Do I have this right? Wolly bugger in still water

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Dweller

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Sorry for the newbie questions, but I got setup for fly a few years ago and have not had a bite yet. I have not fished it a LOT yet due to not being sure I know what I am doing. I took a casting class so I can get it out there where I need it, but have never fished with someone who knows fly fishing. So, that being said...

5 weight rod, floating line, attached a weighted leader to it, then a tapered leader about 5' long or so. Wooly bugger in Olive or Black.

Cast it out, count to (magic number to find depth) and slow retrieve (due to temperature?) how slow is slow? is this a steady retrieve or do I pause and resume?

Do I have the basic idea about right? I am determined that THIS WILL BE THE YEAR! :cool:

Thanks for putting up with my basic questions. I have read a lot on this subject but need to connect the dots and get a fish on the line!
 
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bigsteel

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i would ditch the tapered leader and just use 4 or 6lb line if your just swinging buggers,,the fly will get down quicker as opposed to a tapered leader with heavy pound test down to tippet..or you could always lenthen your tippet...i usually cast down and across the river and give slow strips and pause in between.
 
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Growbug

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in still water, yes, cast out, wait til it sinks then strip strip strip pause strip strip pause. I find most hits come on the pause as the bugger fluffs up and starts to sink again. the longer the pause, the more it will sink back down.
If you do one continuous retrieve, then the bugger is coming straight back at you through the water, instead of across the bottom.
As to speed? vary it from slow to fast to see what the fish are after. Start with slow first.

once you have the bugger retrieve, ask about chironomids
 
Y

Yohan

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I don't fish stillwater very often, but from what I know you pretty much have the right idea for bugger fishing. I second growbugs comments, the only think I would add is try to use tungsten bead head buggers and follow it with a san juan worm. Also, I like to use maxima ultragreen as my leader (3'-6' depending on situation) when using sink tips.

If you are going to be fishing stillwater a lot, I would recommend looking into the Cortland 444 clear intermediate camo line.
 
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OnTheFly

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If you are going to be fishing stillwater a lot, I would recommend looking into the Cortland 444 clear intermediate camo line.

100% x2 on that one. Make sure it's one or the other..Clear or Camo. Yes the Camo is mainly clear but with a marbled green tint.
 
H

halibuthitman

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2 things I feel pretty strong about with the wooly

1. Make sure the tail is not too long, if your getting hard hits without hooking up this is almost always the problem.
2. Heavy weighted buggers are nice for getting down, and when the fly is supposed to represent a leech or very small minnow fine, but you should always have ones that have only wrapped lead, when that fly is supposed to represent a dragon fly or any other nymph a slower action in the water with less speed to its sink will out fish a weighted fly, if your fishing sub surface on a lake you should be fishing a sinkline or tip, weight on flies in slow water retard their natural looking action, and action is everything.. also, sink isn't that important since a bugger works best often in 2 or 3 feet of water around weed beds or structure, so a lot of the times it is taken as a mistake for a crawling nymph.. I usally cast to shore, often hooking the bank on my cast from my boat or tube... this is where I catch most of my bigger fish. Balancing a bugger to sink level and correctly is a very important part of tying them, then fished with the belly of a sink line dropping them they present propperly, when you put a chunk of shot on with a dry line you have ruined the natural drop of the bug, and less fish will hit it... and don't turn your back on the violent ripping retrieve, Ive hooked hundreds of fish as I quickly stripped to cast again- Good luck ( all of this info is intended for trout in lakes or ponds... steelhead changes many of these dynamics )
 
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D

Dweller

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Lots of great advice here, thank you all! I think you have finally got me to the point where I can stop worrying about gear and technique and start fine-tuning to get the presentation down. I hope to make it into Lost Lake (coast range) this weekend so may be able to start putting all this advice to use very soon!
 
G

GungasUncle

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I fish mu buggers similarly to how it's mentioned above - only I rarely use sinking or sink tip lines - I prefer to use long leaders on a floating line if I'm fishing 10' of water or less. It's not a real great beginner tactic - since it takes some practice to turn over 12+ foot leaders compared to the normal 7-9 foot leaders, but once you get good, I still think the floating line is the most versatile. I've gone to leaders as long as 16 feet before for still water fishing - usually hand tied tapered leaders with long tippets. Most bugger fishing I do is done with 4X tippets. For still water, I do strips, twitches, and pulls interspersed with pauses until I find what the fish want.

