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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
One of my favorite lakes has nice Browns that I've seen the bait guys reel in but I've yet to connect with. I'm usually fishing an Olive Willy on a type 4 slow troll or retrieve and have reasonable success with rainbows but no Browns. Any tactic or gear suggestions? Crawfish fly right on the bottom with occasional twitch? That or another nymph just off the bottom with a bobber? Appreciate your ideas or experiences.
 

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One of my favorite lakes has nice Browns that I've seen the bait guys reel in but I've yet to connect with. I'm usually fishing an Olive Willy on a type 4 slow troll or retrieve and have reasonable success with rainbows but no Browns. Any tactic or gear suggestions? Crawfish fly right on the bottom with occasional twitch? That or another nymph just off the bottom with a bobber? Appreciate your ideas or experiences.
How deep are the areas that the bait guys are targeting? Any ideas what the browns are keyed into? I've found that big insect hatches get their attention just like rainbows. But if hatches are light, then going with something meatier - baitfish, buggers, etc is probably better. Small fish are likely found shallow - either on the edges or near the surface over deeper water. On a recent outing the bigger browns were eating trout fry plants 4-5" and juvenile blue gill. Overcast days and a good wind chop will keep big fish in the shallows and hunting. On sunny calm days keep a look out for small fish in the shallows and be sure to work the deeper areas adjacent to where you see food.
 

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~El Pescador
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For what it's worth:
the two biggest browns I've got out of Lenice (5 lbs +) took a size 12 hares ear. One in the early summer around 2 in the afternoon. The other is very stained water early the season (the opener I think) on a cold snowy day. go figure. both were brutes (I'm looking that the picture on of on my office wall now).
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Appreciate all the suggestions!
Note on the bait fishermen- they were casting night crawlers from shore with big slip sinkers and letting rest on the bottom. I'd guess maybe 10-20' down. They had their 5 yo grandson reel some of the nicer ones in. Real fun to watch.
 

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Justified
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When the light gets high like this time of I'd be hunting for them early morning, late evening or at night. Deep with meaty flies during daylight; shoreline cruisers at night. If there are crayfish in the lake good call! If bait fish I'd have some streamers too.
This
 

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If the fish are on the bottom I have good luck with Spun Deer Hair dragons on a type 5 line. Dress the fly with some floatant, let it sink to the bottom and retrieve. The fly will be close to but usually not over the bottom (keep the leader short). Fish will hit this fly multiple times so keep retrieving if you miss one. They also tend to take this fly deeply so make sure you have your hemostats or pliers along. I use long shank hooks instead to 2x long so I can use a smaller size to avoid injuring the fish.
 

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If the fish are on the bottom I have good luck with Spun Deer Hair dragons on a type 5 line. Dress the fly with some floatant, let it sink to the bottom and retrieve. The fly will be close to but usually not over the bottom (keep the leader short). Fish will hit this fly multiple times so keep retrieving if you miss one. They also tend to take this fly deeply so make sure you have your hemostats or pliers along. I use long shank hooks instead to 2x long so I can use a smaller size to avoid injuring the fish.
I had great luck with the spun deer hair dragon fly nymphs you tied for a swap a few years back! Thank you and yes, I need to tie some of those...
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
That's an intriguing and obviously productive strategy I haven't tried before. Cool. One question- does the line or fly get hung up any or much more than a bugger fished deep on slow troll?
 

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I first read about this in a great little book about fishing in BC called "The Gillie". I have tied a few deer hair buggers and some damsels and even Nyrges nymphs (scuds) out of spun deer hair. They have all caught fish, but the dragons seem to be the most effective. I'm sure a muddler would work and Dahlberg divers or some sort of deer hair crawdad would probably work for smallmouth.
 
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