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I hope I don't get too roasted for this noob question, but here goes anyways:

How do you know what type of fly to use when out on the river/lake? Do you just keep trying different ones to see what they go after or is there a guide to a time of the year that certain insects are hatching that the trout, salmon (whatever subspecies that can be targeted), steelies, kokanee, would be biting? I am making an assumption that different types of fish food will be hatching at different times of the year and the fish will be most interested in what's hatching at a particular time. Also, for each of the above, do they all tend to feed on the same insects or other fish in the system or will some in that group target specific flies only (just a yes or no answer on that one)

Just a general discussion here as I'm sure there's a more complicated answer (we'll leave that for another time ;) )

Thanks for the help!
 

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I'm sure stone or someone else will give you a better answer than mine, but I highly reccommend renting some fishing books from the library. That's what I did, and the books will answer pretty much every question you have...they did for me. A really good book is Still Water Fishing by Brian Chan and Skip Morris. These books will teach you a bit about etomology which will better knowledge you about insects and their life cycles, when they hatch etc etc.


K F
 

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You just asked a whopper of a question!! One that has an almost infintite amount of answers (if you draw on everybody's opinions) first of all you need to decide where you want to go. Do you have a boat? Belly boat? Are you going to a lake or a river? What time of year are you going? Every lake is different as well. You pretty much answered your own q's there on all the guesses you made. I would suggest what king said. Go to a reputable fly shop and ask questions on what book to buy, they'll usually answer any questions you have. If you have a friend who fishes, go with them! I learned the most from a friend of mine who learned off a friend of his. Most importantly, don't get frustated! I have only been fishing for a few years and only now am I really getting the hang of things (mind you I only end up going a few times a year, trying to change that bad habit!). :wallbash:
It's hard to give specific answers on questions that are so unspecific!(word??) :wallbash: :peace:
All this being said I've found the people on this site very helpful so don't hesitate to ask any questions.
 

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Definitely a huge question that books have been written about...a much larger question than can be answered in a post, that's for sure. :)

Since it's stillwater season, and some of us have been hitting the lakes recently, I'll just share a little of what I tend to do when hitting a totally brand new lake that I've never been to before.

First, just be observant of what's happening in the lake that you've decided to fish. Certain hatches of insects happen at specific times of the year, like a boatman or sedge hatch, or a damsel migration. Look around in the shallows and see if you can find things like leeches, scuds, or nymphs (ie. dragonflies or damsels). If there is a strong chironomid hatch going on, what size and colour are they? Do you see any riseforms on the water that can tell you whether they are taking pupas, emergers, or adults? These types of information will help you determine what tactics are worth trying.

If there's nothing much happening that I can see on the water, one of the things that I like to do is exploratory trolling. Yup...I still troll. :) Trolling is a great way of figuring out structure in a brand new lake, and covering a lot of water to see where the fish may be holding or where their feeding lanes may be. These days, I have the advantage of a boat with a small outboard, EMO, and sonar in order to find structure...but even if you're paddling around in a float tube, you can still find visual cues of where dropoffs and shoals may be in a lake. I usually like to tie on a leech or woolly bugger on a clear sinking line in order to explore.

As the Winston prostaff who I ran into the other day at Bleeker noted in our conversation, BC is almost like a "cult mecca" for chironomid fishing in all of North America...maybe even the world. This is with good reason. Flyfishing guru Brian Chan is one who perfected this technique, and he lives right here in Kamloops. Trout feed on what's available to them, and chironomids hatch through most of the season. In stillwater, after I find where the fish are holding or moving through, I will often tie on a chironomid if there's a hatch going on. Match the hatch, but for the most part, have a decent selection of blacks, browns, olives and chromies in your flybox. Variations should include a beadhead for getting down fast, or a white glass bead ("snowcone") for murky waters or low light conditions. Ribbing material can be gold, copper, silver, or red.

As mentioned, there's lots of materials available...Brian Chan's Stillwater Techniques DVD's are probably a good start. Good luck! :cheers:
 
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