fishing Tips You Can Use:
Fly fishing advice from one of the top Grand River fly fishing guides
in Ontario. Fly fishing tricks and fly fishing tips which you will
use, not only on the Grand River in Ontario, but across Canada.
This is the original fly fishing Tips and Tricks Page on the Internet.
Don't be fooled by imitations.
Here Are the Fishing Tips:
Archive # 2: July, 2000.
A few tips and bits I guarantee will get you more
summertime fish (things that "Good Guides" do! You should see what
the bad ones do!) Summer is here, and a young man's fancy turns
to thoughts of wet wading for smallmouth bass, or watching trout
sipping down mayflies from the edge of a slow back eddy. Haaaah!
Clean the junk
out of your fishing vest.
Stick up your hand if you still have one or two boxes of steelhead
flies and a few packs of weights in your vest from the trips you
made last fall! Do you still have a box of muskie patterns in there
someplace, tucked away perhaps beside those saltwater flies you
picked up two years ago? Let's face it folks. Fly fishermen are
some of the worlds worst pack-rats (I am one of them too. Kind of
like Emelda - the Shoe Queen - Marcos). To get around it, I transferred
most of the junk into a tote box, which I load into the car at the
start of every trip. Here is the thinking. I still have the security
blanket, which I feel I MUST have with me "just in case", and the
stuff I trudge up and down the river, is considerably less. That
means two things: With less junk in my vest I am more comfortable
when I'm on the stream. There is a greater chance of finding the
stuff I need, when I need it. With less time spent mucking about,
I spend more time fishing and thus get more fish. Go figure! The
downside. YES! There are times - very, very few times - when I am
knee deep in the middle of nowhere saying, "I wish I had ..." These
times however are few and far between, and nine times out of ten,
I can usually find a substitute.
Buy a Goldfish!
Fish are influenced by the barometric pressure. In a nutshell, here
is how it works. I will use pike for this example, but it runs the
same for all species. When the barometric pressure is low, pike
will sulk on the bottom and eat dead stuff. When the pressure starts
to rise they will root around and start going after wounded minnows
and stuff like that. When the pressure goes up a bit more, they
will start to chase minnows, and you can see those big splashy rises
as they slash at fleeing minnows. When there is a high barometric
pressure, they become very, very aggressive and will grab at stuff
on the surface. Generally they "go ballistic" at whatever you throw
at them. So when you see the goldfish sulking at the bottom of the
tank - stay home. If he's poking about, but still has a lethargic
look - fish your flies very, very slowly. As your goldfish becomes
more active, fish your flies higher up in the water column and with
more action in the retrieve. If you keep a log of the daily barometric
pressure, it won't take you long to see the correlation. No guff
- this works!
One other point, thunderstorms and smallmouth fishing
go hand in hand. When those little thunderheads are rolling in,
you will feel the air getting cooler. Generally this is just about
the time you want to quit and head for shelter. However, the cool
air increases the surface tension on the water surface and hatching
insects can't hatch. Guess what? They drift along making them perfect
targets for hungry fish. Before you head for shelter, switch to
a small hares ear (size #12 or #14) and you will be surprised at
how many fish you can pick up. Yes, smallmouth bass will take a
hare's ear fished in the film and so will carp.
"Flies! Why does it have to be flies?" I am sure Mr. Harrison
Ford would have rather said that.
Here is a list of patterns that will get you a fish or two. All
I am going to say is . . . they work!
Degrease The Leader.
Flat calm conditions, bright sunlight and hardly a ripple on the
water surface is the kiss of death for many a summer angler. Here
are some tips to help you drag out a few fish. Degrease the leader.
This is a "MUST DO" when summer fishing. You want to take the grease
off the leader so that it will fish IN the surface film, rather
than ON the surface film. You can buy 'special stuff' for doing
this or fill up an empty 35 mm film canister with garden dirt and
mix in some dish soap to make a paste. Works just as well as the
commercial stuff! If you are fishing a dry fly or a bass bug (you
need to do it for these flies too!) degrease the leader for about
a foot next to the fly. That way most of the leader floats on the
surface, the fly floats, but the bit of leader next to the fly is
in the surface film, rather than on it.
Do you need to do this if you are using those new
fluorocarbon leaders? Yes - it is the "reflection" or "crease" in
the surface film which tips the fish that "something just ain't
right" with the bug they are looking at. If you are fishing subsurface
flies, degrease the leader. The grease left on the mono when it
was manufactured helps to keep the line floating. If you wipe it
down it will sink faster. Sounds like a small point but if you are
fishing a small unweighted pattern but need to get it down, cleaning
the leader makes a huge difference.
When you are at it.
Stretch the leader and get the "spool kinks" out of it before you
tie on the fly. You can run it through a folded bit of leather,
or in a pinch an elastic band will do. Do not use the sole of your
gumboots or waders - the dirt nicks the leader. "Leave the poor
wee thing alone." If you need to fish near or on the surface, go
with small flies. For trout, this might mean sizes 18 and smaller.
For smallmouth bass it could be a size #12. RESIST the temptation
to twitch them. Chuck 'em out and let the fish find the fly. If
you fell the need to do something and you just can't resist tugging
on the line, for the love of God man, wait until all the rings disappear
BEFORE you give the line another tug. Wait. Wait. WAIT! The more
you twitch it, the less fish you will catch. All summer long, a
surface caddis is hard to beat for bringing up fish. So are a Klinkhammer
Special Size #8 and #10 for trout or #6 and #8 for bass and carp.
One surface fly you should never be without if there are smallmouth
in the water is an Atlantic Salmon Bomber. Stick with a natural
color for through the day use or an all black for night fishing,
and you will do just fine.