Friday, November 7, 2008

Catching Bull Trout on the Fly

The question on one of the message forums I take part in was basically how to catch Char on the fly....

This is my short response:

It all depends on the water you are fishing and the time of year. I have caught bull trout on the Squamish on floating lines in April on the dry fly. 

Now, with that being said, most times when targeting bull trout in moving water in the winter, use at least a Type III sink tip with no more than a 3.5 ft leader. 5, 6 and 7wts are great especially on the Squamish as some char can get quite large and it can get pretty windy. 

Fish 3' +- water depth when it is clear or slightly coloured. Cast and wait around 10 -15 seconds for your fly to get down to the bottom....=~ 3ft using a Type III sink tip. If your fly is "swinging" before you reach 10 seconds, you are most likely casting too far and not mending enough or not letting enough line out to allow your fly to get down OR you are fishing water that is way too fast. Your swing should take a considerable amount of time to get to your shore, I find for char the slower the better.....wait 5-10 seconds at the end of your swing...lots of takes happen here! Look for slow moving water with a slight riffle on the surface....and fish mid run to tailouts. Also, look for hidden deep channels that are visible only if you are wearing polarized sunglasses. They will appear as darker sections of water...kind of like when you are looking out at the run you can't see the bottom anymore. That is where the fish are. 

Early January and Feb the slower presentations work better since most prey items, dead salmon particles, and eggs are slow movers when temps are down...and eggs and dead stuff just don't swim! As the water temps increase, a faster presentation will work (March April)...ahhhh fry emergence is a wonderful thing. When fishing pools or very slow moving water cast and wait a long time for your fly to get down..sometimes I wait for it to hit the bottom.....then strip in 2-3-2-4-2-3 type varied 6" stips. Works wonders and hang on!

Here is a video that shows that "hidden channel" this run doesn't exist anymore so I don't mind sharing! Notice how the fly is barely swinging across the current. May take a while to DL.

Tight lines,

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Going Fishing - Check Your BC River Levels First

I often get emails and phone calls as to whether the Squamish River is at a level that is fishable. Luckily our Government has created a website that allows anyone with access to the Internet to find out just that!

Here is the website you should bookmark:

When you pick your "Province", in this case "British Columbia" you are then given the option for a "River" or "Station #". For this example I have chosen "British Columbia" and in particular the "Squamish River" as I plan to get out there tomorrow. It is a good idea to have knowledge of where on the river that the river level recorder is located because some rivers in the province are very long and the level at one end of the river can be entirely different than the other. In any case, after running the report, I can tell from the graph below that the river will be at approximately 3 meters or less which I know is "fishable" from past experience. See the Pic Below:

As you can see from the graph the river is dropping because the rain we had that started the 31st of October is finally letting up. In addition, the daytime and nighttime temperatures in the mountains is dropping below freezing. I know as long as these temperatures continue into the night and that no additional rain falls between now and tomorrow, the river should be in good shape. ie Fishable. NOTE: The only time that the river is not fishable is when it is on the rise and passing "3".
Try it out on your local BC River to see what you can find out.
Tight Lines = Good Times!