Fly Fishing Bucket List Destination: Monster Lake

Part 4 of a 4 part series

Monster Lake Ranch is a premier fly-fishing destination offering 280 acres of fishing on two private lakes, Quick Lake and Monster Lake. Well named, Monster Lake Ranch offers anglers a chance to catch trophy size Rainbow, Brown, Cutthroat, Brook and Tigers. If you want to experience big trout, Monster Lake will not disappoint.

© 2018 Stillwater Adventures. All rights reserved

Tiger Trout

Located 15 minutes south of Cody, Wyoming, Monster Lake is a place where you can go back in time and experience the true spirit of the American West on a 10,000-acre working ranch. Cabins and RV hook ups are available. Evening meals are provided for those anglers too weary from catching big fish to go into town.

© 2018 Stillwater Adventures. All rights reserved

Monster Lake in April

Monster Lake is a two-mile drive on a dirt road from the cabins. Two new cabins have been built situated next to Monster Lake. Note that cell phone service can be dodgy at the lake.

Quick Lake, located near the entrance to Monster Lake Ranch, contains brown and brook trout. When trout are rising, you will be inspired to grab your rod and fish the shoreline edges or launch your pontoon boat.

How to fish this lake:
You should bring nothing less than a 6-weight rod, and I recommend at least 1X leaders and 2X tippets due to the size of trout. Even with this size of leader, break offs can occur when trout weed you. Boats with electric motors and pontoon boats are the best way to fish Monster Lake, which is open year-round.

In April right after ice-out, fish the south end of the lake. This is because trout will cruise close to the shoreline edges along the weed line due to the warmer water. During this time of year, the fishing window begins late morning, and midge patterns have worked well.

In May, various insect hatches become more prevalent. Fishing nymph patterns has proven productive for me as seen in the following video:

© 2018 Stillwater Adventures. All rights reserved

Vickie’s All Purpose Nymph

During the last part of June, one of the most spectacular annual events begins on Monster Lake: the annual traveling sedge caddis hatch. Fishing Monster Lake during this hatch has become an annual pilgrimage for me. It is a unique opportunity to fish the traveling sedge hatch on a lake with such large trout. The size of these trout demands a number 8 hook, 13-pound leader, and 12-pound tippet.

© 2018 Stillwater Adventures. All rights reserved

Tiger Trout

© 2018 Stillwater Adventures. All rights reserved

Emerging traveling sedge caddis nymph

© 2018 Stillwater Adventures. All rights reserved

Traveling Sedge Caddis

If wind puts the hatches down, fishing nymph patterns can yield big trout as they cruise in the top few feet seeking emerging damsels and caddis nymphs. Here’s a trout caught on my All Purpose Nymph pattern:

© 2018 Stillwater Adventures. All rights reserved

© 2018 Stillwater Adventures. All rights reserved

Vickie’s All Purpose Nymph

© 2018 Stillwater Adventures. All rights reserved

Brown damsel nymph

Fall fishing at Monster lake will further delight anglers. During a mayfly hatch in September, trout cruised in less than two feet of water next to the shoreline, feasting on mayfly spinners. Positioning my pontoon boat in a few feet of water close to the aquatic plants, I enjoyed hot action using my UV Emerger pattern.

© 2018 Stillwater Adventures. All rights reserved
© 2018 Stillwater Adventures. All rights reserved

Vickie’s UV Emerger

Conclusion:
I hope you enjoyed my Fly Fishing Bucket List and are inspired to visit and fish these lakes! Now is the time to start making your plans. Call your buddies and consider including any of the lakes featured in this series on your schedule. May your travels bring you big fish, good company, and of course generate great fish stories!

Click the links below to review all the Fly Fishing Bucket List locations:
Introduction
Pronghorn Lake
Hyde Lake
Guild Ranch Reservoir
Monster Lake

Let me know if I can answer any questions you may have on any of the featured lakes. If you would like to join me at anyone of these locations, follow my blog to see my upcoming hosted trip schedule for 2019. You may reach me clicking on my contact page.

