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Old 05-11-2020, 12:40 PM   #1
GreenHorn
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Switching things up

Hey guys, im getting ready for a later start to the pond fishing season this year and I'm planning on switching this year to fly rods only from the wabbler and worm/fly set up. Not that there's anything wrong with that, I just find fly fishing more rewarding. I started out using spinning tackle because of its simplicity and wanted something easy while I got good at camping and locating ponds.

I have been thinking alot about the fly tackle I want to bring along, at first I thought about a rod and fly line for every situation but that seems like to much stuff to bring so I narrowed it down to two rods and three fly lines...

A 5wt rod with floating fly line and another reel with 5wt full sinking line. A 7 wt rod with intermediate line for tossing bigger streamers to structure.

Just wondering if that's close to what you fly guys would normally bring on a trip or is that overkill? I'm probably going to want to try a float tube eventually to, right now I use a hornbeck canoe and I can image it's going to be a problem in any wind
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Old 05-11-2020, 07:59 PM   #2
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That's how I started GH. A 5 wt rod and the three lines you mention. I have a Hardy reel and it's easy to change the spools so I just bring one rod. I'm going to try some sink tip line this year.

Float tube vs Hornbeck...I won't get into that. Please search the forum. There's been plenty of healthy discussions on that (all in good faith). Figure out what works best for you. A lot of the old timers on this forum helped me out when I first started.

Stillwater fly fishing is a dark art. It is extremely rewarding but will suck you in....Best of luck!
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Old 05-11-2020, 09:17 PM   #3
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Thanks Pauly D. I have read alot of the discussions on here about the float tube vs. hornbeck and I understand the advantages and disadvantages of each but since I already have the canoe I'll probably stick to that plus I like being able to travel across multiple bodies of water. We'll see how frustrated
I get trying to cast, maybe eventually I'll try a float tube.
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Old 05-12-2020, 04:30 PM   #4
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GH- I am working on exactly what you are doing. I have a 6WT and just ordered a 3WT for small streams and the like. I plan on fishing ponds with both rods if conditions permit from my Hornbeck. Keep us posted with your progress.
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Old 05-12-2020, 06:25 PM   #5
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Nice robbartley, I just ordered a 4wt dry fly rod looking forward to trying it out if this cold ever let's up and we get some decent hatches soon in wny.

I'll let you guys know how my experience goes on the ponds when I finally get up there, I'm hoping the first or second week of June.
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Old 05-12-2020, 06:49 PM   #6
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Greenhorn,

One thing that I had done way early in my fly fishing career was to get Tom Rosenbaur's (sp?) Prospecting for Trout. Advanced my skills and success dramatically.

You are in WNY? The specific rivers will help dictate your rod selection. Early in the year for the bigger dry flies I go with a 4 weight floating, and later on I switch to a 3 weight floating. When it is streamer and terrestrial time I switch it up to a 5 or 6 depending on the application.

Biggest thing - learn to read the water. You might well have this skill-set already. If not, you will save a lot of time (and frustration) by learning to do this well. And when out for a fly fishing trip - no mater what - I bring a spinning rod. I have made way too many trips to get to the river and find out that it ain't the best conditions for fly fishing, and the spinning rod saved the trip.

If it's pond fishing, try a portable fish finder - I always have it in my canoe on ponds and lakes. People may disagree with this, but with the limited time people have and the travel involved in getting out there I will live with the stigma. Case in point - much of Rock Pond (by LTL) is 4 feet deep. And many folks have spent a lot of time fishing in this area.

Good luck!
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Old 05-12-2020, 07:37 PM   #7
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Glad to see you're making the switch. I think you'll find it very rewarding.

Your line choices are spot on but I think the 7 wt is overkill. If that's what you've got, though, go with it. I take two identical 10 foot 5 weight rods with me (Hook & Hackle Xi blanks, my build). That will give you quite a bit more casting range from your low, seated position.

Like Pauly said, look for a cassette style reel. It really cuts the weight down.

Also, think smaller when it comes to flies. I seldom fish anything larger than size 8. In fact, my biggest non-anadromous trout was roughly 14 lbs and took a size 12 Stillwater Nymph.

Good luck with your canoe vs float tube decision. My position on the subject is well known. I'll make you a beer bet: The first time the wind kicks up and you can't cast or hold your position, you will come home, get online and buy a float tube.
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Old 05-12-2020, 07:46 PM   #8
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Viking,

Thanks for the advice, I'll definitely check out that book. I have also been watching alot of youtube videos on stillwater fly fishing and reading streams as well.

I am from wny 20 min south of Rochester. I fly fish the rivers around here alot and go on pond fishing trips in the adks two or three times a year.

I think will still bring a light spinning setup incase I get skunked fly fishing. As far a portable fisher I would need something really light weight because I usually go pretty far in. I was looking at the Vexilar portable depth finder, it only weights 11 oz.
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Old 05-12-2020, 07:50 PM   #9
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Vt,

Thanks I was thinking the 7wt might be overkill, I was thinking I would be casting larger streamers but I know you know your stuff so I won't go bigger than 8 so the 5 wt Should be able to cast those. I'll probably be using leech patterns, maybe muddlers or grey ghosts if there's bait fish.

