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PostPosted: July 12th, 2009, 12:54 pm 
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Here on the Grand for the trico hatch we use a pattern called the double. Its two tricos tied on one hook right behind one another. Its easier to see on the water. And because of the density of the hatch occurs quite often in nature so looks natural. Some guys will even bend the shaft of their hook to ut the two tricos at an angle to each other.

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PostPosted: July 18th, 2009, 4:39 pm 
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Strange day fishing this morning. The Trico hatch was a dud. Ran into Clyde and chatted a bit. I went down to an area where the river opens up into a small pool - as usual there is isolated activity.

So I'm in the pool up to my waders and this big log drifts by....wait...WTF...its a big a$$ beaver. The beast swam up to about a meter from me and swam off. I thought he was going to tail slap me but he didn't. Hmmmm, he seemed to be keeping his distance. I moved to shallower ground just in case if we did have a man v nature fight to the finish I would at least be able to kick the bugger. He left me alone and went upstream after watching me for awhile.

So I'm fishing to these picky trout in the pool that refuse everything. I caught a 10" brown on a #20 Adams dry, but that was that. After an hour or so I heard a rumbling in the woods. Ah, a mosquito swarm. Sure is loud for a mosquito swarm. The noise kept getting closer and before I knew it the sky was a cloud of bugs. Big, big bugs. The buzzing was intense. What are those?!

Suddenly one fell from the sky and landed in front of me on the water. Is that a bee? It was a dull colored bee the size of a quarter! Then....bloop! A trout snatched it right in front of me! The sky above was dark with the swarming of bees, and a few dozen fell into the pool. Bloop...bloop...bloop. The trout that were oh so fussy for the last hour were lining up to dine on bee.

Now I was nervous, because there was a massive cloud of bees overhead (for some reason circling the big oak I was standing under). The birds were out playing interceptor. But, I was thinking....if they swarm and attack me, I'm toast. I had a vision of bees crawling down my new waders and not being able to get them off. After a few minutes it seemed clear that the bees had no interest in me...so then I thought about the trout. What did I have that might be close to a bee?! Not much. I tried a size 10-12 stimulator which caught the attention of the birds but was "refused" by the fish. I tried a foamy "Creature" that came in a box of flies I ordered from Orvis. It was the right size and color, but lacked the profile and fooled not these fickle trout.

The swarming cloud of bees lasted a little under an hour. I had experience my first bee fall! Strange days indeed.

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PostPosted: July 26th, 2009, 2:35 pm 
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Well...it totally sucked this morning.

I started at the Upper Kinni, but it was totally dead. Didn't see a single fish rise. Decided after an hour to "bug out" and go check out the Rush River, which is said to hold good trout, but I've never fished.

I drove to the County Rd 29 bridge, and sure enough, I could see trout rising all over the place. I strung up my worthy Powell and went to work...first thought as I stepped into the water was..wow this water is clear! It was optically clear. So clear, I could see the fish, even several feet below. There were big trout everywhere, and they seemed to get along with some suckers that were sharing this part of the river.

There were Trico spinners on the water, so I went to my Trico imitation. No sooner did my line hit the water, the trout sped off. Gone. And they didn't start up again in few minutes like they do on the Kinni. This repeated itself all morning. My wading would turn them off. Three hours of spooking fish. No bites.

Here's a shot of the water from the bridge:

Image

And its full of spooky, leader shy trout:

Image

:(

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PostPosted: July 27th, 2009, 1:01 pm 
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Strathcona wrote:
There were Trico spinners on the water, so I went to my Trico imitation. No sooner did my line hit the water, the trout sped off. Gone. And they didn't start up again in few minutes like they do on the Kinni. This repeated itself all morning. My wading would turn them off. Three hours of spooking fish. No bites.


Strath, if you want to go fishing with me, you're going to have to step up your game (or find your own pool at least). 8)


How long a leader are you using? How long is your tippet? Tippet length more than diameter is responsible for reducing microdrag. Try 7X fluorocarbon, 4' long at the end of a standard 12' 6x leader. That starts you at about 16'. You probably won't be able to straighten a leader that long, but that's OK, the end will fall in lazy loops that will isolate the fly from the friction effects of the body of the leader as it get pulled by the current.

Do your normal forward cast with just a bit more power from the wrist at the snap. As the line unrolls, gently move the rod backwards a foot or so then move it forward as the line drops to the surface. This will isolate the rod from the line and will give you lots more drag free drift, especially in a downstream presentation.

Learn to do a reach cast and a positive curve cast depending on the flow of the river.

I'm a righty, so if the stream flows to my left as I face the rise forms, I use a positive curve, done by overpowering a sidearm forward cast and stopping the rod as abruptly as you can, making the leader flip in a downstream direction. Follow the fly downstream with the rod tip. If the flow is to my right, I use a reach cast, done very simply by reaching my arm across my body at the line unfolds. This places the line and leader upstream, and you just follow the fly down with the rod tip. In either case, you want you fly to end up downstream of the main body of the line/leader, particularly when casting across a current tongue to a fish holding just inside a seam along the bank.

