Fly Fishing Q&A

Headed down for my first trip to Powell (picture is a wiper I caught at Willard bay on a size 10 wholly sight fishing carp)

I fish the Weber, and the ogden mostly, have had a lot of luck throwing flies at pineview. I’m a little intimidated by Powell, and wondering if anyone has any tips, we’ll be camped in padre bay, and all I have to fish off of is a paddle board.. (in-laws don’t want me fishing on their fancy ski boats) from what I’ve read I don’t think there is anyway I can chase down a slurp from a paddle board.. I want to cast to slurping/boiling stripers so bad.. but don’t know if it’s even possible, I’d love to have a conversation with anyone willing to help me out, let me know and I can give you my phone number, any help would be appreciated, thanks!

I'll send you a message with my phone number. Take up TR on his advice as well.

I've caught fish off a paddle board at Powell but it isn't easy. Even with my bass boat and foot controlled trolling motor that moves my boat faster than any slurp, it can still be a challenge to get positioned to cast a fly at a slurp. If you are lucky and have a slurp come close enough then you could get them off the paddle board. If you are skilled on a paddle board and with your fly rod, then you have an even better chance.

Until you have seen a number of slurps, it can be difficult to spot and recognized many of the visible slurps. I still get temporarily fooled by wind gusts cause light ripples on an otherwise calm bay. Most of slurps move at the pace of a fast walk and have anywhere from 20 to 100+ stripers. After spotting a slurp, the first goal is to determine the direction they are moving. They can suddenly change direction or go down and then reappear. When they do go down, they will often reappear nearby sometime in the next few minutes. They will take a slow moving fly but if I'm fishing a lure, I will often move it as fast as I can real to trigger a strike.
The attached image below shows a slurp from a few days ago.
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There are many other pictures of slurps on here that you can look at.

I have some videos. I'll see if I can figure out how to load them.

Attached are some flies that were effective for me early this week.
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The smaller one is on a size 10 hook and based off TR.'s design but I didn't have any EP fibers or better saltwater hook available. The large is a small bunny fly that I've used for slurping stripers effectively for several years. The exact fly isn't near as important as getting the fly in-front of the slurp. I was also using 16lb fluorocarbon as my tippet. The 16lb line barely fit through the eye of the #10 hook. You don't need to use something light like a 5X tippet. Heavier tippet allows me to land them fast so I can get my line back out there and get another one. I also don't have to retie as often when I have slurping stripers in casting range.
 
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I’ll start with the some pics. I have been getting some questions on surface flies for stripers. There is a newer pattern out by a world class tyer named Drew Chicone named a tuscan bunny. it was made for salt water but boy the action is perfect for stripers. Floating line, long hard strip set. Foam head is irregular and creates great water turbulence. Rabbit strip tail is deadly. If you are tying it would be on whatever hook size you want but I tie them on 2/0, rabbit strip or magnum strip about 2.5 inches long, he dubs in the rabbit color but for LP I think you are fine with some cross cut rabbit for a collar, followed by the foam. Pretty simple tie when you do a few. They are great for singles popping up around you and they will get eaten before they hit the water if you can get them into a boil.
TR
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I am a big fan of flies that work for a couple of species being great for a number of species. a good imitator, be it color, shape size etc. that works on one fish well most likely will work on a number of fish well. I had the opportunity to use this fly for a couple weeks down south. Reds, snook, tarpon, trout and jacks all ate it readily. Can’t wait to get it to the lake. I’ll have a few extras, if I see anyone out there that wants to try one.

TR
 
I am a big fan of flies that work for a couple of species being great for a number of species. a good imitator, be it color, shape size etc. that works on one fish well most likely will work on a number of fish well. I had the opportunity to use this fly for a couple weeks down south. Reds, snook, tarpon, trout and jacks all ate it readily. Can’t wait to get it to the lake. I’ll have a few extras, if I see anyone out there that wants to try one.

