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Thanks for the insight guys....not sure if I should post another topic on this but here goes...i have trolled a lot of flies on lakes in the tube or canoe and had pretty good success. Now Hook you mentioned Chronies....here goes i have tons of them in my fly boxes but never really pursued the patience to use them...here is my understanding of what should be done ( i could be out in left field on this one!!!)
Find a spot and anchor to be still
Put a weight on the end of the line to find the depth of the water
Keep that amount of line and cast it out..
the Chronie will submerge roughly 1 foot per second..
wait till all your line is submerged and slowly retrieve the line.
Now should i have a sinking tip, full sink line, floating line??? i would figure sinking tip at least..

i will try out Mike and give you guys feedback on my successes (hopefully) next weekend.
:confused:
 

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OK - here's a very quick overview. You may want to try the search feature on this website. There are also lots of articles and books you can read about chironomid fishing as well. But, here goes:

You can use either a full floating line, sink tip, or even a sinking line - the latter I use for deep holes. My suggestion is to go with the floating line and long leader technique - although you'll need to open your cast to prevent wind knots (your leader will typically be 12 - 20+ feet long). You can put on a strike indicator when you find the correct depth, but a foot above the bottom is a good place to start. Now here's a quick tip. If you have a watch - use it. I use bead headed (weighted) flies or put lead wrap on my line to sink the fly. I like to count at least a full 45 - 60 seconds then begin a very slow hand twist retrieve. By slow - I mean SLOW! I usually just ensure there's no slack in the line. I often go 20+ minutes between casts. The strike can be very subtle. The strike indicator may not even go under the water - but just twitch. Any unnatural movement of the floating line, indicator, or slight hesitation should be met with a hook set (not bassmasters - right Finder? Wink). Gently, but deliberately, lift the rod tip and you'll know if you have a fish on or not.

Anchoring is critical - if you have a boat, use two anchors (one at the bow and one at the stern).

Again - there's tons of information about this type of fly fishing. It takes patience, but is also extremely addictive. It also can be very effective. I've had many fish-a-cast days using chironomids. One thing though. I find that I do much better in the interior than in the local lakes. For local lakes, I find that basic patterns such as spratleys, careys, leeches, halfbacks and the like can be very good as well.

Good luck and have fun.
 

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I don't think we can emphasize the SLOW retrieve enough! Although I'm only a beginner, I've found that the slower you go, the more strikes you're going to get.

I retrieve them slightly different. I hand strip them, but only stripping 3-5 inches of line every 10 seconds. All my chronies have a beadhead (silver, gold, black or clear glass) and I use titanium beads to sink them faster. I also use a WF6ST line. Combined with the weight of the fly, I figure it's sinking at roughly 8-10 inches/second and since I've done my homework on the area I'm going to fish, I know how long it's going to take to sink to the bottom...do the math and back that up 6-12 inches and I have my sink time (I actually have a countdown timer on my watch that I set for the appropriate amount of time).

As for detecting strikes; sometimes it's tough and other times you know right away. Like Magician said, you're not trying to rip the lips off the fish, you're just setting the tiny hook. I tie mine between sizes 14-18 and I have a few I've purchased in size 22 (I'm not patient enough to tie that small). When I go out, I have an entire flybox allocated just for my chronie. I used an indicator once, but felt it was too much like using a bobber on spinning gear...I like the "cat and mouse" game without one.

As for leader length, I've used everything from a straight 4X 7ft mono (thought I'd give it a try), all the way up to a hand-tied 8X 18ft fluro, with my best success on a tapered 6X 14ft mono, so that's what I use most of the time.

It's not hard, but like with everything else in our sport, it takes practice and patience.
 