That's funny about your beer bet, I have a feeling your right haha.
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Old 05-13-2020, 10:51 AM   #10
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Portable fish finder: 100 feet of paracord or even butchers twine and a 2 oz sinker. Use a sharpie to put lines at one foot, paired lines at 5 ft, and three lines at 10, repeat for remainder of rope. Lower weight over side, lower until bottom is encountered, reading for the 10's and 5's as you drop. This is adequate for small ponds.

Portable anchor: Save a 10 lb heavy red mesh onion bag, attach 50 feet or so of paracord. When you get to your destination, find some rocks and put them in the bag.

I know a lot of guys who like their float tubes, but mine has not been in the water since I got my Raddison. I got blown around far worse in the belly boat, if it is that windy you use an anchor with either. My wife and I hiked back to Big Trout Lake south of Low's lower dam a few years ago, and I headed down the 2 mile long by 1/4 mile wide lake in my belly boat. I had just gone past the drop-off on the east end when the wind picked up from the east. I thought I was going to blow right down to Sabatis, so I worked my way into the shoreline where I could get under the tree limbs and escape the wind, and gradually work my way back. My wife had a cow as she did not see me get under the trees, and thought I had gone under, She was very relieved when I came out of the branches and reappeared! And were my legs ever sore! I'll be putting up with the cart and the aluminum for the future.
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Old 05-13-2020, 01:29 PM   #11
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Lucky,

Those are good tips thanks, I would be sold on the Vexilar portable depth finder if it took the temperature to, it would be so easy to just paddle around and click a button for instant data...I might still consider it but your way would be much cheaper.

I was thinking about trying to make an anchor on site with Paracord and a good size rock but that's a really good idea about the onion bag, with that you could use a bunch of small rocks if that's all that's available. Plus if the wind picks up and I can't hold position that could be the time to try trolling the sinking line.

That's a crazy story I would definitely only want to take a float tube on smaller ponds if I had one.
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Old 05-13-2020, 07:08 PM   #12
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A big Western lake. The wind is howling around that corner at 25-30 mph.Rule #1 in a float tube: work sideways, work downwind. Never put yourself in a situation where you have to kick into a strong wind. Make your enemy be your friend but respect and don't challenge its strength.

BTW, you see no canoes out there. They would swamp. And even in an area known for its extreme winds I've never heard of a float tuber drowning.
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Old 05-14-2020, 07:28 AM   #13
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A big Western lake. The wind is howling around that corner at 25-30 mph.Rule #1 in a float tube: work sideways, work downwind. Never put yourself in a situation where you have to kick into a strong wind. Make your enemy be your friend but respect and don't challenge its strength.

BTW, you see no canoes out there. They would swamp. And even in an area known for its extreme winds I've never heard of a float tuber drowning.
At least in that location, you could get out and walk back. Good advice. Beautiful fish.
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Old 05-14-2020, 01:42 PM   #14
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Every time I have gotten out into a pond or lake in a float tube, the wind has shifted around, so I am nearly always kicking into the wind. The day at Big trout I was kicking into the wind to get to the drop off, then it shifted right around, and I was dealing with it to get back. And I've been out in some very choppy conditions in a Radisson without problems, they are hard to tip short of standing up and jumping around. I also found there to be lots of entry and exit problems with the tube in the ponds I went back to, very few with nice sloping sand bottom beaches, a lot of mucky, rooty landings with lots of trees and branches sticking out all over.
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Old 05-14-2020, 01:43 PM   #15
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But to each their own, I still have mine, may get some use out of it this year locally.
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Old 05-16-2020, 07:26 AM   #16
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One of the things that is annoying with the float tube is having to "go pee". Might be me but something about sitting in the water and kicking around without fail triggers a need to relieve myself. Some of my most humorous moments fishing have been kicking in to shore and trying to find a decent place to stand up and go. Maybe I need to drink less coffee / water before fishing but I enjoy my coffee to much!!
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Old 05-16-2020, 07:52 PM   #17
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empty Gatorade bottle works great! Keep the cap. I'm in more of a raft than a float tube.
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Old 05-18-2020, 11:55 PM   #18
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Yes, I usually bring a bottle of some sort in my canoe as well. This is one aspect of pond fishing where the canoe has a big advantage over the float tube and chest waders.
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Old 05-19-2020, 07:33 AM   #19
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One of the things that is annoying with the float tube is having to "go pee".
Well that all Depends...
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Old 05-19-2020, 09:45 AM   #20
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If you do take a portable fish finder with you, look into investing into a lithium battery. You'll cut the weight of your battery by half, the size by a third, and the charge lasts a long time on those smaller finders (i can get 16-18 hours on full brightness with my helix 5 whereas normally batteries only lasted me ~ 8 hours). I use Amped Outdoors and mine has performed awesome since i've purchased it.
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