With our seemingly never-ending Spring Monsoon Season surpressing and depressing the regularity of aquatic insect hatches in the stillwaters in this area and the fly fishing on those same small lakes being totally unreliable at best, my fly fishing obsession has become focussed on research and experimentation.
Experimentation is when one puts one's theories and ideas into practice. Sometimes they work great, sometimes, not so much. Such was the potential scenario for last Monday on Quesnel Lake, when we headed for big water to try a new technique for specific areas on that lake. This technique also included offering some new fly creations to the sport fish of "The Q".
The "Technique"(a work in progress):
We focused on the North Arm of the lake, primarily due to the numerous spawning creeks that flow into that section of the lake. Each creek mouth has a gravel fan outside the mouth and a substantial drop-off to deeper water. There is a general consensus that the Horsefly Strain rainbows, as well as lake char and bull trout frequent the feeder creek mouths to feed on whatever buffets of food morsels these creeks are presenting at the gravel fan drop offs. Smaller trout can be seen feeding on the surface, while the larger fish seem to frequent the 15 to 30 foot depths, waiting for their food to be delivered by the diminishing flow of the creek.
Because the lake level was so high (no beaches), we were relegated to positioning the boat at the mouth of the creek and allowing the flow to dictate it's position. Some minor adjustments of the positioning were require from time to time, but overall the boat was generally able to maintain a suitable position above the drop off.
The object was to cast a heavily weighted attractor fly into the flow and allow the diminishing flow of the water to carry it down to the depths, then strip the fly through the area where the feeding fish should be holding. We tried various rod and line combinations to try and achieve this. One reasonably successful line was a 6wt full sink Type VI (sink rate 6 - 8 inches per second) which seemed to drop to the 15' levels where the fly was being taken by the smaller rainbow trout.
I tried various combination of sink tips to achieve depths of 30 feet, most of them unsuccessful for various reasons. One just didn't go down far enough, one was just too heavy to cast, but I did finally try a new line I'd brought with me, a 250 grain sink tip with an intermediate sink running line. This thing was easy to cast and went straight down. Depth was regulated by how much line one let off the reel! And it worked!
"The Fly" (proven) The fly we used is called a "QLake Ruby Eye". It is a #8 XXL hook with brass cone and 6/0 red glass czech bead with rusty red or bright orange marabou under body tail, over wrapped with maroon(or burgundy) bolo yarn. The result is somewhat similar to Brian Chan's "Ruby Eyed Leech" but much larger and the bolo sparkle yarn gives it much fuller body.
A successful quality fishing day, multiple catches, two species of fish, constant "action" on an uncrowded and trully beautiful body of water. Does it get much better ?
Scientific Anglers / Ross ProStaff