TR
Sweet, I'll be at Halls tomorrow 3:00! :giggle:
 
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Just got back tonight and once again a clouser was money. Pretty much anytime we got it in fish they ate. My son even hooked several on his tenkara rod but never got one landed. Might be a bit of a stunt but we are convinced it can happen. Btw we never got into real boils. We would see an individual fish or two and start working the area. Sometimes we could stay with an active fish for half an hour. Stripers we’re tight to the walls and you had to really pay attention to even see them.
 

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A quick tip for fishing striper boils…have a big gun on the boat and throw a surface lure such as a rebel jumping minnow. Slow roll the fish into casting range for your fly caster and have them throw at the retuning fish. Most of the time his buddies come back to the boat with him…. Quick and easy way to help a fly guy that can’t throw 90 ft. ( or 150 ft as some may claim 😉)

TR
 
There really are a few separate and distinct parts to fly fishing LP. The first is knowing what species you are looking for. There is certainly the chance to throw something anywhere and pull up anything however knowing what species you are looking for and tailoring to that species will help tremendously at the lake as “bycatch” is not big here. (Fly fishing wise…the Dungees just catch everything ever where they go…) so assuming you are looking for stripers, next look at the season. Spring…somewhere around Mother’s Day each year they start cruising the surfaces in the very back of canyons and points in canyons. Easily spooked. This time of the year I cruise long canyons and look for increasing water temp. When I find a canyon that has what I might looking for ( sunlight, shallow water, dark bottom) I shut down and wait for a few. I look for any tell tale sign on the surface. There won’t be boils but there still could be signs of movement. when I find these slurpers I throw long and light. Somewhere in this section I posted a picture of the fly. Super small and light. When one follows someone will hit. Competition rules.
As we get into warmer months I expect the food source to move out of the back canyons. by early June I am expecting slurps…where is always the key. In the past I have had areas of the lake that attract stripers that I hit up but with the water level so low my guess is whatever attracted them to that area may have changed now, or that area may be dry. I go to a bigger fly at this time, and alternate with a closures and such, moving to surface flies. my biggest thrill is a Striper knocking a fly 3 or 4 ft into the air on a miss. Then having it inhaled on the rebound. Clousers on a size 2/0 are about right at this time of the year. Intend to tie poppers that will last more than a few fish…they may be big and ugly but they always get eaten, and last.
mid summer and the boils are hot. Literally. Maybe short boils but intense ones. My favorites to find are the kind with multiple waves of fish that take turns coming up, seeming non stop action. Flies rarely spook a school…lining them does. I always try for my first few hook up’s ahead of where the school is going and waiting a few seconds so I don’t line them. If you are on my boat and you throw into the middle of a mega school and they all slap and run you might as well jump in after them lol. I don’t think much matters when you get into a school like this but poppers are always my choice. the sound of a big popper can turn a school in your direction most of the time, giving you more time to get them instead of chasing them.
the latest I fish the lake is October, so I can’t tell you much about the winter months. Big flies and potetnial boils, no one on the lake, cool air temps…most awesome.
As to fly lines, I think you may be over thinking. I use three lines. Most often a floating. Second is an intermediate sink such as a Rio Striper line, 3-4 IPS. Third is a depth charge. 7-9IPS. for Stripers it is almost always a floater and I’ll move the fly up or down in the water column with the weight of the fly. A few exceptions: assuming that there might be a big mama fish at the bottom of the school I try to get a depth charge line with a BiG fly way out in front of a school and let it sink. If they go over it in the right direction I strip from about 20 ft down and hope there is a pig down there. Unfortunately most of the time I get a walleye out of that trick, not the big Striper I am looking for. I also use depth lines and a long count down during the early spring, or when the fish are running deep and won’t come up. Truth be told, I am over that type of fishing and grab a spinning rod. and watch your trolling motor with a depth charge line lol.

