fishing out of an anchored boat. I did well that day on buggers and nymphs catching fish up to 21". But the 2 guys in the boat caught 3 fish to my 1 all day long. I went over and looked at their rigs and they were using Bionic Worms below strike indicators. Just like 1946! I thought, hell, I can do that, I just need a boat. So in the winter of 2008 I started a pram and fished out of it the following season. In October of 2009 I returned to the same lake with my new pram and 2 anchors. I rowed over to a likely looking spot, squared up the boat and dropped anchors. Then I rigged up a Bionic Worm, set the strike indicator and cast downwind. I was ready to kick back for some serious bobber staring. I put the rod down, put my feet up on the locker and leaned back in my chair for some La-Z-Boy fishing and hadn't even got comfortable when the bobber disappeared. It was a heavy fish of 19'' and very deep bodied and healthy. I released the fish and repeated the process of getting comfortable. The second fish came seconds later and was bigger than the first breaking me off. Now I was getting interested. I caught another 18'' fish and a handful that were in the 16'-17'' range. It seemed pretty easy. I moved down to the other end of the lake and promptly caught the biggest fish of the day at 21'' Okay, this stuff works I thought, I'll try something else. I put a Staynor Ducktail on a Type VI and trolled around for another hour. I caught 6 fish over 16'' on that same fly and finally packed it in when the last one ate the wing.

Now in October of 2010 I went back to the lake this week in my Super Fat Cat and took an anchor just in case. I started out again with sinking lines and made about 3 passes around with an intermediate, a Type IV and a Type VI. Not a single bump. There was no choice left but to try cronies. Nobody was having much luck on this day and several guys left without ever touching a fish. I quickly caught a robust 16'' fish on a 'mid. I had several more take downs but the wind was playing hell with my boat despite the anchor and I never got the hook into but 2 of them and both LDR'ed.

I went in for awhile but decided that there was a fish out there waiting for me so I went back out. And indeed there was. Casting a chromie pattern that Mike Ediger had so graciously given me I hooked a fat football shaped pig that must have been very close to 5#. What a rush and a delight on the new 5wt.

So now I think the fish might be in trouble because I am starting to catch on to what to use, when to use it and how. It turns out you can teach an old dog new tricks. Even if they are recycled from 1946.

Ive
 

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Still truckless now farther away
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Great Ive Keep at it. That's what I need to do.
 

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Just another great tool to have available. I got my eyes opened to the potential of the 'Mid by fellow forum member Irafly. He's got a hot hand with a bobber rig. I've had some days fishing out of his boat, using his flies when he outfished me 2-to-1. On the other hand we've been out on some days when we would have scratched up precious few fish if we hadn't tried something else . . .that involved finding the right sinking line, pattern, and retrieve. You gotta be versatile on lakes!

My next goal is to get proficient fishing 'mids off my intermediate line. It wouldn't be ideal in deeper water, but in 10' or less I should be able to do just as well as the bobber crowd.
 

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Indi Ira
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Don't let ol' troutpocket fool you, that dude can fish and he opened my eyes up to the potential of other patterns more so than I opened his to the mid. I will surely catch more fish now because of his versatile approach, and now I'm even tying something other than chironomids.

Ira
 
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