These casts, combined with line mending (best done with large high arcs of the rod that don't move the fly), are all you need in 95% of presentations. They also create slack in the line as the leader passes from an upstream orientation to a downstream one. For this reason, make sure you have the line firmly grasped in your non-casting hand and not pinched between your forefinger and the rod. You will need to pull quickly on the line to pull out the slack. Raise your rod arm as high as you can while you do this (Gary Borger says, "Assume the Orvis position", like the guy in their logo). Keep going until you feel the fish is on and then stop. Don't pulls back sharply on the rod tip, a sure way waste $2 and get to practice your blood and clinch knots.

When the fish fails to take the fly, let the leader and line drift well below the lie and then do a roll-pickup by pulling back very slowly and then doing a partial roll cast and letting the line just clear the surface, then lifting right into your back cast, smooth and silent as can be.

Minimize your false casting, or eliminate it entirely if you can. I recently saw a video of a guy using a 6 wt bamboo rod to propel an entire fly line and a bit of backing, dropping the fly 98' away starting from a poorly loaded back cast (a pickup made from on the grass) - no false casts at all - so it can be done. Spinner patterns in particular need little drying as they should float in the film, so a soaked fly can sometime be a help. Remember, the fish only eat flies that are on the water (I lie, I've had fish jump right out of a pocket at my Muddler during the Giant Yellow Stonefly hatch on the Ausable in NY), so keep false casting to a minimum.

In almost all cases, you naturally want your line, leader and fly to fall as softly to the surface as you can. And when the fly gets shunned, resist all temptation to make crazy mends to keep it in play or to try to avoid drag. Just let it drift past and try again when the fish starts to rise again. There's putting a fish down, then there's spooking the whole pool. Game over when that happens.

As far as wading to wary trout, I think I mentioned this before. Don't move until the trout rises. The instant you see the rise, take a small step forward and then settle motionlessly until the next one. Pick up your feet carefully and don't roll any rocks, the sound carries instantaneously to the fish. The other thing to do is to arrive before the anticipated hatch and get into position ahead of time, letting the fish come to you. This technique requires both an act of faith and the patience of Job, as well as knowing where the big fish will be likely to appear (no use waiting an hour or so for little tiddlers).

These tips should help with your wading a bit. OTOH, maybe your feet are too big.

It's good to know that on heavily fished waters, fish are rather insensitive to wading errors. I've gotten quite easily to within a couple of feet of some honking huge rainbows on the Henry's Fork of the Snake, and even had then come right up to my legs on the Bighorn and pick scuds off my waders (a most frustrating and disconcerting experience), yet was unable to get even a refusal swirl. Conversely, I've crept up to wild browns on my hands and knees and gotten them to take the most outlandish flies just because they'd never seen an artificial. So pattern selectivity and spookiness are not always present at the same time. That fact, perhaps, is what makes the whole thing doable.

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PostPosted: July 28th, 2009, 7:35 am 
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BK,

Sage advice as always.

My leader was a 9ft 6x with a 6x tippet. I added a piece of four foot 7x to it later in the morning. I definitely need to practice my casting to lay the presentation down softly and make sure they are not presented at all with the leader and the line.

I did a little research on the Rush river and some guy on trountnut who knows the water well basically described what you did:

troutnut wrote:
The Rush in the summer is a far and fine stream. That is to say hike far and have a fine time...no actually it means cast far and use a fine leader...no, wait it means stay far out of the water and you will be fine.

I jest a bit but actually all of these have merit and then some...

The Rush will prepare you for many difficult situations on the trout streams all over the continent and then some if you can learn to consistently pull off summer catches.

I generally will focus on fishing very tiny terrestrial patterns at this point in the season...meaning stuff in the #22-#28 range. Yes, #28's! And 8x tippet on 16' leaders. If they snub you go longer and smaller...

...Stalk like a cat from the bank and only get into the water if you have no other option. Watch a heron and you will begin to understand stealth. Sit and wait for 15 minutes or so in the shade after approaching a spot. Let it calm down. Walk softly and do not be afraid to use the opposite side of the creek to traverse.

Fish on the Rush know the game and are very intune with anglers approaching and fishing over them. Many have been caught and released many, many times.

Been out for the Tricos? Hit a big flat above a long riffle at dawn and watch the area above the tail out or the head of the pool for a swarm of tiny diamonds in the sunlight...Trico swarms that will be around every morning until the frosts start in September. Again...far and fine on these little black and whites...CDC spinners and the dry shake floatant and super long tippets that give alot of slack. Present downstream so the fish see the fly first. Learn to stack mend!