For more information about Monster Lake, check out the following video:

 

 

 

 

 

 

Click to print this article:

 

 

 

 

Copyright © 2018 Stillwater Adventures, all rights reserved,
www.stillwateradventure.com

Tagged with: , , , , ,

Fly Fishing Bucket List Destination: Guild Ranch Reservoir

Part 3 in a 4 part series

Located 30 miles southwest of Evanston, Wyoming, lies a world-class stillwater fishery. It’s known by many names including, “Guild Ranch Reservoir,” “Hawg Heaven,” “Guild and Dean Reservoir,” and “Piedmont Reservoir,” but locals know it as “Trout King Lake.” If you love big trout, this lake is certainly worth putting on your bucket list.

Guild Ranch Reservoir is truly a remarkable fishery. I always include this reservoir during my travels in the spring and fall. It can easily be fished from a pontoon boat or boat with an electric motor. This catch and release lake allows only artificial flies with barbless hooks.
© 2018 Stillwater Adventures. All rights reserved
Only fifteen anglers are allowed on the lake at one time. The Guild family owns the lake and rents a little cabin situated right next to the water. The cabin sleeps five, has electricity, a wood burning stove, three beds, a fire pit, and a two burner Camp Chef stove for cooking. Bring your own drinking water. You can camp, stay at the cabin, or stay in Evanston, a short 30-minute drive into town.

The fishing here lures anglers from all over the country. It is not the number of fish that are caught that makes this lake so compelling, it is the size and the variety of species that are available: Rainbows, Cutthroats, Brooks, Browns, and Tigers. Trout up to 34 inches in length have been caught here.

© 2018 Stillwater Adventures. All rights reserved

Tiger trout landed mid-May on my UV Midge pattern

© 2018 Stillwater Adventures. All rights reserved

Vickie’s UV Midge

How to fish this lake:
The dam, upper bay, and the island area are all productive areas to target. I find that this lake fishes the best during the spring time as the higher water levels allow access to the upper part of the lake.

A nutrient rich reservoir, Guild Ranch Reservoir supports a wide variety of aquatic insects. For example, when the damsels emerge in June, trout will position themselves close to shallow shoreline areas, particularly in the upper bay. Here they wait, gorging on the damsel pupa as they swim towards the shore to begin their emergence into adults. This is the perfect time to position yourself to cast to the shoreline to increase your odds of hooking up.

© 2018 Stillwater Adventures. All rights reserved

Recently emerged damselfly extending its wing to dry

During the spring and early summer, flying ants make their appearance. Be sure to include some flying ant patterns in various sizes to your fly box, because when the ants are on the water, I find trout will key in on them and ignore all other fly offerings.

© 2018 Stillwater Adventures. All rights reserved

Flying Black Ant

The one fly pattern that I cannot do without at Guild Ranch Reservoir is my black UV Emerger pattern. This pattern has proven to be deadly especially when there are callibaetis on the water.

© 2018 Stillwater Adventures. All rights reserved

Vickie’s UV Emerger

© 2018 Stillwater Adventures. All rights reserved

Callibaetis Mayfly

© 2018 Stillwater Adventures. All rights reserved

Trout landed with Vickie’s UV Emerger pattern

In the spring, minnows can be observed swimming in shallow shoreline areas, as seen in this photo taken in June. Minnow or streamer patterns are effective, particularly early morning along shallow shoreline areas. Once trout reach approximately 16 inches in length, their need for protein increases. Prey fish and minnows then become desired food sources.
© 2018 Stillwater Adventures. All rights reservedFish minnow patterns close to shallow shoreline areas or in the top few feet as seen in this video that was taken in May.

© 2018 Stillwater Adventures. All rights reserved

Vickie’s UV Predator Minnow

© 2018 Stillwater Adventures. All rights reserved

Trout caught on Vickie’s UV Predator Minnow

If you have never fished this lake before, I suggest you hire a guide. It provides you a shortcut to learning how to fish this lake. The time that you spend learning how and where to fish this lake will be well worth it once you hook into a fish of a lifetime.

When fishing Guild Ranch Reservoir, you may want to include Monster Lake to your plans as it is an easy 5½ hours’ drive away. That way, you fish two lakes which both offer exceptional trophy trout.

Watch for my next article on Monster Lake

Click the links below to review all the Fly Fishing Bucket List locations:
Introduction
Pronghorn Lake
Hyde Lake
Guild Ranch Reservoir
Monster Lake

If you have any questions, please contact me by clicking here.

