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Old 01-18-2020, 06:45 PM   #1
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: New Jersey
Posts: 72
Getting Ready for Spring Brookies....

Hi gents, I’m getting ready for spring and would like to try fly fishing for brookies . I have done well with the lake clear wabbler and would like to give the fly rod a go. With that said I picked up a Hornbeck fishing canoe so that will be my platform. I used to fly fish quite a bit years ago but fell off, that was only streams as well. I virtually know nothing about still water. I have two sage rods, a 3 weight 7 1/2 and a 5 weight 9 foot rod. Curious as to what tactics have worked best for you and what all around setups one would recommend as far as lines sinking, sink tip etc. Also some must have flies...Trolling or casting? It’s cold and cabin fever is setting in. Help a newbie out! Thanks

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Old 01-19-2020, 10:25 AM   #2
Pauly D.
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Location: Saratoga Springs, NY
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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 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!
Oh I'd rather go and journey where the diamond crest is flowing...
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Old 01-19-2020, 12:51 PM   #3
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You may want to buy another rod besides the Sage (and reel if you have a nice one). Your R/R will get banged up while trolling, no matter how careful you are. Get a setup that you won't mind getting beat up a little.
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Old 01-19-2020, 09:06 PM   #4
Check please
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Location: Huntington Bay, NY
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Agree with Pauly D’s advice. The 9’ 5 weight is perfect. If you can only get one line, I would use a sink tip with an aggressive rate. It gets to where the brookies usually are when they’re feeding and still easy enough to lift quickly and cast. Leeches in brown or black with some rust or purple are my go to flies 80 percent of the time. The number of times you will see them actively feeding on the surface is usually sporadic and a well-placed wet fly or nymph usually does the trick. I fish from a float tube but many here like the hornbeck. Keep it simple and have a good time. When the brookies are not feeding and sulking not even dynamite will take them. When they’re actively feeling they’re not all that finicky. Some members of this forum like fishing with a floating line and a strike indicator. I personally think that’s like watching grass grow but it can be effective if you’re into that sort of fishing.
“Once there were brook trout in the streams in the mountains. They smelled of moss in your hand. On their backs were vermiculate patterns that were maps of the world in its becoming. Maps and mazes. Of a thing which could not be put back. Not be made right again. In the deep glens where they lived all things were older than man and they hummed of mystery.”
― Cormac McCarthy

Last edited by Glen; 01-19-2020 at 09:46 PM..
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Old 01-20-2020, 12:06 AM   #5
Low Impact Skidder
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I have always had success with dynamite Glen, maybe you're not throwing it far enough.
Never Argue With An Idiot. They Will Drag You Down To Their Level And Beat You With Experience.
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Old 01-21-2020, 07:30 PM   #6
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: New Jersey
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Thanks for the advice gents. I don’t get up nearly as much as I want to but want to be prepared when I do. Will take the recommendations and start gearing up. Thanks guys.
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Old 01-22-2020, 09:42 AM   #7
Join Date: May 2018
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I find that if I am going to be trolling the flies, two, and even sometimes three flies on a leader gives me a chance to try more patterns until I find one they like. I'll use something like a weighted muddler,wooly bugger or a damsel larvae on the end, and run a very short dropper where I tie my tippet in with a wet fly (royal coachmen have not been around for a long time just because they are pretty) or a caddis pupa. I had one day when we were keeping some fish for the grill where I was sitting and twiddling my thumbs for an hour or so after a double completed the limit, and I didn't want to chance killing another fish so I quit fishing.
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