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B.C. Boat and Sportsmen's Show
Large Central Interior Lake Rainbows on the Fly

BY NICK BASOK When someone mentions lake flyfishing most of us immediately think of the bulk of our interior lakes. Small, quaint, marl shoaled little jewels in typical lake type surroundings. The largest portion of B.C. 's interior lakes are these highly productive less than a hundred acre bodies of water. However a lot of people are missing out on some of the best fly fishing opportunities in the interior because they feel most lake flyfishing is over after the end of June, due to warm water temperatures and very lethargic fish.

In one respect they are right. Fishing in general in the smaller lakes is over after June, but it is at this time of year that several of the larger interior lakes start to come on and become extremely productive.

There can be several reasons this happens. In the small lake situation once mid-summer arrives, unless it happens to have some deep water, the fishing is over until early fall. The beauty of most of B.C. 's large bodied productive lakes is that they have substantial areas of deep water. This factor alone will help keep the shoal areas of these large lakes at a more compatible temperature later into the summer and when the shallows do become uncomfortable for the fish they can simply move out to deeper water.

When the fish do migrate to deeper water they will seek out a comfort zone. This zone is called the thermocline. The temperature in this zone will usually be around twelve to fifteen degrees celsius (54-60 degrees F.) which is optimum for rearing Rainbow Trout. This zone can vary in size depending on lake depth and how warm the lakes surface temperature becomes.

The single most determining factor for fish behavior/activity is water temperature. There are other factors that contribute to fish activity such as hatch timing, barometric pressure, weather conditions and lake turnover (spring and fall) but water temperature is the most important.

When the water temperature is under eight degrees celsius (46F) the fish will tend to be quite lethargic or less active as their metabolism is slowed down reducing their need to feed as much as when the temperature is more compatible. Similarly when the water temperature is eighteen degrees celsius (66F) or warmer, oxygen levels are reduced and the fish will again become sluggish and less active.

In late spring and early summer when large numbers of fish are feeding in shallow water on various insect hatches, fly casting is very prominent and productive. As the shallows become too warm for the fish and they move out to deeper water and into the thermocline, trolling the fly is by far the most productive method.

The three main reasons this method is so popular and successful is that you can cover far more water and therefore more fish. Also by using different levels of sinking lines including lead lines you can access the thermocline even at depths of fifty to sixty feet and because you are not retrieving the fly it will remain in the strike zone until you get a hit. Another nice feature about trolling flies is that you don't have to be a highly skilled fly fisher to troll flies. Simply try different fly pattern at various depths until you start catching fish consistently.

When using lead lines, as you need very little line out to get down deep, long leaders of fifty to one hundred feet in length are required to get the fly away from the commotion of the boat. Another point I would like to make here is in large lake selection.

There are many large lakes in BC's central interior but I like to fish the ones that have approximately equal amounts of shoal area and deep water for the fish to summer in. Sheridan Lake is probably my favorite of the large lakes for fly fishing. It has hundreds of acres of shoal area and a comparable amount of deep water. It is highly productive to the tune of producing numbers of fish each year over ten pounds. You can fly fish the shoal areas from early May (ice off) until around mid-July and then again in September to (ice on) around the first week of November. You will also do well trolling flies during these same time periods in these shoal areas and then you can fish the thermocline during the summer months.

Other large lakes that are good Rainbow producers and suitable for fly fishing are Lac De Roches, Bridge and Green Lake. Fly patterns for all these lakes should include imitations of chironomids, mayflies, sedges, damsels, dragon flies, shrimp, leeches and some minnow patterns.

All of these lakes have several public access points as well as private resorts for your convenience. Other points worth considering when searching for fish on these large lakes is to watch for moving fish (jumpers). If you are not catching fish in one area move around and try several different locations until you catch fish or at least see other people catching fish. Lake fish will often school up in certain areas of the lake where hatches of insects or other circumstances have attracted them.