 

 

 

 

Click to print this article:

 

 

 

 

 

Copyright © 2018 Stillwater Adventures, all rights reserved,
www.stillwateradventure.com

Tagged with: , , , , , ,

Fly Fishing Bucket List Destination: Hyde Lake

Part 2 in a 4 part series

Hyde Lake is located on the historic Yamsi Ranch in southern Oregon. This lake is a hidden gem just waiting for you to discover its remarkable fishing. I enjoy fishing this lake in the spring, April through June, and in the fall, September until the ice arrives in November. This beautiful destination will fill your senses and offer peaceful solitude.

© 2018 Stillwater Adventures. All rights reserved

Mark Doolittle in pontoon boat fishing Hyde Lake

Located 30 minutes east of Chiloquin, Oregon, Hyde Lake is an idyllic 300-acre lake nestled in the pines. It is stocked with trophy rainbows 18-24 inches in length weighing up to 6 pounds. Hyde Lake is an easy five-hour trip from Portland, Oregon. It is the perfect addition to your next trip to the Klamath Lake area.

Pontoon boats and float tubes work well here because the trout are usually located within easy kicking distance from the dock. I eagerly wait for spring fishing when Hyde Lake’s warmer water temperatures wake up the trout from their winter hiatus and they start actively feeding again. The trout fight hard here, and their aggressive takes are always exciting to experience as seen in this video:

© 2018 Stillwater Adventures. All rights reservedIn the spring, the fishing can be spectacular as the trout are hungry, and every strike is aggressive. During this cloudy day, with a slight ripple on the water, the trout were feeding in the top few feet. My Grizzly Bug pattern proved to be especially productive.

© 2018 Stillwater Adventures. All rights reserved

Vickie’s Grizzly Bug

© 2018 Stillwater Adventures. All rights reservedHyde is a nutrient-rich habitat and teams with damsels and mayflies in the spring and summer. In summer, dragonflies emerge and can be found flying close to the lake feeding on insects. The lake fishes well through the fall months.

This year the lake began to freeze up in November as the water temperature dipped to 38 degrees. The air temperature was 19 degrees at 10:30 am, and I had to break through the shoreline ice to launch my pontoon boat!

© 2018 Stillwater Adventures. All rights reserved

Ice Forming

However, enduring the cold-water temperatures did have its reward as I caught my largest trout here this year. It was 26” in length and its girth put it well into an 8-pound weight range. This trout put up a knuckle-busting fight. See what was left of my #8-4X strong hook!

© 2018 Stillwater Adventures. All rights reserved

Bent Hook!

© 2018 Stillwater Adventures. All rights reserved

Caught with Vickie’s Predator Bugger

© 2018 Stillwater Adventures. All rights reserved

Vickie’s Predator Bugger

How to fish this lake:
The fish concentrate in the bay area at the southern end and along weed line next to shallow shoreline edges. I have also been productive fishing in the bay area in front of the dock. Trolling a leech or bugger pattern has proven productive.

Fishing close to the shoreline area, Mark Doolittle caught this nice trout using my UV Midge pattern.

© 2018 Stillwater Adventures. All rights reserved

Trout caught on Vickie’s Black & Copper UV Midge

© 2018 Stillwater Adventures. All rights reserved

Vickie’s UV Midge

If fishing in southern Oregon, Hyde Lake is the perfect addition to add to your travels. Since it is only 45 minutes from Pronghorn Lake, consider fishing both lakes your next trip to the area!

The next articles will include my favorite lakes in Wyoming. Watch for my next destination: Guild Ranch Reservoir.

Click the links below to review all the Fly Fishing Bucket List locations:
Introduction
Pronghorn Lake
Hyde Lake
Guild Ranch Reservoir
Monster Lake

For more information or to schedule a guide trip click here.

Click to print this article:

Copyright © 2018 Stillwater Adventures, all rights reserved,
www.stillwateradventure.com

Tagged with: , , , , ,

Fly Fishing Bucket List Destination: Pronghorn Lake

Part 1 in a 4 part series

The largest trout I ever caught was at Pronghorn lake. She was 30 inches in length and weighed in at 25 pounds! Imagine yourself hooking into trout of that size… This remarkable fishery provides a relaxing oasis in a truly spectacular environment to go off grid, relax with your friends, and most importantly, the opportunity to catch trophy size trout.Pronghorn Lake is located in Southern Oregon, 45 minutes east of Klamath Falls. It is an easy 6-hour drive from either Sacramento or Portland.

