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May Setup of the Month - Golden Fly Shop

May Setup of the Month

Flies: When it comes to Stillwater, no flies will catch more fish than chironomids and leeches.  Contrary to popular belief, trout are not the only fish that eat these, and many fish species in your local stillwaters will gorge on these plentiful insects and invertebrates.  You will be surprised how often bass, carp, walleye and many other species will feed on Chironomids and leeches when presented the opportunity!  Our top picks for stillwater flies are Mayer’s Mini Leech Jig (#12-16), Jumbo Juju Chironomid (#12-16), and the classic Snow cone Chironomid (#12-16) in any color.

Here are some tips for next time you are out fishing your local stillwater and using these flies: 

  1. Match the hatch:  Food for fish in lakes comes in many different shapes and sizes, so take time to observe the water for any signs of chironomid activity. Look for rising or waking fish, swarming bugs, or any surface disturbance. Take note of the size, color, and behavior of the chironomids, and select a fly pattern that closely matches these characteristics.  Leeches can often be found under rocks, so before you fish see if you can find a few and match your fly accordingly.

  2. Vary Your Depth: Chironomids and leeches can be found at various depths in the water column throughout different parts of the day.  Experiment with different depths by adjusting your leader length and the space between your flies and indicator.  When in doubt, fish a few flies at once, and space them out according to the depth of the water. For example, if you are fishing in 9 feet of water, fish three flies and space them 3 feet apart, so you are covering all parts of the water column.  Once you catch a fish, you can begin to recognize a pattern in their holding depth depending on which fly they are eating.

  3. Indicators are not the only way:  If you are not having any luck with your suspension rig, another great option is fishing without an indicator and retrieving your flies.  This is especially effective with leech patterns, as leeches are almost always moving and by moving them through the lake, you can sometimes entice some very aggressive eats.  This is also a great way to cover water and fish at a variety of different depths if you are unfamiliar with a body of water.  Vary the speed of your retrieve and experiment!

  4. Be Patient: Stillwater fishing requires patience and careful observation. It may take significant amounts of time to find the right depth, retrieve, or fly pattern that entices the fish. Pay attention to any clues, such as fish activity, water temperature, wind direction, or any sudden changes in insect behavior, and  adjust your tactics accordingly.  Stillwater anglers who put in the time and remain patient will always have the most success!


Hardy Ultralite 10’ 6 weight

With the Ultralite fly rods, Hardy hit a mark that is absolutely remarkable. This rod casts well at short, medium, and long distances, and allows for superior loop stability for long casts with long leaders.  The extra foot on the 10’ model is especially helpful when roll casting, making it our choice for fishing in lakes and ponds.  With its exceptional performance coupled with great aesthetics, it is not hard to understand why this makes the perfect tool for any of your stillwater angling needs.

Hardy Fortuna Regent 8000:

Designed for use in some of the most demanding conditions around the globe, the Fortuna Regent delivers effortless control, power, and rapid line retrieval when you need it the most. The Fortuna Regent is built around a multi-pad, carbon fibre disc drag system housed within a sealed, waterproof hub design, which offers the highest level of sealing yet seen on a Hardy fly reel. Drag is adjusted via a tensioned regulator that results in positive, linear drag application within a one turn range whilst delivering impressive top end drag. Finally, the large arbor spool delivers exceptional line pick up, and the narrow spool profile ensures easy level stacking of the line during the heat of the battle. Offering flawless reliability on your next adventure, the Fortuna Regent is a worthy successor to the original Fortuna series.

Scientific Anglers Amplitude Smooth Anadro

The Amplitude Smooth series of lines are, simply put, the highest-performance smooth fly lines in the world. With up to five times less drag and eight times the durability of traditional lines, this will change the way you look at fly line performance.  This line is incredibly well-rounded, but also exceptionally proficient when it comes to roll casting; making it the perfect stillwater line to pair with the Hardy Ultralite!

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