Early Season BC Lakes
and flies by Fred Curtis
we are standing on the shore of my favorite lake, watching the ice flows
move first east, then west as the winds shift. This is it! Spring! I've
been waiting out a long winter just for this moment.
do first? Set my fly equipment for the early lake char that will be cruising
the ice flows? Tie up the lines for the elusive kokanee? Install a bloodworm
fly for the wary rainbow trout? Or, try to entice that dennison of the
deep, the brook trout, to strike at my special woolybugger. Choices, choices,
choices. I have the whole day; let's do them all!
First, the early season Lake Char. We'll need a slow sinking line, a 7
foot leader with 8 lbs. tippet and that imitator pattern, a crimson muddler.
This will got their attention as they criuse along the surface of the
lake feeding on everything that was left in the ice all winter.
Next, my choice for kokanee (land-locked sockeye salmon) is a floating
line with a 10 foot sink tip, 9 foot leader, tippet size 3 lbs. Success
with a number of patterns is up to the imagination, but I'll tie on my
favorite, a Kokanee Thriller. This trip out, I remembered my field glasses,
so we can locate schools of frollicking fish. We'll troll through them
at a slow speed, then cast, and strip, strip, strip, 8 inches at a time.
Hey, it works for me.
Now for those secretive Kamloops Rainbows. A long leader, 20 feet plus,
attached to a full floating line, tippet at 2 lbs. rigged with the first
blood worm or chironomid pattern I can find in my fly box. Yes, don't
forget to take the anchors, one to lock the bow and the other to solidly
lash the stern. This will allow us to retrieve our casts, a quarter of
an inch at a time, over the drop offs. This year I promise to parallel
lift my rod to those gentle takes and let them set the barbless hook themselves.
Last, we will need that fast sink line with a 4 or 5 foot leader, tippet
to 4 lbs. and my special pulsator pattern, the Crystal Wooly Bugger, light
olive, the first for this season. These slow moving brookies will soon
turn into speed demons when they slam into that 4 inch strip close to
the bottom of the lake. Boy, those fish can sure move out off the shoals
in a hurry!
the early season weather can be somewhat unpredictable, if not darn right
cold, the uncrowded fishing can often make it all worth while. Try a few
of my favourite strategies and see how they work for you. If not, look
at the bright side, at least you got to spend a day at the lake. And,
although you may be a bit ahead of the season, you're also ahead of the