© 2018 Stillwater Adventures. All rights reserved

Pronghorn Lake at sunrise

RV hook ups, camp sites, and two rustic cabins are available at Pronghorn Lake for anglers who want to stay overnight. At night you can see the Milky Way, listen to coyotes, and share laughter with your fishing buddies while cooking up steaks on outdoor barbeque grills.© 2018 Stillwater Adventures. All rights reservedRobert Simms, host of The Outdoor Show with Bob Simms, caught this nice trout in November.

© 2018 Stillwater Adventures. All rights reserved

30-inch trout caught on Vickie’s Predator Bugger

There are two cabins equipped with refrigerator, heater, beds, microwave and coffee pot. A port-a-potty is available. © 2018 Stillwater Adventures. All rights reservedBring your own bedding, food and water. Cell phone coverage can be dodgy. For those who want the convenience of a motel, Klamath Falls is just 45 minutes away.

© 2018 Stillwater Adventures. All rights reserved

Vickie’s Predator Bugger

This 150-acre lake is stocked with Kamloop rainbow trout. Once you hook up with these hard fighting fish, it will test your tackle and your ability to land it. You soon realize why this is such a special place. The owner of Pronghorn Ranch, Mike Tyrholm, is committed to stocking the lake with trophy size trout. He says he just doesn’t want to wait for the trout to grow big. In the spring of 2019, Mike plans to double the number of trout he stocks.

How to fish this lake:

Barbless hooks and rods no smaller than a 6-weight are required for this catch and release lake. To prevent breaking off the possible fish of a lifetime, use a 0X or 1X monofilament leader with a size smaller fluorocarbon tippet, 1X or 2X, respectively, as was used in this recent video from November 2018:

The best way to fish this lake is from a boat because of limited shoreline access. You may bring your own boat with an electric motor or use float tubes or pontoon boats. Boat rentals are also available.

Pronghorn Lake is open to anglers during the spring and fall. Fish have been caught all over the lake, although there can be seasonal variations. I generally recommend fishing the east side in the spring and the west side in the fall.

During the fall, when the colder nights drive a drop in water temperature, the trout become more active. As the water continues to cool and winter approaches, fish will be located at the north and south ends of the lake, near the fish feeders.

Using an indicator and floating line, I landed this monster trout in the fall using my UV Pupa pattern.
© 2018 Stillwater Adventures. All rights reserved

© 2018 Stillwater Adventures. All rights reserved

Vickie’s UV Pupa

Pronghorn is a destination where you can enjoy the camaraderie of your friends while sitting next to the evening campfire after a day of epic fishing. It’s a perfect place to unwind, go off the grid, and catch large beautiful trout. Certainly, Pronghorn Lake is a worthy addition to your bucket list!

© 2018 Stillwater Adventures. All rights reserved

Adam Kostiv, Laura O’Quin, and Ryan Noon

© 2018 Stillwater Adventures. All rights reserved

Tony DiLallo catching a fish

© 2018 Stillwater Adventures. All rights reserved

First-time fly angler, Laura O’Quin attending the annual Pronghorn Lake Rendezvous, Oct, 2018

Watch for the next article featuring: Hyde Lake, Oregon

Click the links below to review all the Fly Fishing Bucket List locations:
Introduction
Pronghorn Lake
Hyde Lake
Guild Ranch Reservoir
Monster Lake

For more information and or if you would like to schedule a guide trip click here.

 

 

 

 

Click to print this article:

 

 

 

 

Copyright © 2018 Stillwater Adventures, all rights reserved,
www.stillwateradventure.com

Tagged with: , , , , ,

Introduction to Fly Fishing Bucket List 4-Part Series

© 2018 Stillwater Adventures. All rights reservedImagine hooking a giant fish that bends your rod in half. Feel your heart pound in your chest as the trout tests your rod and tackle’s ability to survive the pressure of the fight and ultimately win the battle. Hear the splash of water as the trout leaps in the air fighting with all its might, doing everything in its power to avoid capture. The experience of landing a trophy trout will be burned into your memory and relived over and over as you recall the satisfaction of landing such a remarkable fish. To catch trophy trout like this, anglers must fish lakes where trophy trout live.

© 2018 Stillwater Adventures. All rights reservedOver the years I have developed my favorite list of lakes for their remarkable trophy size trout. My favorite lakes in Oregon are Pronghorn Lake and Hyde Lake, and Guild Ranch Reservoir and Monster Lake in Wyoming.