ON moving water, I like casting across, or slightly upstream and across (this gives the fly time to sink into the strike zone) and swing the fly, giving it an occasional twitch or short strip - until the fly line swings directly down stream of me, and becomes tight. Then I retrieve the fly with short strips and twitches trying to simulate a bait fish or leech. This can trigger some fantastically powerful grabs from teh fish.
 
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OnTheFly

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An intermediate sinking line will out fish a floating line 3 to 4:1 using Wooly buggers and other subsurface patterns in stillwater. My leaders are 10 to 12 feet long.
 
E

eggs

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An intermediate sinking line will out fish a floating line 3 to 4:1 using Wooly buggers and other subsurface patterns in stillwater. My leaders are 10 to 12 feet long.

The woolybugger master has spoken.
 
H

halibuthitman

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ok, since were making this into a thread about our systems, heres mine, mastery line to a sink, 7' tapered furled leader to 3 ft of seaguar fluoro tippet... why? the furled leader allows me to turn over huge flies, also having a ring on the tip I can tie a knot that won't break like fluoro is prone to do, also, a 7' furled leader stretches about 3'' and acts as a bumper to my fluoro knots as well, a lot of the lakes I fish are crystal clear, and the seaguar is virtualy invisible and half the diameter of mono, if the water is green or dirty I go with just climax mono. This also gives me the ability to cast up to 11' leaders as if they were only 6-7' becouse the furled leader rolls over just like my flyline... I started using this system a year ago after much deliberation.. I almost never break off a fish now.. and it works even better with dry flies!

this then evolved into my steelhead fishing... Royal wulff steelhead float= 6' tapered furled leader= 3' seagaur 15 lb fluoro tippet ( same diameter as 10 lb mono ) so in my old system I had about 8' of straight trilene 10 lb..= clunky to cast with articulating flies, now, I can cast a brick as smooth as a dry fly... it has been a personal Rennasance for me.. and is definitely showing in my numbers... I love re-inventing my game.
 
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GungasUncle

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Are you using store bought furled leader (guessing so, since you mention the metal ring) - or rolls your own? I've made my own in the past, but would love to try some factory furled leaders. Occasionally, when I really feel like doing some self-hating activity that winds up causing me pain and grief, I'll build up a hand braided mono leader. That's always bad for my carpal tunnel, but they fish pretty well. My only complaint is the knots in mine are always visible, I haven't found a way to braid the leader down without knots, or with a way to hide the knots. Typical braided leader I'll start with either 4 or 5 strands of mono and taper down to 1... I like how furled and braided leaders cast - but sometimes it's just easier to build up a conventional knotted tapered leader, or go with a factory made knotless leader.

The furled leaders you're using - mono thread, fly tying thread, or regular monofilament line for the material?
 
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halibuthitman

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MY leaders are from feather-craft.com, my trout ones are fluorocarbon, and my steel head leaders are mono line- I have no desire to build something like these... plus feather craft has absolutely the best Ones I have ever used, from $11- $22 bucks..
 
S

Sinkline

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Dweller, I've been flyfishing Stillwater almost exclusively for 30+ years. Not to say that I know more or less than the average fly flinger, just saying I have caught/released thousands of Stillwater trout so I know my methods work at least to some degree.

If you are just learning Stillwater buy a Cortland Clear/Camo Intermediate line. Use a 7.5' 2X tapered leader (I like Rio brand) and add 3' of 3X tippet (Rio) to the leader. Fish a size#8 medium olive colored, weight forward weighted, bugger tied to the tippet with a loop knot.

Try to fish over visable weed beds, or if just searching for fish try to stay on shoals 10'-15' depth. Cast the fly and have the patience to allow the slow sinking line to sink down to within a couple feet of the bottom. Retrieve in 4"-6" very slow strips if the water is cold (Winter), and fairly fast strips if the water is warmer (Summer).

Once you catch a couple fish you will start to gain confidence and knowledge of fishing Stillwater and can expand your methods.

Good luck, and post a photo when ya catch your first Stillwater fish! :cool:



Randy
 
H

halibuthitman

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yeah, well some of us got pretty wordy and all queer about our set-ups... sinklines system is just about as good as one gets, thats the problem with fishing... we tend to start to think too much... and sometimes thinkings a trap- Go slay em'!
 
Y

Yohan

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This thread proved how little I know about stillwater, haha, although I already knew that :cool: I learned a few new tips next time I find myself on a lake though.

BTW, thanks for the website Hitman; I like it. Even though I try to support my local fly shops and purchase my stuff there... sometimes you gotta go online.
 

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