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Author Topic: Fall \ Winter Turnover  (Read 3991 times)

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BUGGER

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Fall \ Winter Turnover
« on: November 22, 2011, 04:58:15 pm »
Anyone out there have any experience stillwater fly fishing for rainbows during the fall \ winter turnover and the weeks following? There are very few hatches now, and chironomids are soon going to be the main dish on most of the lakes in the lower Vancouver Island. There is always the option of slow dragging micro leeches, buggers, streamers, nymphs and dragons, which will no doubt put some fish in the kayak…...but it's really a game of luck, and doesn't do much in terms of establishing patterns. The wet lining chironomid game will start soon enough, but right now I am having little luck establishing any sort of pattern for catching rainbows. Every year I can consistently catch trout, except for about a 6-8 week window in late fall and early winter, at which point I come to a crashing halt. Two weeks ago, the fish were holding between 8' and 20' of water along weed lines and shoals, and I was taking them on big leech patterns and buggers….from the sonar it looks like the fish aren't there any more, and it would appear that they have moved into the shallower areas of the lake, but I still can't seem to get many hooked. I did the typical cold water reaction and slowed down the presentation and used smaller patterns, but still no real luck.

The turnover has happened no doubt, the water is about 46°c, and the clarity is pretty decent (+\- 3m) can anyone offer any advice.


Offline YakFisher

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Re: Fall \ Winter Turnover
« Reply #1 on: November 23, 2011, 12:07:59 am »
Fly fishing from my kayak fishing for bass, pike and sunfish all summer, this time of year really slows down for me. I have tried different flies from big and small with mixed results. One day before going out fly fishing for pan fish, I thought I would try something. I left my fly box at home, and took only a small bag of my spinning rod jigs and little rubber tube's. The jigs I took looked like the perch I was fishing for, and the tubes were white and green. Casting the jig with a 9'ft rod was funny, (felt like casting a brick) with no control, but I knew I didn't have to cast far I had more fish using that jigs then I did on any flie from my box. The tube's were even better, I could cast them better with control and was catch perch of all size's. Trying something out of the ordinary can have surprising results. 

BUGGER

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Re: Fall \ Winter Turnover
« Reply #2 on: November 23, 2011, 10:34:49 am »
True. I know the gear guys are still getting trout on the old classics (spoons, spinners, kwik-fish, gang-trolls etc...), but I am looking at it from a biology \ entomology point of view. I am trying to figure out where the trout are this time of year, and what their feeding patterns are. I usually have a spinning rod trolling gear as I paddle to my various destinations, then put it away and start casting the fly rod.

Offline Wayne

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Re: Fall \ Winter Turnover
« Reply #3 on: November 24, 2011, 11:13:31 pm »
I fly fish late season quite a bit here in Kamloops and I can relate to what you're saying.

I know that it's more rewarding to take things from an entomology perspective but you even mentioned using big leeches and wooly buggers. Those are the general lures of the stillwater fly fishing world :)

When the trollers are outfishing you it sucks. Sometimes it's because they're feeding on plankton like daphnia or copepods and good luck tying one of those :D

This is where you may have to go for a reaction bite and let go of that insanely anal desire to dial in to a perfect match. Of all the crazy patterns and techniques, I have never seen one better than a booby on a super fast sink line with a short leader. It's like reverse jigging or the fly version of a carolina rigged bass worm.

You may be very interested in a sideways leech cast quartering downwind under an indicator to give it good vertical action but slow overall presentation.

This being said, my personal best late season flyfishing day was when I matched a feed on immature but fairly good sized callibaetis mayfly nymphs. You could watch them turn and head toward your fly from almost 20 yards away in the gin clear water. Oh man, if every day was like that!!

Do you have populations of shrimp in those lakes? Another staple to try.... You could still go out there the next time and find that there's something to match, then the time after that..... that's why it's an art as well as a science.

Anyway, your question warrants a book but these are just a few things I can suggest if it's anything like the interior.

Good luck and you better post some pictures after writing all this lol!  ;D
Kamloops, BC


BUGGER

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Re: Fall \ Winter Turnover
« Reply #4 on: November 25, 2011, 10:36:01 am »
Thanks. You are from the mecca of still-water rainbow fishing....I have fished up there and it's fantastic!

There are no scuds here, and there are no mayfly hatches to note any time in the last few weeks that I've been there for. Perhaps you're right, and they have moved into deeper water to fish on plankton, however the sonar suggests that they are in shallower area's. Not sure, but I'll keep at it. I'm sure I'll figure it out. Thanks for the advice, and I'm certainly going to try the booby fly option for sure.....I tied a few of those last year and have yet to give them a go.

Offline stroover

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Re: Fall \ Winter Turnover
« Reply #5 on: November 25, 2011, 11:02:50 am »
You guys can STILL fish for trout? When does your season end???

BUGGER

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Re: Fall \ Winter Turnover
« Reply #6 on: November 25, 2011, 11:48:10 am »
It never ends. Trout is open all year here.

Offline stroover

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Re: Fall \ Winter Turnover
« Reply #7 on: November 25, 2011, 12:07:40 pm »
No kidding?  Lucky ducks!

Offline Wayne

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Re: Fall \ Winter Turnover
« Reply #8 on: November 25, 2011, 12:52:22 pm »
Yeah, BUGGER is aptly named in that he has opportunities to fish everything from steelhead to really nice smallmouth while the rest of us are still shoveling our driveways. The latest I've fly fished in the smaller lakes here is November 21st and right now people are already ice fishing. Every year is different.

@BUGGER
To clarify, there was no actual hatch of mayfies on that day I was talking about. The air temp was below freezing and the line was like wire. But they were perhaps migrating to deeper water for the winter and were swimming with the typical 4 inch or so at a time movement. And that makes me wonder if you have the same thing with them or chironomid larva (bloodworm). Sometimes in late fall you can have good luck on them fished extremely slowly. The thing is, you don't have the same issue with the lakes freezing up so I don't know if these insects do that or not there.

Also, plankton isn't always deep. In bigger lakes you definitely get some daily movement in the water column, but ponds no deeper than a couple meters can be filled with billions of them. They can still be in the shallows of any lake at any time, as I've seen in countless dipnets.

The last day I took my wife out fly fishing this fall it was getting pretty cold. I tried, like you, to do the Mr.Match thing and show her how it was done. Didn't work out like I planned and my ego and I got put in their place by a couple guys in a modified little paddle boat (yes, the ones kids play on in summer at the cottage) trolling red doc spratleys!!!
Kamloops, BC


BUGGER

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Re: Fall \ Winter Turnover
« Reply #9 on: November 25, 2011, 03:12:41 pm »
That's good humor....but you get used to it. I hate to admit it, but in the colder months here, the best thing I have seen yet is a berkley power egg fished on the bottom with a slip sinker. I don't do it myself, but I see the shore guys haulin'm in with the power eggs.

The bloodworms and chironomids are my go-to's later in the winter, but right now on certain lakes they won't even look at them. Who knows, I might head out this afternoon and do stellar....it all depends on the day most times.