© 2018 Stillwater Adventures. All rights reservedAll these lakes can easily be fished from a pontoon boat or boat with an electric motor. They all are strictly catch and release and allow only artificial flies with barbless hooks. These lakes do not require a fishing license as they are pay for play.

In my next four blog articles, I will provide a description of each of these locations and brief suggestions on how to fish them. After you learn about them, I suspect you will want to call up your fishing buddies and include these lakes in your next year’s fishing plans!

© 2018 Stillwater Adventures. All rights reservedI will soon post a schedule for hosted trips to these lakes. I invite you to add these dates to your schedule, bring your buddies and join me!

Watch for the 2019 Hosted trip schedule!

 

 

 

Click to print this article:

 

 

Copyright © 2018 Stillwater Adventures, all rights reserved, www.stillwateradventure.com

Tagged with: , , , ,

Fall Fishing at Monster Lake

Just finished several days of some hot early fall fishing at beautiful Monster Lake, outside of Cody, WY. Caught gorgeous Brook, Cutthroat, Tiger, Brown, and Rainbows upto 28″. Next stop: Piedmont Reservoir!

Beautiful Rainbow!

Another Rainbow

Mule deer

Sunrise over Monster Lake

Come Fish Pronghorn Lake!

Pronghorn Lake is opening early on September 28th, 2018! The fish are in great shape!

© 2018 Stillwater Adventures. All rights reservedThose who want to attend my Pronghorn fishing rendezvous on October 27-28, 2018, please contact Mike at 541.281.3030 to make your reservation. For more information about the rendezvous and Pronghorn Lake, click here.

 

 

 

Copyright © 2018 Stillwater Adventures, all rights reserved,
www.stillwateradventure.com

Join Me At Monster Lake, June, 2019!

Here’s a video taken when I fished the traveling sedge caddis hatch at Monster Lake in June, 2018:

I’m hosting anglers at Monster Lake to fish this incredible hatch, June 27-30, 2019. Join me!

Contact me if you are interested.

Copyright © 2018 Stillwater Adventures, all rights reserved,
www.stillwateradventure.com

Traveling Sedge Caddis

© 2018 Stillwater Adventures. All rights reserved

The traveling sedge one of the largest of 1200 species of caddisfly found in North America. Its name is derived from the adults’ distinctive behavior of running-skittering across the surface which creates a wake. The wake attracts the attention of trout, which are drawn to the prospect of a juicy source of protein. During a hatch, trout will key on these tasty insects which can be over an inch in length.

Monster Lake located south of Cody, Wyoming, provides a unique opportunity to fish the traveling sedge hatch. After experiencing this hatch myself, this article provides information on fishing strategies and techniques that brought me success.

Increasing your understanding of the sedge’s life cycle, habitat, and behavior will enable you to better understand presentation, line selection, and retrieves when fishing this extraordinary hatch.

© 2018 Stillwater Adventures. All rights reserved

I. Traveling Sedge Caddis Life Cycle

An aquatic cousin of the moth, the adult sedge caddis is light tan in color, and can grow to an inch or more in length. Its mottled brown and tan wings fold to form a tent shape. It has long legs and its antennae can exceed the length of its body. The life cycle includes the egg, larva, pupa and adult stage.

The traveling sedge skates across the water creating a wake before taking flight to mate. Mating occurs on the ground amid shoreline vegetation. Their life span as an adult is relatively short, devoted solely to mating and depositing eggs.

© 2018 Stillwater Adventures. All rights reserved

Traveling sedge caddis wake

After mating, the female returns to the water, releasing her eggs by dipping the end of her abdomen into the water while skittering across the water’s surface. After the eggs are deposited, they sink to the bottom and within a few weeks hatch into larva.

© 2018 Stillwater Adventures. All rights reserved

Female laying eggs

The young larva form cocoon-like casings and undergo up to 5 instars (molts) during a 2-year period. Each time they molt, they shed their larval casings. The final instar transforms the larva into the pupa stage. The pupa breaks out of their larval case and begins its steady swim from the bottom of the lake to the surface. Using their long hind legs to propel them, they make short gliding movements upwards towards the surface. Upon reaching the surface, they shed their pupal casing to emerge as an adult.

