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 #: January, 2003.
Right then. Here are few short
pointers on what you can do to improve your chances of getting some
fish in 2003. If you need further details on any of them, check
through the "extensive archives" linked at the bottom
of the page, and you might find the information you are looking
for. If you still haven't found what you are looking for, call Bono
and the boys in U2, or send me an e-mail and I can help you out.
Before you get busted for having an out of date license, check that
you are in fact legal.
your summer flies NOW.
Now - not the day before the opener - is when you want to stock
pile some flies. You are not pressured into rushing the tying sequences
so the finished flies will be more durable and last longer. Also,
you are under no pressure to produce the flies while the trout,
bass or carp are jumping so the time at the bench will be much more
enjoyable. The added bonus is that the winter is the prime time
for finding top quality fly tying materials.
These pattern are very handy for fishing both warm water and cold
water species. Match the size of the fly to the water conditions,
larger flies in off coloured water, smaller flies in clearer water.
I tend not to fish beadheads or use weighted flies. I get more action
from the fly by adding split shot to the leader. These patterns
will consistently catch fish all season long and with a bit of practice
they are not all that difficult to make. Try to stay subsurface,
as fish take about 90% of their food from below the water surface.
I'd stick with nymphs as they are far more versatile than most other
styles of flies. You can always slap the grease to a nymph and fish
it as an emerger if you have to, but it is tough to do that with
a heavily weighted nymph or a size 2/0 conehead Woolly Bugger.
Pheasant Tail, Gold Ribbed Hare's Ear, Prince, Damsel fly, Montana,
Stoneflies, Waterboatmen, Cased Caddis, Muncher
Nymph, Freestone Nymph, Casual Dress, March Brown, Bloodworm
and last but not least, Hoglouse and/or Scuds.
Streamers / Bucktails:
Mickey Finn, Black Nose Dace, Thor, Gray Ghost, Zonker, Aztec, Sculpins
Klinkhammer Special, Hare's Ear Caddis, Black Ant, Grasshoppers,
Crickets, Elk Hair Caddis, Black Gnat parachute, Griffith's Gnat
Invicta, Sliver Invicta, Zulu, Blue Zulu, Red Tag, Wigglers, Crayfish,
Viva and the Woolly Bugger.
Hitting the spot.
1. Many anglers spend days pouring
over the latest fads in fish catching flies or they spend hours
at the vice tying the perfect fly. (Hint: try the flies listed above,
they get fish.) However when they get to the river they often fall
short of the mark. One of the biggest errors most anglers make is
not being in the right location to cover the fish correctly. If
you see a rising fish, ask yourself, "Am I in the right location
to cover that fish?" Chances are you are not. Take a look at
going below the fish and perhaps casting upstream to it. Try approaching
the fish from the opposite side of the river, or try wading a wee
bit closer to the fish - without spooking it - to keep the length
of the cast down to a minimum. The shorter the cast, the easier
it is to pick up the takes. Long casts look great on magazine covers,
and there are instances like stillwater fishing in the Great Lakes
or when bank fishing on the Lochs and reservoirs in the UK where
they are a necessity, but you'll hook more fish on shorter casts.
2. At the river walk slowly and
try to stay out of the main current as much as possible. Fish will
pick up the mud trail you send downriver, and they will bugger off.
Also, when you are on the bank, don't forget to walk quietly. Fish
can pick up the foot fall vibrations and once again they will know
something is up, making it tougher to get them. In low clear water
a stealthy approach is critical. Tip: Although quiet and comfortable
I don't recommend wearing slippers when wading.
in cold weather.
Try not to get caught up in the myth that fish will only take lure
type, or big flies - Viva, Woolly Bugger, Muddlers - when the temperature
is near the freezing mark and there is a foot of snow on the ground.
Browns, steelhead and salmon will often smack size #12 to #16 nymphs
like a caddis, Hare's Ear, Muncher
Nymphs or a Pheasant Tail Nymph. On the Thames River here in
London, still the undisputed center of the fly fishing universe,
there were midges hatching in the first week of December. Many successful
Ontario steelhead fishermen know the value of the Winter Black Stonefly
which will crawl onto ice flows to hatch in the very, very early
spring. For fun, try a floating ant pattern when winter steelheading,
you might be quite surprised at how many fish will have a go at
it. One last thing, try to fish when the temperature is above zero
otherwise ice will build up in the rod guides and the line won't
in drought conditions.