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the 2 main patterns i have had steady success with on our local lakea are the Black/silver ribs, and Black/red ribs. and in sizes from 12-16. deepest i have ever had to fish these in our local lakes was around 8ft and if memory serves that was in Mike lake. I use the strike indicator technique on a full floating line with the long leader. buy yourself some "matchstick lead"or"lead putty" for putting on the line to get the fly down faster, remember to keep this a few feet away from the fly though and make sure its on tight or it will slide while casting. good luck out there :thumbup:
 

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The biggest key to being successful is to get your chironny tho the bottom. Take the counting and guessing game out of it. If you don't have a depth finder, simply clamp your forceps to your hook and lower your line down til you hit bottom. Add an extra 6 inches to a foot to account for any bowing in your line or leader, depending on technique. On the more technical lakes with big, gnarly, educated fish, starting your slow retrieve from the bottom will make all the difference in the world.

One other thing to note: When using a strike indicator, make sure you keep it away from the thicker butt section of the leader. It makes it too difficult to detect strikes when the fish are more subtle. Sometimes this means having a ridiculously long leader though, but it's worth it. Trust me, you'll be amazed at how subtly a monster bow can sip your offering. The odd time there's just slight dip in your indicator and you set the hook into a whale. It's incredible. It can only lead one to believe that this happens quite often, when fishing naked (ie. no indicator, not hangin yer ass out) and you never even know it. Tie all of your patterns with tungsten beads, and they'll get down in a hurry. No real need to use split shot or lead . The setup is already stupid enough to cast as is.

Just be patient, and try different things. Slow hand retrieves. sometimes accompanied with a twitch, or a jerk. Sometimes you have to do nothing. And of course Gordon Honey raves about the slow 6" pull. Just stick too it and it'll pay off, like everything else in life. Good luck.
 

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Some great tips mentioned already to get you started. :cheers:

A couple more that I've picked up over the years...

1) If you are fishing deeper waters with a full float line and a very long leader and you find your chironamid is not sinking fast enough through the water column, tie in a small brass swivel a couple of feet above your fly. It doesn't affect your casting, and it sinks your leader much faster.

2) When I fish a full float line with a strike indicator (aka dangling a worm :)), I usually just keep it fairly still. When there's a tiny bit of ripple on the surface of the water, this is enough motion for me personally for the fly. When I'm fishing a chironamid "naked", meaning no indicator on a floating line OR fishing with a full sink line method, that's when I employ the well known figure 8 slow retrieve.

3) If you are going to use the full sink method, and this is VERY useful when fishing deeper waters, use a good quality aggressive uniform sink or density compensated line. Much much better than waiting for the tip to reach the bottom after the belly of the line has already sunk, and I find my success rate at detecting strikes is much better.

4) If you use flurocarbon tippet, you can use a higher strain rate line because of the lower visibility of this material. If you mix a flurocarbon tippet with a monfilament leader however, make sure your monofilament leader is at least one thousandths of an inch THICKER than the flurocarbon tippet, or else the fluro will just slice through the mono when a fish strikes and tightens up that knot. Or...you can just look at the "X" rating and make sure the mono is always one "X" bigger than the fluro...ie. use a 3X mono leader with a 4X fluro tippet.

HTH. :beerchug:
 

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I would strongly suggest you contact Mike and youngs and ask when Tom Lam is doing his next class on Chironomids ... Not too much $ and an excellent one day course that will really teach you allot from one of the best out there...
 

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Here is an article on chironomid fishing by Brian Chan - If you have an opportunity to meet him as I see in the thread you will go from wondering what to do to having some knowledge and being excited about it. I got to meet him and to attend a lecture in Spokane. It is a great way to fish although some say yuck! I have only been fly fishing again for a couple of years and one day chironnie fishing while learning we coaught more fish than I have ever caught on a fly rod in a day. One message I hear and read a lot is while retrieving if you think you are retrieving too slow - slow down 10 time as much and you probably will have the speed close. Good luck and get to see Brian if you can.



http://www.flyfishersrepublic.com/tactics/fishing/chironomid-tactics/
 
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