So I think you hit the nail on the head and picked up on the problem at hand with the little quip I posted. I purchased some 12 ft 7x leaders (didn't have 6x), and added an 8x spool to my tippet stack. This is fun, as it presents a new challenge. The Kinni has a lot of ripples and disturbance on the water and is usually a little cloudy, as such it is more forgiving of sloppy technique. Now, for some of those Rush river browns...

This weekend I am up with the fam to the north shore of Superior. I thought I'd sneak my rod in and try the upper sections of the Knife river...

Cheers, and thanks!

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PostPosted: August 1st, 2009, 3:42 pm 
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Great morning. I'm staying on the north shore of Lake Superior just north of Duluth. Away for the weekend with the fam, but I did bring my gear to get in a morning of stream fishing. The trout streams of northeast Minnesota are not know for great fishing, but there are hundred of miles of trout streams that empty into the gitchi gummi. Many of these streams virtually run dry at the mouth in late late summer - so I went to the headwaters of the sucker river, with map in hand and drove around the back roads until I found an access point that looked decent. There was a light drizzle, and by the time I found my access point my truck was filthy.

Wasn't sure the river had fish in this area. Didn't see any rises....at first. I waded downstream casting a terrestrial over likely lies until some distance downstream noticed a little ring in the water. And again. I figured this must be a small fish, so I tied on an #18 adams (which is becoming my go-to fly when no hatch seems present - it kinda looks like every thing). A short cast, I needed to dump line out the end of the rod for the drift to hit the target. Bang, a brookie took it eagerly. This was a big fish for a small stream. It fought hard and took to the air four or five times. It was an even 11" - I wish I had my camera with.

Back by ten for a family hike....but now I have my secret spot on the north shore :wink:

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PostPosted: August 2nd, 2009, 1:42 pm 
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Strathcona wrote:
....but now I have my secret spot on the north shore :wink:


And its exact location?

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 Post subject: ues6
PostPosted: August 2nd, 2009, 7:56 pm 
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Battenkiller wrote:
And its exact location?
Two clicks south of County Road 40.

I went back this morning, but further upstream toward the headwaters. Nothing. No rises. I stalked like a cat. I figured the closer to the headwaters the better the fishing, but not the case this time. Some of the the drops and ledges in the river look un-passable to me for trout. The fish would need to jump a rock ledge to get upstream. I've seen pictures of salmon doing this, but not sure it works for brookies. Do some brookies get trapped in sections of river as the water drops during the summer? Are the head waters more dense with trout?

Ah, questions. Questions.

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 Post subject: Re: ues6
PostPosted: August 3rd, 2009, 10:16 am 
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Strathcona wrote:
Battenkiller wrote:
And its exact location?
Two clicks south of County Road 40.


:o

Is it that easy? I was only joking!


Hey, Bubba... Jim Bob..... Grab yer creels, we're a'headin' up the Sucker River to Strath's secret fishin' spot to have us a fish fry.... :doh:


Haven't I taught you anything? The first advice I should have given you is to learn to lie.


:tsk:


Never give away your secret fishing spots, especially on the Internet.

Unless.... maybe you are lying. I couldn't locate Rt. 40 on Google maps. :oops: In which case, good on ya, mate. :wink:


If it was me, I'd have given the exact UTM coordinates to the backside of a grungy Chinese restaurant in the middle of downtown Duluth and then hide in the bushes and watch as guys in waders show up with GPS in hand and find themselves staring at a dumpster full of cat carcasses. :P



As to your questions about trout isolation, it depends on how they got there in the first place. If they got there by being stranded by receding glacial melt water, then they would be a genetically separate strain by now. They'd surely even look different. This is the case with golden trout that were once rainbows but were trapped in the headwaters sections and isolated from the main flow.

OTOH, if they got there via the stocking truck...

If there is a truly impassable barrier on a river, fish isolated upstream of the barrier will have to be able to find suitable gravel beds to make their redds in come spawning season. Thankfully, brookies don't need lots of space. For seasonal barriers, remember that for brook trout, spawning occurs in the fall, so if the river dries up to a point where upstream progress is not possible, only those fish that dwell full time in that section will be able to breed there in the fall.

Another thing to consider is the amount of biomass in the water. Creeks with limestone influence can be rather fertile even in the headwaters, but bony little freestone creeks descending from high altitude ground water can be virtually devoid of food.

This is the case with a lot of west slope rivers, which run through primarily coniferous forests that don't contribute annual leaf drop to the available biomass. Western salmon make their way to the sea to get fat and then swim back upstream to spawn in protected waters. Once there, they do the deed and then die, fertilizing the relatively sterile headwaters with their own corpses - the ultimate sacrifice for their children.

