This past July 1st weekend once again found us at our Canim Lake summer camp. Of the many good fly fishing lakes in the 100 Mile area, Valentine Lake is a favourite! The weather had just turned sunny and warm so what more excuse did I need to try for some of those large rainbows that lurk in Valentine Lake?
My usually reliable Valentine Lake Sedge, as in the previous article # 178, and also my Caddis Crawler as in #52, did not produce any strikes in the usual spots near shore. However, I noticed that a fisherman anchored in a pontoon boat in deeper water a fair distance from shore was having periodic success fishing a chironomid. I quietly moved my U-tube a bit closer and politely asked what he was using. He then generously shared information not only on the chironomid colour (maroon), but also a very critical fact that the trout were not hitting anywhere near the surface but were deep at 25 to 30 feet! This fact changed my luck around completely with several rainbows hooked in the 18 to 20 inch range! Yes, it is more difficult to cast with that length of leader, especially if you are using a large moveable strike indicator, but I found a cast cross wind allowed the fly and long leader to billow out with the wind and not tangle. My experience here showed that fish are often deeper than you might expect and a long leader with the right fly is positively the answer. Allow me to share this information with you!
Crimp the hook barb and slide the bead to the hook eye. Next attach a length of thin white thread to the hook shank and let it extend well past the hook bend. Make the body by very tightly wrapping a very thin piece of burgandy wool or stretchy micro tubing hook bend to the bead. Follow this up by winding the white thread in spaced turns also to the bead to form the rib. However, do not trim it at this point but allow the thread to project just past the bead. The final step is to make a collar with several turns of dark olive super floss just behind the bead taking care not to disturb the white thread left over the bead. Cement, tie off and you have finished a Valentine Lake chironomid!
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