With some unbelievable chironomid hatches coming off this time of year, the dragonfly hatches often get overlooked. June is prime time for dragonflies to migrate from water to land and for the fly angler, that can mean a day spent with constant action. There are hundreds of dragonfly patterns out there but in most recent years, tiers have been using foam as a way to suspend their patterns off the bottom, giving these patterns the needed buoyancy to hover above weeds and bottom debris. A favorite tactic of mine during late spring, is to use a type 5 sinking line and tying on a damselfly nymph (taking advantage of the damselfly migration also taking place) about four feet from the fly line, then a foam dragonfly pattern on the point, three feet from from the damselfly.
This is usually the first set-up I'll go with, an experiment if you will, on which pattern is getting more attention. If the damselfly is taking the most trout, I'll change to a two fly damselfly set-up but if the dragonfly is drawing more attention then I'll generally change the set-up and replace the damselfly with a dragonfly sprawler and keep the foam darter on the point. Of course if I'm being lazy, I may just keep the damselfly on even if it's not catching (which tends to happen). The idea here is to set yourself up on the shoal, casting beyond the drop-off and stripping your presentation up the drop-off onto the shoal and getting your patterns as close to the bottom as possible. For shallower lakes that don't offer the drop-off transition, casting into deeper water and stripping your presentation up into shallow water using an intermediate sinking line also works well. Give it try, when the trout are hungry the action is awesome.
Here are some dragonfly nymph patterns you can tie up.
For the most part, we're all gadget
junkies. There are always new fly fishing things coming out each year
that are supposed to make it easier for us and without much thought,
we tend to buy into them. But what tools and gadgets are your most
important? Think about it, what tools do you reach for the most when
out on the water? Your nippers and hemostats are probably the two
tools a fly anger uses the most when out fishing, so when I received
my new scissor clamps from Pro Guide Direct, I was happy to see an
old friend with new features. The NuCast mitten scissor clamp not
only incorporated both tools into one functional tool but also
improved upon it. The handles don't have any loops making it easy to
grab and release by simply squeezing the tool, perfect for cold
weather when gloves or mittens are needed (as I found out on a recent
winter trip to the Bow River) and the foam handle makes sure you
don't loose your grip, even when wet. They've also added an eye
cleaning pin built right into the handle for clearing away the eyes
of your flies where you've added a little to much head cement. Unlike
conventional hemostats, NuCast improved the clamp using a click-lock
design which made it super easy to quickly open the jaws and clamp
down on your fly and the grooved combo tip made quick work when
removing flies, pinching down barbs or attaching a split shot. The
micro-serrated scissors are super sharp and made to last a long time
which could replace your nippers or if you're like me, those $2.00
nail clippers that dull quickly. On top of all that, NuCast's scissor
clamps are eye candy, the multi-coloured stainless steel will ensure
these look great hanging from any fly vest. Yup, there's lots of new
gadgets out there but every once in a while you get lucky and find
something old that's been re-invented to make it new once again. Nice
For more on these and other NuCast products, vist my Pro Guide Direct Gear List here.
Another new year, another season to look forward to new gadgets, new equipment and new adventures. Up here in North-Central Alberta, January is still a long way away from open water on our stillwater fisheries as we don't usually see ice off 'til May and the streams won't legally open until mid June. There are some upcoming events however that will, A) help give the obsessed a taste of what could be and, B) tease us enough to force our withdrawal into full swing.
Here are some of the upcoming events Albertans can look forward to.
Jan 18 & 19, The Northern Lights Fly Tyers / TU Edmonton are presenting a two day seminar featuring Todd Oishi and April Vokey at Grant McEwan University in Edmonton.
Tickets are $65 for both days or $40 for one day. Click the pic for more information.
Jan 20 from 6pm-9pm, The Fishin' Hole is presenting a three hour fly tying class with April Vokey. April will instruct you on tying Steelhead flies, intruder variations and tube fly basics. Class takes place at the West-end Fishin Hole in Edmonton and tickets are $50 but you'll have to hurry as there aren't many left. Click April's photo for more information.
Jan 24-26 the Western Canadian Fly Fishing Exposition is in Calgary at the Spruce Meadows Equiplex. You'll have the opportunity to take in workshops from some of the biggest names in fly fishing. Free presentations, casting and tying demonstrations will also be available as well they'll have over 100 exhibitor booths. Drop by the Superfly booth and say hi to Joe and myself. Click below for more information.
The International Fly Fishing Film Festival (IF4).
The dates set so far for Alberta include Jan 24 & 25 in Calgary at the Cardel Theatre and Feb 21 in Lethbridge at the DA Electric Barn. These compilations of fly fishing videos will really want to make you wet a line and include some outstanding cinematography. For more information on tickets click the link. http://flyfilmfest.com/IF4/get-tickets/