More often than not you will have to do some exploring to locate these areas and when you do try and figure out why the fish are there. When you do there will most likely be some consistency in your catch rate due to fishing the right patterns at the proper depth over good numbers of fish. When fishing these larger lakes it quite will take a bit more effort to learn the water and habits of the fish than in most of the small lakes but the rewards can be spectacular.

Flyfishing All Categories
  Article Topics Date
1. Fly Spring Chicken Flyfishing, Flys Feb 2011
2. Fly Lake Rainbow Merlin Flyfishing, Flys Feb 2011
3. Fly Rainbow Trout (brown back) Flyfishing, Flys Feb 2011
4. Fly Babine Dusk Flyfishing, Flys Feb 2011
5. Fly B.C. Herring Flyfishing, Flys Feb 2011
6. Fly Cooked Prawn Flyfishing, Flys Feb 2011
7. Fly Sliver Hilton Flyfishing, Flys Feb 2011
8. Fly Serendipity Flyfishing, Flys Feb 2011
9. Fly Dubbed Eyed Egg Flyfishing, Flys Feb 2011
10. Fly Dream Squid Flyfishing, Flys Feb 2011
11. Fly Blue Thunder Flyfishing, Flys Feb 2011
12. Fly Cisco Flyfishing, Flys Feb 2011
13. Fly Kermit Poppers Flyfishing, Flys Feb 2011
14. Fly Gummy Roe Flyfishing, Flys Feb 2011
15. Fly Spaced Out Flyfishing, Flys Feb 2011
16. Fly Kitimat Red Flyfishing Feb 2011
17. Fly Casting Flyfishing, Technique Jan 2011
18. Fly The Popsicle Flyfishing Jan 2011
19. Fly The Steelhead Nightmare Flyfishing, Flys Jan 2011
20. Fly Koenig's Alevin Flyfishing Jan 2011
21. Fly The Pink Worm Flyfishing, Flys Jan 2011
22. Fly Black Egg-sukin' Conehead Leech Flyfishing, Flys Jan 2011
23. Tied Down Minnow Flyfishing Mar 2009
24. Fly Fishing for Salmon Jul 2008
25. Gravelwalker Flyfishing, Salmon, Steelhead, Tackle, Trout Jun 2008
26. Black Spey Salmon, Steelhead Jan 2008
27. Tying the Green Butt Skunk Flyfishing, Steelhead May 2007
28. Don't Forget the Little Guys Flyfishing Apr 2007
29. Six Important Fly Patterns for B.C. Success Flyfishing, Tackle Apr 2007
30. Large Central Interior Lake Rainbows on the Fly Flyfishing, Trout Apr 2007
31. Bug Eyes Apr 2007
32. Early Season Fly Patterns Flyfishing Apr 2007
33. Early Season Fly Strategies Flyfishing Apr 2007
34. Chironomid - Fly of Choice Flyfishing Apr 2007
35. Flyfishing Destinations of British Columbia Flyfishing, Salmon Apr 2007
36. The Hemoglobin Emerger Flyfishing Apr 2007
37. Early Season Stillwater Success Flyfishing, Tackle Apr 2007
38. How to tie Bug Eyes Flyfishing Apr 2007
39. Searching for Coho on the fly Flyfishing, Salmon Apr 2007
40. Tying the Chaunigan Carey of Pheasant Flyfishing Apr 2007
41. Fly Fishing Steelhead a “Spring Primer” Flyfishing, Steelhead Apr 2007
42. Tying the Purple Austrian Flyfishing Apr 2007
43. Tying a variation of the Kitimat Kombo Flyfishing, Steelhead Apr 2007
44. Tying the Green Chum and Pink Flies Flyfishing Apr 2007
45. Tying the Egg Sucking Leech Flyfishing Apr 2007
46. Tying the Christmas Tree Fly Flyfishing Apr 2007
47. Tying the Kitimat Kombo Flyfishing Apr 2007
48. Tying Manny’s Minnow Flyfishing Apr 2007
49. The Pink Solution Flyfishing Apr 2007
50. Knot Tying Flyfishing Apr 2007
51. Trolling a Fly with your Spinning Rod and Reel Flyfishing, Tackle, Trolling, Trout Feb 1999
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