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Old 01-19-2020, 10:25 AM   #2
Pauly D.
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Join Date: Apr 2014
Location: Saratoga Springs, NY
Posts: 382
Hi Chris. Welcome to the dark art of stillwater fly fishing. I was in your exact shoes some years ago and have received a lot of good info from the senior members on this forum so I'll try and pass along the key points.

For the rod the 9' 5 weight is good. I recommend 3 lines. A floating line, intermediate sink, and Type 5 full sink. You'll probably use the intermediate line the most.

Your Hornbeck is a good choice but eventually you may want to try a float tube. There are tradeoffs for both and there has been healthy discussion on this forum related to that topic. For me the downside of the Hornbeck is wind and the upside is speed in locating fish. When I started I trolled with a Grey Ghost fly and did well. As I got more knowledgeable I added all sorts of flies to my arsenal and used cast/retrieve techniques such as hand twist, stripping, finger twist.

For flies try some leech patterns, dragonfly, emergers, and forage fish of varying size and color. Black, brown, and olive are my staple colors. You'll need to learn which flies to use at what time of the year and even time of the day. Take notes and observe the life in the body of water you're fishing. It varies. Brook trout like cover so you'll get snagged and lose flies a lot. At least I do anyway.

There's no easy formula for success. Those fish are tough. Weather, water temperature, time of year...it all comes into play. Be ready to put a lot of miles on your boots as you learn.

One of my favorite books on the subject is Stillwater Fly Fishing Secrets by Hal Janssen. Best of luck!
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