A trend you will notice with wild brookies... You will find that they get more plentiful and smaller (growth limited by available resources) as you go up the river, but you will eventually come to a spot where you will find no trout. That is almost always above an impassable falls. Every watershed is different, so I can't say for sure what the case is on your river. If glacial melt water never got that high and if they were never stocked at that altitude, you will not find any fish above the last impassable section.

That said, I have found fingerling brookies pretty far up on little trickles that have surely never been stocked. Without genetic evidence to the contrary, I am left to assume that these are unadulterated strains left over from the last glacial period. At the least, I like to think of them as such. :wink:

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PostPosted: August 4th, 2009, 6:37 am 
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Battenkiller wrote:
Is it that easy?
No. You still need to get past the two feral dogs. Seriously.

It seems every time I go fishing I have some sort of "Survivor Man" moment: Bee swarms, rogue beavers, feral dogs, deer stampedes.

Battenkiller wrote:
As to your questions about trout isolation, it depends on how they got there in the first place.
I looked into this a little bit. The brook trout of the north shore are not native, but were originally stocked as far back as the mid 1800's. These streams did have Coasters (brook trout that migrate from Lake Superior to inland streams) -- however, they could only migrate to the first un-passable water fall which is typically not more that a mile or so inland. The upstream brookies are for the most part wild and self-sustaining. The DNR stocks browns and rainbows mostly.

I understand Coasters are making a come back - especially on the Canadian shore of Superior.

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PostPosted: August 4th, 2009, 6:17 pm 
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Strathcona wrote:
It seems every time I go fishing I have some sort of "Survivor Man" moment: Bee swarms, rogue beavers, feral dogs, deer stampedes.


Well, I've had a very hard time arranging all of that. It's like fraternity hazing - get through it and you're golden. 8)

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PostPosted: August 4th, 2009, 9:06 pm 
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Well, after a long wait on my part, we finally got to spend some time up at the family cabin. I was looking forward to trying some still water fishing. As much fun as the local trout streams have been, I must say that fishing still water can be a lot of fun as well. I managed to pull a fair number of small mouth bass, and a few large mouth bass as well. Not anything of notable size, but feisty none the less. As well, after fishing the lake for around 20 years, I caught my first sunfish from the lake. I had heard of people catching sunfish in the lake, but I've just never caught any. Seems I was just fishing the wrong way!

I got to try some different flies I had tied ahead of time. But after trying a couple, I ended up finishing the last two days on the same fly. It was a really bad attempt at a Muddler Minnow. I was just trying to spin some Elk Hair. I wanted to know what it was like. Well, it seems that the fish don't care what it looked like. I was using it like a popper, short pulls, sometimes gentle, sometimes gurgling. It was fun.

I was having a problem earlier with wind knots, and had read about some solutions, they seemed to work, but I've still got some learning to do in that regard.

In all, a good time. Can't wait until I retire so I can devote more time to fly fishing, or until the kids are all gone to college, or until they.... who am I kidding, long time until then. Gotta make time.

Dave

PS - Hey Strath, how do you like that Powell rod you picked up?

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PostPosted: August 5th, 2009, 8:24 am 
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doftya wrote:
PS - Hey Strath, how do you like that Powell rod you picked up?
I'm really enjoying it. My local waters are pretty small - so I haven't really had to distance cast much (though it seems to have plenty of backbone). My old fiberglass rod would be considered a slow action rod so it took me a little time to get the Powell to "bend" during a roll-cast. Its a much more "deliberate" motion. My focus right now is on line mending to control the drift of the fly.

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PostPosted: August 5th, 2009, 2:13 pm 
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You both might want to check out a new book I just got called, "Drag-Free Drift: Leader Design and Presentation Techniques for Fly Fishing".

Full of everything I've been talking about and a whole hell of a lot more. $25 from Amazon (hardcover) but is available new for $13+ from several secondary dealers on Amazon's website (listed as "used" in a link at the bottom of the page). It has a leader formula spreadsheet included on CD-ROM (I haven't used it yet) as well.

The book is chock full of cutting edge info about leader design, knot selection, materials characteristics and the various presentations that are facilitated by using the different formulas and casting techniques. Without a doubt, worth the price of admission.

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PostPosted: July 20th, 2020, 9:15 am 
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So cool to hear you're looking to get into the sport of fly fishing!

My dad got me into it when I was a kid and same as you, he didn't want to spend a lot of money.

You can find a whole list of the best fly rods overall here, which includes a few budget full set-ups.

Also if you're looking to save money on flies, why not consider buying some fly tying gear and teaching yourself to tie flies? You can get a full kit for about $75 on amazon including tools and materials needed. It sounds like a bit of an inestement at first but with flies costing $3 each at the fly shop, it quickly pays itself off.

The same site listed above also has a whole page on fly tying which includes cheap kits to buy, as well as free fly tying tutorials. Check it out: https://intoflyfishing.com/fly-tying/


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