Fly 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.



#1: MAY 2000
#2: JUL 2000
#3: SEP 2000
#4: JAN 2001
#5: JUN 2001
#6: FEB 2002
#7: NOV 2002
#8: JAN 2003
#9: JUL 2003
#10: OCT 2004
#11: JAN 2005
  Trout Bass Carp Bowfin Garpike
Mickey Finn 8 - 12 6 - 10 8 - 10 2/0 - 6 8 - 6
Dexter n/a 4 - 12 6 - 8 2/0 - 6 12 - 6
White Muddler 8 - 14 2 - 12 6 - 8 2/0 - 4 8 -12
White Zonker 4 - 12 2 - 12 6 - 8 2/0 - 6 8 - 12
Klinkhamer 8 - 10 6 - 8 8 - 10 n/a n/a
Elk Hair Caddis 14 - 22 6 - 12 12 - 16 n/a 12 - 14
Hare's Ear Nymph 8 - 14 8 - 12 8 - 14