I think of every species in the order I described. I cruise old reports from Wayne, looking at water temp and time of year to give me an idea of where to start. I also read the current reports from everyone here to get a better idea of what I need to look for. Sometimes someone will give you all the info you need to find fish with a very subtle hint as long as you are paying attention. The old “go to this rock and go left 100 yards and cast right” doesnt work on a lake with constantly changing water levels, nor are people willing to give up a spot publicly to thousands of people who can read this but don’t give back. Ask the right questions and you might get a PM helping you..
Aa last tip for LMB…you might be very surprised at the size of a LMB hanging in a foot of water in the rocks on sure. They might also be 10 ft deep if the water is coming up fast. For LMB I keep 2 rods rigged, both 6wghts, one with a sinker and one with a floater so I can switch back and forth fast Searching for where they are. Remember as a generic…flouro sinks, mono doesn’t. The longer the leader the more a heavy fly will sink. The heavier the fly the faster it will sink and the easier it is to bury it in your head. Tight lines.

TR
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TR,
Thank you for the information I really do appreciate. I'm a Hugh fan of the Blane Chocklett flies and think they will do real well here let me know if you ever want to talk off line.
 
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Yo Mates
I use the exact same setup I use for stripers in the tidal runs near Plymouth Mass.
It’s a 9# GLoomis with weight forward floating line. Long leader. Hear are my go to guys.
Take into consideration…….
Your not going to grabbing the fly rod all the time. EARLY morning and at dusk. Top water explosions and heart pounding fun !
Blew out my shoulder up on the mountain.
Be awhile before I cast.
Catch some fish 4 me !
 

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Yo Mates
I use the exact same setup I use for stripers in the tidal runs near Plymouth Mass.
It’s a 9# GLoomis with weight forward floating line. Long leader. Hear are my go to guys.
Take into consideration…….
Your not going to grabbing the fly rod all the time. EARLY morning and at dusk. Top water explosions and heart pounding fun !
Blew out my shoulder up on the mountain.
Be awhile before I cast.
Catch some fish 4 me !
That sir, is the exact type of popper I am talking about!

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That looks like the Crystal Popper that you can buy at Big Y Fly Company - those work on dorado and roosterfish in Southern Baja as well - great fly and very durable. Relatively cheap too as far as poppers go. I'm loving this fly fishing info - I've never fished Lake Powell but all this talk has got me fired up. My home waters are here San Diego- and I fish a lot of southern Baja mangrove estuaries. I'm going to have to carve out some time to get over there to Powell - it looks really fun. Thanks for the info!
 
I was on a trip down south recently and came across a fly line I had developed for the lake. I threw it on the 8 weight and gave it a throw. I had forgotten what this line was about and it was kinda fun to cast. I have mentioned this before however probably worth throwing it up here again. There are times you need to have a very short back cast at th e lake. Think up close to the moki wall or casting from a shoreline with rocks or hill behind you preventing a long backcast. Take a piece of lead core line..flexible not stiff. Measure out a length that will probably overload your rod and put on 150’ of amnesia running line (or equivalent). Get the shooting line past the tip and practice a good load and throw. gradually snip off and shorten pieces of the shooting head until you can throw the line without overloading the rod. Done. My example was 22 ft. Of shooting head on 150’ of amnesia 20lb. 8 wt, single load (1 backcast) and it will go well over a hundred feet. Now you have a 22 ft. Backcast and a good distance on the throw. The line is not really a joy to cast, and don’t believe the “no memory” on the amnesia spool, but when you are stuck tied up to a wall for a few hours with your buds it will put a smile on your face to still be able to cast and catch fish with a fly rod. This is also a great setup for early season stripers when they are running deeper than 10 feet as this setup sinks super fast and you can put a bushy enticing fly at depth for a long time with minimal movement just waiting for the school to swim by.

TR
 
I would think a 6-weight would be a good compromise - light enough to make smallmouth and smaller stripers fun but heavy enough to handle a big bass or good size striper (just have enough backing). I just got a Temple Fork Blue Ribbon 6-weight with a fighting butt. Looking forward to trying it out on smallmouth up in the lake and big rainbows below the dam. I have a 5-weight in the same series, but it's strictly a trout rod.

By the way, Big Y Fly Company had some great deals in rod/reel/line and backing combos. They even spool the backing and line on the reel for you, and they gave you a choice of several different lines with each combo.

Ed Gerdemann
 
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