© 2018 Stillwater Adventures. All rights reserved

Traveling Sedge crawling out of its pupal casing

After the pupae emerge as adults on the surface, the traveling sedge positions its wings upright to dry.

© 2018 Stillwater Adventures. All rights reserved

Interestingly, the color of their abdomen changes after emergence. The abdomen of a recently emerged adult sedge adult has striations of yellow and olive. The color of the abdomen then changes to a tan color. Trout will key on both the newly emerged adults skittering on the surface or the egg-laying females.

© 2018 Stillwater Adventures. All rights reserved

© 2018 Stillwater Adventures. All rights reserved

© 2018 Stillwater Adventures. All rights reserved

Tiger Trout taking a dry fly caddis pattern during the traveling sedge hatch at Monster Lake, Wyoming

II. Fishing Tactics: Adult Stage of Traveling Sedge

Line Selection: When adult traveling sedges are hatching, use a floating line in olive or other darker and muted colors. I find that in stillwater environments, a light-colored floating line is visible and spooks trout during sunny and clear water conditions.

Brian Clarke and John Goddard, in The Trout and the Fly…A New Approach (© 1987, Lyons Press), agree, stating that white or light-colored lines should not be used when the trout are close to the surface because the color is highly visible to trout. Green and blue are the least visible colors to fish during conditions of normal light. Goddard’s research found that the reflection of the sun on the line can create line flash which spooks fish.

© 2018 Stillwater Adventures. All rights reserved

Yellow and white floating line is highly visible under the surface

Leader and Tippet: Use a 9-foot monofilament leader with 24-36” fluorocarbon tippet. This leader length provided immediate response to the strike. I tested various leaders’ lengths up to 15 feet. I found that although a longer leader helped mitigate line flash during clear, flat, and sunny conditions, it created slack resulting in missed hookups.

For Monster Lake, I used a 0X leader with 1X fluorocarbon tippet to help prevent break offs; the trout on this lake are that big and aggressive! On other lakes which do not support such large trout, adjusting your leader and tippet sizes to 3X and 4X, respectively, should suffice.

Retrieve: Use a continuous, short, slow, 4-inch retrieve, interspersed with distinct 4-5 second pauses. I observed trout take the fly during the pause while the fly sat quietly on the surface. The reason to slow down the retrieve is because of the effect warmer water has on trout’s feeding behavior. When the water warms up, fish are less willing to chase a fly due to the lower oxygen content in the upper sections of the water column.

Several times I observed the trout first swamping the traveling sedge to prevent it from flying away, then taking the subsurface sedge on the second pass. If you see this happening, watch and wait. After the trout makes its first pass, continue to strip with a slow strip of the drowned fly. The trout will take it on the second pass. Wait until you feel the line tighten before setting the hook. This technique is harder to execute than you might imagine. It can be difficult to wait and resist reacting when a huge trout boils over your fly on its first pass!

© 2018 Stillwater Adventures. All rights reserved

This trout swamped the fly first and then came back and took it on the second pass

Positioning on the lake: Hatches occur in shallow water in 7-10 feet of water above submerged weed beds and next to aquatic vegetation. I also observed trout cruising along shallow shoreline edges even during sunny and flat conditions seeking these tasty morsels. If you see a trout, cast 4-5 feet ahead in front of the cruising trout.

© 2018 Stillwater Adventures. All rights reserved

Craig Aguilar, casting fly next to the shoreline edge, immediately hooked cruising trout

Floatant: Dress the fly pattern with floatant to maintain its buoyancy. Avoid greasing the leader as this causes dimples along the leader and will make it more visible to trout (described by Goddard in The Trout and the Fly).

Hatch: At Monster Lake, the hatch occurred two times a day, first between noon and 2:30 pm, and then at dusk.

Pattern Selection: Anglers should use caddis dry fly patterns that are reflective of the size of the adult traveling sedge. If fishing in lakes which support trophy size trout like Monster Lake, dry fly hook size can be up to a size #8. Select a hook that is strong enough to withstand the hard takes, aerial acrobatics, and long runs that can take you into your backing. I tried various caddis patterns and I found that they were all effective.

III. Fishing Tactics: Pupa Stage of the Traveling Sedge

During a hatch, when trout were selective to the pupa stage, they refused all offerings of the adult fly. For example, when windy conditions put the hatch down or if the hatch has not yet started, fishing a pupa pattern is effective. When trout become selective it is always to the stage of an insect, not the specific insect.

