There are several big fish lakes in the vicinity of our Canim Lake summer camp, generally stocked with rainbows but a few with brook trout or kokanee. On a recent trip to the area, my friend Al and I took two boats loaded onto his big wheel pick-up truck. We first tried a lake west of 100 Mile House known for large brook trout but found that it was a bit early for big fish cruising near shore where we found them last year. We then tried a walk in lake where we have played tug of war with very large rainbows in the past. True to form, the fish were there with both of us enjoying hits, in my case, six fish hooked in about two hours! What is remarkable is that two of the strikes just screamed line out and almost immediately broke my 6.8 pound tippet! I knew it was my own fault because the number three green sink line that I was using was on a very old reel that did not allow the line to run out smoothly. In fact, on one of the strikes while both hands were on oars, the rod was almost pulled over board just before the tippet snapped! I have since replaced that reel with a new one with perfectly adjustable run-out tension. Oh yes, I did keep one rainbow just under four pounds for the table as did my friend Al.
Well all this is fine but you might ask what fly enticed the heavy strikes? It was a self created fly that I call my walk-in fly, the dressing derived by experience from previous trips to this lake.
Start by making a tail of a few strands of both blue and green crystal flash, cut very short. Next fasten a length of thin copper or gold wire to the hook shank for a later rib wrap. I think the secret to this fly might be the body colour which is a wool material I purchased from Al Fraser in Kamloops many decades ago. It is a mixture of brown and green rather fuzzy wool with a bit of added sparkle! I have no idea what it is called or where to obtain more but you can try to combine materials to approximate it. Wrap the wool forward hook bend to eye with a slight cigar shape, followed by spaced turns of the copper wire. Note, I do add lead to some of these flies but if fishing a number 3 sink line or heavier, it is not necessary. Now tie in a low wing of SF flash blend, a kind of kinky olive material with strands of both clear and blue flash mixed in. Finish the fly with a slim beard hackle of olive brown calf tail. I have noticed that a thinly dressed fly with a 1x shank seems to out perform larger 2x flies. Good luck!
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