This is tough. During the dog days of summer, stay well away from
the trout rivers and focus on carp, smallmouth, pike, gar pike and
drum, which will be far more active than trout. Also, in the middle
of a drought, trout which have been played out and stressed out
for 10 minutes - because they were hooked on a 1 weight using a
1/2 lb tippet - have a very good chance of kicking the bucket. Look
for deep pockets, fast water, or areas fed by fast water which will
have more dissolved oxygen to hold fish. Try fishing on cloudy days,
at night or on days when there is a light rain. Don't forget to
fish the shadows. Note: if your are fishing at night, fishing in
the shadows is tough to do.
If you must fish in low water try using skinny or sparsely dressed
nymphs, (Note: the jokes are WAY to obvious, so I am not going to
say anything.) which will fool the fish much easier than B.F.P.P's
- big fat porky patterns. AND try to fish imitative nymphs rather
than attractor designs. If you simply must fish dry flies, your
best bet is to fish on overcast days. Any of the emerging nymph
patterns or dries tied with CDC - cul-de-canard, the feathers from
the oil gland near a ducks butt - are always effective. Don't go
gaga over CDC flies. Trout and smallies will have a look at these
and then turn away, but they will inhale the same pattern if it's
tied with traditional materials. The only thing I can put this down
to - I have no scientific evidence to back it up, just hours of
on the water observation - is that the CDC version has the wrong
silhouette or shape.
at night in any weather.
Use black flies and fish them close to the surface. The fish will
see the pattern as an absence of light. You can also fish larger
sizes of flies and you won't spook the fish as easily as you will
during daylight hours, plus the bigger flies give the fish an easier
target to locate. If in doubt as to which pattern to use, go with
a Viva, Black Muddler, Black Woolly Bugger or a Zulu tied with a
tail of fluorescent red wool. I can't recall the last time I fished
any other colour than black when fishing at night.
out your vest.
I've said this a hundred times ... clean all the garbage, old leaders
and empty tippet spools out of your vest. Trash the rusty flies
- unless they are Rusty Rats - from your boxes and while you are
there, you might want to put a small sticker on the outside of each
box to let you know the contents, without having to open it up.
By knowing where everything is in your vest, you will spend less
time faffing about and more time fishing. Do you have enough fly
floatant to get you through the season? TIP: Never apply a silicon
fly floatant directly to the fly. Rub it between your thumb and
fingers first. Think about it and the reason should come to you.
If not, try it out. Where is your extra pair of needle nose pliers?
Did you use up all the non toxic weights and bobbers - I mean strike
indicators - last season? Will your local fly shop have the leader
material you need on the day before the trout opener? Now is the
time to replenish missing items, you will thank yourself for it
when you are on the river.
In the list of patterns above, I did not mention F & M's - Froggies
and Mice. Sadly many fly fishermen only think about these patterns
for going after muskie, pike, smallmouth bass and largemouth bass.
They can be deadly on browns and rainbows if they are fished slowly.
I tend to shy away from popping patterns made from balsa wood or
foam, as I think fish hold onto deerhair flies a 'wee bit' longer.
Don't get up tight about the frog flies needing feet, toes and eyes
to be effective. The fish don't care if your mouse pattern has no
ears or if it is whiskerless. So long as the fly has the right silhouette,
and is close enough in size to the naturals, you should be on the
boat to the new land. One of the keys to success with F&M flies
is to vary the retrieve until you find the one which does the trick.
I start out with a slow retrieve - it won't spook the fish - and
then speed things up until I get some hits. Browns and resident
rainbows will smack frogs and mice if you fish them tight to the
bank at night. You might want to have a bunch of F&M's tied
with well packed deer hair - and well greased up - to fish 'on'
the surface. But, you should also have a few in which the deer hair
has not been packed too tightly so that they will fish 'in' the
surface. Somedays this can make a big difference in the productivity
of the fly. I have no clue as to why this is. Only apply fly floatant
to the top half of the fly if you want it to fish 'in' the surface
and not 'on' the surface.