Written by: Jim Elias, Fish Mammoth information service

As climate warms and drought grips many areas, massive fish maintain even deeper in the course of the summer time.
All pictures by Jim Elias

I’ve been guiding on Lake Crowley, within the Mammoth Lakes area of California, for greater than a decade, and in that point, I’ve discovered loads about how you can discover trout in nonetheless waters, even in the course of the warmth of summer time, and how you can catch them on fly. Having mentioned methods for locating fish in Part 1 of this sequence, let’s flip to particular methods for presenting flies when you’ve recognized a possible spot.   


After I first began out guiding, midsummer warmth would have us fishing 12- to 15-feet deep at most. Because the summers get hotter right here–and particularly when mixed with an prolonged drought–the fish are transferring even deeper, so making casts into 20-plus ft of water is now pretty commonplace. Evidently, getting a fly down that deep–whereas sustaining management over your rig–requires some particular tools and methods. 

Earlier than moving into extra technical particulars, nonetheless, the best manner to enhance your stillwater fishing is to easily swap to fluorocarbon tippet. When your flies are sitting immobile within the water column, the fish have significantly extra time to examine them and decide. I’ve carried out many side-by-side checks with similar rigs, and the fluoro at all times will get extra takes. 

Right here, you possibly can see how the bobber slides down the chief in the course of the combat.

I exploit sinking traces when doable, however most days, I’m fishing underneath a strike indicator. I’ve been dabbling in drop-shot and bare rigs, however they simply don’t appear to work as constantly because the bobbers. Whereas a regular setup will reliably get flies all the way down to about 12 ft, nymphing down to twenty ft or extra requires using a “breakaway” or sliding indicator. Each are designed to permit your extraordinarily lengthy chief to be retrieved into the rod guides whereas touchdown fish or casting. I make a sliding rig that may be fished at depths of 15 to 35 ft.  

Typically, I’ll change the depth I’m fishing earlier than altering my flies or transferring to a unique spot, particularly if I can see fish on my fish-finder display screen. Mid-column currents can generally be a difficulty, particularly when fishing deep, so extra weight and a much bigger bobber may be essential to get your flies down into the strike zone.   

Jim’s sliding bobber rig permits you to get your nymphs deep however have the ability to land trout simply.

I do quite a lot of bobber-watching. I do know that’s not everybody’s favourite, but it surely catches fish. Crucial factor about fishing with a strike indicator is which you can’t take your eyes off the bobber, even for a second. I’ve seen too many bobbers dip down as their proprietor was testing that cool cloud or questioning what sort of hen that was. I’ve simply two guidelines on my boat: 

Rule 1: Watch your indicator.

Rule 2: See Rule 1.

Critically, although, big-lake fishing is all about diligence, endurance, and constructing on previous expertise. I’ve been fishing Crowley for over a decade, and I’m nonetheless studying, so get on the market, experiment, and benefit from the course of.

Jim Elias is proprietor and operator of Fish Mammoth information service in Mammoth Lakes, California. 


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