Hank Shelley

Column: Still-water fishing 101

Muttering under my breath, I whispered to my fishin buddy Earl, “We just gotta do this, those guys are really catchin trout.”

The sunshine sparkled through the fir trees dotting the hillside casting a shadow on the small bay of the lake where two anglers sat silently watching their strike indicators.

Then raising a rod, the one angler hooked into another fine trout. “Ya-Ho!”

Many times while trolling a wet fly on a fast-sinking fly line, I’ve trolled by a chap wearing dark sunglasses, anchored off a drop-off, on a weed bed chironomid fishing.

And yes, success in catching fish definitely does increase, because you are giving the trout the chironomod pupa/larva, they are searching out at the time they are feeding.

Brian Chan, of the Fresh Water Fisheries Society and retired fish biologist, was the leader along with ardent angler Phil Rowley, both of Kamloops, in helping introduce anglers into the science of still-water fishing.

This is using emerging water insects to attract trout. Articles written in BC Outdoors Fishing magazine, helped to refine the art.

All that is required is a floating fly line, sinking leader and strike indicator.

Anchor off a location where your fish finder indicates trout below.

Measure the depth. Coming up a foot and you’re in business.

Well maybe… because there is a lot more to it.

For first-time anglers a walk along the shoreline of the lake will tell you the bug life there – mayfly, dragon fly or leech.

Talk to seasoned anglers, as to what imitations they are using. Chironomids vary in colour and size depending on species.

Targeting trout cruising the shoreline can be spellbinding,as chironomids move to the surface, from the weed beds below. Ardent still-water anglers will use a tummy pump when catching their first tout to indicate what that fish was feeding on and will then “match the hatch” so-to-speak.

Knowing the insect life timing of the hatch and type of chironomid of each lake fished will give the angler a better understanding of timing to fish and what chironimids to use.

Each insect hatch is timed by water temperature and weather conditions.

Go on line for much more information on chironomid fishing, insects where to go for a early start for the season, biology, entomology of underwater bug life.

It will also teach you patience, and a better understanding of nature, and what is around you that is so magnificent while out on the water.

Fishing: With so much high water on the Big Shuswap Lake it’s difficult to have an indication on fishing, as water quality is poor due to the Salmon and Eagle rivers flows. Canoe boat launch is full of floatsum and logs etc. Other lakes are also quit high or in flood stage.

Camping: Again, it’s difficult to obtain a campsite in a provincial facility due to demand, even after another 992 spots were obtained.

Too, on long week-ends, many families head for the Merritt area and its many lakes to enjoy camping.

It’s a bit usettling for local folks who used to enjoy a bit of peace and tranquility.

It’s just part of what we’ve created within a shrinking environment and a burgeoning society.

Tight lines to you and be safe on our highways and by ways!