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Hey ff veterans,

I enjoyed a great day on Ebby, although fishing was slow. I managed to catch one nice fish on a tungsten head chironomid, but it was more of an accident than a reward for expert chironomid techniques. As I kicked around the lake listening to the frogs and ducks, I was fascinated watching all the emerging chironomids shake out of their casings and take flight. Although there seemed to be a lot of surface activity, the fish were not striking the emergers- they seemed to be hitting chironomids just below the surface. I am wondering, as a means to avoid predation, if lake fish avoid hitting surface prey when subsurface food is in abundance?? Any thoughts from the pros? Also, when this is the case, should one fish a chironomid pattern with an indidcater a foot or two above?

Thanks for your thoughts,
 

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I wouldn't consider myself a pro but this technique has worked for me when fish are rolling. Using a dry line, grease your leader to within 3" of the chironomid and cast out amongst the rings. This allows your offering to hang vertically just below the surface. Be patient and watch for a swirl. A slight twitch now and then seems to draw some attention.

FYI: When you see what you believe is a taker you'll be tempted to set the hook, instead pull the line with your free hand without lifting the rod. If you feel pressure...enjoy!:thumb

YC:beer1
 

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I used to know it all---but now that I'm older I seem to forget it all.

Add dry fly floatant the greasy kind like Aquel by Loon to your leader. I don't think the the powder kind will stick very well.

Jim
 

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All fish will eat the food that is most abundant and requires the least energy output to capture. Its referred to as the optimal foraging strategy. Even if there are a lot of insects on the surface, lake fish will still usually feed subsurface if thats where the majority of the food is. The surface may be alive with insect activity, but often there is just as much or more going on down below. If say a strong chironomid hatch is coming up, the fish will focus most of their feeding on that. Chasing other types of food while looking for chironomids requires more energy output and is not as efficient, which is why trout can sometimes be very picky.
I would also agree with the idea of dressing your leader w/ an unweighted chironomid as opposed to and indicator a foot above the fly
 
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