It’s that time folks and fish are now shooting the gap up our lake tributaries. Many sections remain open throughout the winter months (check your regulation guide), and so we asked our buddy Ronan Creane of Ronan’s Fly Fishing Missions on his take for hitting these fresh lake runners.
1. A weighted streamer on a floating line with a long leader is extremely versatile. It allows you to fish a deep hole by counting down your fly or a shallow riffle by retrieving right away, and everything in between.
2. Retrieve your streamer until you can see it. If you pull out early you may well miss a potential take.
3. Strip strike suspect takes. This keeps your fly in the zone in case you were wrong and should set the hook if you’re right!
4. Use strong tippet. Not less than 2x / 10lb. I've learned this many times!
5. Try to visualise the fly and what it’s doing in your mind’s eye. Think like a fish. Make the fly do fishy things!
6. Don't just cast across the current, step and repeat all day. Vary your retrieve. Vary depth by correct mending.
7. Read the water. Spend most time where fish are likely be. (Drop-offs, edges, pockets, braids etc..)
8. Use sinking lines when appropriate. The Airflo Streamer Max, or 40+ Di 5 and Di 7 are my sinking lines of choice. Superb for deeper lakes and rivers and excellent on deep river mouths or drop-offs.
9. Keep your flies simple. No articulation, bling, sparkle, deer hair or any other time consuming components necessary. I use possum fur, marabou and something for weight (helmets, skulls, beads or lead).
10. Don't check the forecast..