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Thread: How Deep?

  1. #1

    Default How Deep?

    While I was getting my fix ( still going through withdrawals since the river closed for the season ) in a tiny lake near the river I fish. I didn't see any fish surfacing. No nudges to my flies, or hits to my nymphs. Two folks show up and fish with spinning reel setups. On my way back to the truck for a coffee and different flies I asked how things were and they said they were getting bites. I asked, "fishing the bottom?", and they said "yes". Shortly after the lady catches two fish one after the other. BTW, pouring rain and some wind gust, but manageable. About 45 degrees.

    Got me to wondering, when fly fishing small ponds or lakes how deep do you let your flies drop? Still a newbie with all this stuff. Would you let your fly drop to the bottom ( 6-10 ft ) and reel it back after you got a fish? Just sit and a wait like the others?

    The typical setup in these lakes is a slip through weight ( 1/4 oz ), a swivel, and a leader of about 18-24" using Powerbait. That means in some parts of the lake you might be down to 8ft.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: How Deep?

    I've always been a shallow water fly angler, so most waters have been 10' deep or less, and I would fish near the bottom if I thought that's where my fly needed to be.

    I've also at times fished much deeper water, specifically in the Chesapeake Bay, which may mean depths to about 70' where I fished. Fly tackle can be fished very deep, but IMO, once you start getting down to about the 30' depth range, the effectiveness of fly tackle diminishes greatly and other forms of tackle are a far better choice. Most of the time when I've fished such deep water, the fish were within 30' of the surface & often enough much shallower, so it wasn't necessary to attempt fishing near the bottom, not that I would have tried it anyway with fly gear.

    Otherwise, within 30', if you have the patience and proper lines, fly gear can be just as productive as other methods, provided of course there are fish to be caught. There are sinking line that have various sink rates, and weighted leader systems that can aid in getting a fly quite deep. Also, flies can be weighted if needed, and especially if you tie your own. In various combinations of these lines, leaders & flies, fishing deep is not a big deal.

    I still fish with other tackle too, and occasionally even enjoy drowning bait for catfish, which is a sit & wait proposition.
    Remember, no one likes to be behind the big truck, but that's better than being under it!

  3. #3

    Default Re: How Deep?

    Thank you for the reply. After reading your reply I did a search and watched all the Orvis videos on stillwater fly fishing. I learned a lot more about fly fishing in one afternoon .

  4. #4
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    Default Re: How Deep?

    Orvis has some excellent information on many topics, especially the podcast that Tom Rosenbauer does.
    Remember, no one likes to be behind the big truck, but that's better than being under it!

  5. #5
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    Default Re: How Deep?

    I have effectively fished to about 20ft, with fly.....I would use another tech. for deeper water as Big said.
    Since fish often cruise near the bottom in summer, many anglers fish bait just off the bottom, why not a fly?
    On big lakes here folks will set a pop-off bobber and suspend a Midge just off the bottom near 20ft down.
    But at some point the lake will "turn over" and the water temp down deep will not be as comfortable to them. Then they will find warmer water and you should do the same.
    Fish utilize all the water column, just not all the time.
    The game is to figure it out.......
    I recommend a floaty of some sort to really get after it.
    A Fishcat is worth it's weight in fish.....

    Jim

  6. #6
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    Default Re: How Deep?

    Quote Originally Posted by wjlapier View Post

    ....in a tiny lake..
    I asked, "fishing the bottom?", and they said "yes".
    The typical setup in these lakes is a slip through weight ( 1/4 oz ), a swivel, and a leader of about 18-24" using Powerbait. That means in some parts of the lake you might be down to 8ft.
    Answer this, is it floating Power Bait? If so, when used as you suggest on a sliding sinker rig it would ride up off the bottom. While they may not realize it, it's possible they are not fishing the bottom. Their bait is suspended off the bottom.

    So since the depth you are talking about is small in Stillwater terms, you could just drop your offering down off an indicator to 18 - 24 inches off the bottom or you could go Booby on those fish. Get a sinking line, a short section of mono and a couple of boobies that'll ride up off the bottom and dance when they are retrieved.

    See: booby flies - Yahoo Image Search Results

    Dave

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