Line Selection: A floating line can be used but is problematic during windy conditions. The line will bow creating slack, and line drag will move the fly in an unnatural manner. The other issue is surface disturbance caused when retrieving the line. All these factors can spook trout. In my opinion, the two preferred line options when fishing the pupa stage are the slow intermediate sinking line, and the slow intermediate sink tip line.

Option 1: Intermediate sinking line (sink rate: 1.25-2.0 ips): The advantage of this line is it is possible to move the fly diagonally upwards through the water column, mirroring the upward movement of the pupa rising towards the surface. To do this, cast 30-40 feet, count down 30 seconds, then start the retrieve. The 30-count allows the fly to sink. When the fly is retrieved, it moves at an upwards diagonal angle, mirroring the upward movement of the traveling sedge pupa. Slow, 4-6-inch retrieves interspersed with definite pauses from 3-7 seconds.

Option 2: Intermediate sink tip line (sink rate: 1.25-2.0 ips): The advantage of this line is that it is effective in maintaining the fly in the top 2 feet of the water column above the weed beds. It also works well along shallow shore line areas. After casting the line, use a 5 second count before starting the retrieve. If no strike occurs, retrieve the line 4-6 inches, pause for 5 seconds and then continue to repeat the pull and pause technique. If not hit, most likely there weren’t any trout located in that spot. Recast in a different direction.

© 2018 Stillwater Adventures. All rights reserved

Craig Aguilar landed this brown trout in using a slow intermediate seven-foot sink tip

Leader and Tippet: Use a 9-foot monofilament leader and 3 feet of fluorocarbon tippet for a combined length of 12 feet. For Monster Lake, I used a 0X leader with 1X fluorocarbon tippet.

Pattern Selection: My UV Emerger pattern in Tan, White and Rusty Brown all worked well when the trout were selective to the pupa stage.

© 2018 Stillwater Adventures. All rights reserved

Vickie’s UV Emerger

During choppy conditions, I switched to my Grizzly Bug pattern, and fished it along shallow shore line edges which proved deadly.

© 2018 Stillwater Adventures. All rights reserved

Vickie’s Grizzly Bug

Landing a big trout with attitude is always exciting, but doing so with a dry fly really offers anglers an unforgettable rush. If running into your backing, watching aerial acrobatics, and white knuckling it while landing behemoth trout fires up your imagination, then you should add fishing the traveling sedge caddis hatch at Monster Lake to your bucket list!

Watch for my next article which will be on chironomids and midges!

© 2018 Stillwater Adventures. All rights reserved

Copyright © 2018 Stillwater Adventures, all rights reserved, www.stillwateradventure.com

Introducing Monster Lake

Experience the spirit of the American West by visiting Monster Lake Ranch, located 15 minutes south of Cody Wyoming. This 10,000-acre ranch is a premier fly fishing destination home to trophy Rainbow, Brown, Cutthroat, Brook and Tiger Trout. If you want big trout that pull hard, Monster lake will not disappoint.

The largest trout I have caught was a brown trout that measured over 30 inches in length and had shoulders so wide that he could have been drafted as an NFL linebacker. Its body had 4 flies still attached that had broken off when previous anglers attempted to bring him in. I removed three of the flies, plus my own from this behemoth, before he jumped out of my hands to escape back into to the deep. He is still there, waiting for you to find him.

Nice accommodations including cabins, some with kitchens, are available at the lake. Dining is also available at the ranch if you are too tired from catching fish to go into town. RV hook ups are also available. Electric motored boats or pontoon boats are the best way to fish Monster Lake. I would recommend 0X leaders and 1X tippets. And yes, even though I used these sizes during the epic traveling sedge hatch in June, I still experienced breakoffs!

Check out my new video introducing Monster Lake:

Monster Lake has become one of my favorite fly fishing destinations. Well named, Monster Lake provides the fly fishing angler an extraordinary adventure that will test your angling skills. You may hire a guide or head out on your own. Contact me if you have any questions.

I have added Monster Lake to my Destinations page. Click here for the link.

Here is a blog entry from a previous trip I made to Monster Lake in May, 2018:
Fishing at Monster Lake

Copyright © 2018 Stillwater Adventures, all rights reserved, www.stillwateradventure.com

Top