Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Kitting Up: Trout Lakes

A nice ice-off rainbow.
Lake season is just around the corner here in Alberta. Early season lake fishing is one of my favourite seasons of trout fishing in this province. The weather usually cooperates (you will get the first sunburn of the year is you are not careful), the trout are hungry and get excited sunning themselves along the open water near the shore, casts need not be long (20-30' of ice free water is all that is needed), and it means summer is quickly coming!

Here I will post a general set-up I use on lakes, along with some personal idiosyncrasies that I find helpful.
N.B.--Italics for the gear; Quotations are my commentary

The Rod(s):
Med. Fast to Fast 9'6"-10' 6 or 7-weight

9.5' rods in a 6-7 weight let you launch more line, and haul in larger trout quickly. 
"I like the length of a 9'6" and 10' rods, especially for bank fishing. The extra length helps lift the line over any small obstacles and increases the distance your false casts travel, therefore making it easier to send the line farther."
"6 and 7-weight rods are perfect for putting the wood to the fish, and when using heavy fluorocarbon tippets ultimate shock absorption is not necessary. Also, it really helps when casting a team of flies with a big indicator."

The Reel(s):
Large arbour reel, solid smooth drag, inexpensive spools or cassettes

"As I will address in the next section on lines, having a reel which multiple spools or cassettes is an asset to hold numerous density lines to meet any situation at any depth."
"Large arbor reels assist in picking up line fast to get large lake trout onto the reel. they also help in keeping lines from developing large coils."

An essential part of a stillwater trout kit
The Line(s):
A good selection, in order of importance: 1) Floating; 2) Intermediate Sink (1-2 ips); 3) Type 3 sink (3-4 ips); 4) Neutral Sink (0.5 ips); 5) Fast Sink (5-6 ips)
Conventional monofilament and fluorocarbon lines

"Most lake presentations, especially from shore, can be achieved with a floating line. Once you have a floater, acquire an intermediate and Type 3 sink next. Neutral Sink, or Hover, lines and Fast sinking lines are good additions to the arsenal, but not always necessary for Alberta's lakes."
"Neutral Sink lines are excellent when a wind will blow around a floating line but the presentation is too slow for an intermediate sinking line."
"Having multiple reels, or cassettes assists in a quick change to adapt to conditions. In  a boat I have 3 rods strung with a Floating, an Intermediate, and either a Neutral, Type 3, or Fast Sink line."

The Fly(s):
Leeches get more trout, but I've caught more big trout on shrimp.
Leeches; Scuds, Buzzers/Midge Pupae, Damselflies and Dragonflies, Backswimmers/Waterboatmen, General nymphs (PTN/Hare's Ear, etc.), Streamers, ...

"I could go on, but this selection will do for most subsurface imitative needs. It behooves you to carry the odd dry fly, however some Parachute Adams and Elk Hair Caddis in appropriate sizes will also cover a lot of situations."
"It is important to know when the general seasons of your lake; however, leeches, scuds, streamers, and general nymphs will perform most f the year."
"It is all in the presentation and depth. Fish your flies unnaturally or in the wrong place, and you will assure yourself of a skunking."

The Extras:
Telescoping net with a large basket
Folder Stool and Bag (similar to this)

"Especially when fishing alone, a long handled net--upwards of 4 feet long--makes landing trout immensely easier."
"Rather than carry a waist pack, vest, or backpack, I like to use a stool with attached bag. Not only is the bag useful for fly boxes, extra reels or spools, but the stool is a great place to sit when re-rigging or fishing with an indicator."
"Waders are an excellent addition whether fishing from the bank or in a boat. On the bank they allow some wading for extra distance or quicker landings. In a boat, they keep you warm and dry on cool wet days."

This is just a short description of my ideas of a well rounded trout lake kit, with a focus on bank fishing. Open water can't come soon enough...


1 comment:

  1. Trev.

    Have a look at my blog as I'm doing the very same thing. Good luck buddy.