Skating For Rainbows - Spey Pages
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post #1 of 24 (permalink) Old 04-12-2015, 12:42 AM Thread Starter
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Skating For Rainbows

I'd been driving by a neglected stretch of river near my home for the past few weeks while on work assignments and kept thinking that I needed to get up and wet a line for trout there sometime. I noted that several stretches of river were nice big gravel bar runs and I visioned swinging these runs like I would for steelhead, even knowing there are no steelhead up this way.

My opportunity came today, with my grandson's morning soccer game to watch and the afternoon available to drive to this new to me stretch of river. With the mild conditions and with my twisted mind, I wondered if I could skate some of those resident trout up to the surface. I had some of my yellow stimulator colored foam skaters on hand and hoped that the trout might mistake one for an early golden stone.

I started a the very top of a large gravel bar run and due to the wind, I started off with my 11' 6wt Cabela's TLR switch with a 350 gr Ambush head and mono leader setup. I had a small yellow stimulator "wang" on the line and worked my way down. I was swinging the skater and twitching it gently, just like I do for steelhead. By the time I was about a quarter of the way down the run, I began to question my theory that these resident trout would mistake my foam skater for a golden stone on speed.

Just as I was about to change over to a bead head wooley bugger, a fish attacked the fly and missed. It attacked and again and was on. Hey my theory worked. I landed this bright little rainbow and it didn't even feel too over powered on my switch rod.

Just as I was hoping for more surface action, they sky darkened and some rain came. I tied on a pair of wooley buggers and got several more trout on the #8 black/olive bugger with copper bead. These fish grabbed on the swing just like steelhead and a few of these fish were pulling line from my clicker instantaneously on the grab - I was having fun!

The sun came back out and so did the skater and a few more surface grabs and another nice rainbow came to hand on the yellow skater.

With the slow winter steelhead season I've been having, it was great to actually be able to catch something and getting these resident trout on the swing and on a skater to boot was refreshing. Discovering these steelhead-like runs which hold nice resident trout will keep me occupied until the local hatchery summer runs show up in fishable numbers.

Todd
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post #2 of 24 (permalink) Old 04-12-2015, 11:37 AM
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Nice

Some beauty photos there Todd.

Nice when a new plan is successful. I think I will try it on our Trout as they are starting to nose the surface. Now I have to tie up some skating Cicadas

Thanks for sharing

Grant
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post #3 of 24 (permalink) Old 04-12-2015, 02:04 PM
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I have been thinking of doing the same thing close to home.. We have been hooking some rainbows that are close to twenty inches. Almost a steelhead anyway. I was thinking a green steelhead Caddis should do the trick.
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post #4 of 24 (permalink) Old 04-13-2015, 12:04 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the compliment on the photos Grant. I just got a Nikon digital SLR, but still don't use it as much as my Pentax Point and Shoot due to how convenient it is to carry the P and S around.

Terry: I think I need to follow you around to those 20" Rainbows! You are right the green caddis are coming, I should start tying some green bodies skaters, size 10!

Todd


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post #5 of 24 (permalink) Old 04-13-2015, 12:49 AM
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I only caught one which was 19 but another gentleman had one on last week he swore was 20 during the March Brown hatch. But I would love to show you my home trout water.

By the way, talked to a guy last year, who said he had hooked five steelhesd near the same water on spoons, so hooking a Steele there could be a reality.
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post #6 of 24 (permalink) Old 04-13-2015, 06:24 PM
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Good to see you in the trout section, my friend!

Since you have lowered yourself to mere trout fishing, I must reciprocate and admit, I have tied with... dare I say it... foam!

I think it's a nice little tie that you may like, as long as spinning deer hair doesn't bother you.

I'll send you a PM brother,

-Bill
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post #7 of 24 (permalink) Old 04-14-2015, 10:58 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bwana Bill View Post
Good to see you in the trout section, my friend!

Since you have lowered yourself to mere trout fishing, I must reciprocate and admit, I have tied with... dare I say it... foam!

I think it's a nice little tie that you may like, as long as spinning deer hair doesn't bother you.

I'll send you a PM brother,

-Bill
Bill:
Thanks for the PM, nice trout skaters, even though you dared to utilize foam! Lookout it's the beginning of the end!

Let me know how you do with those trout skaters.

Todd


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post #8 of 24 (permalink) Old 04-15-2015, 03:02 PM
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I have heard of nice fish in that area for a long time, but have never given it a try. Well done!

I tied a stimulator with a foam lip for the salmonfly hatch. Works well in the fast rocky areas where stoneflies emerge and do their egg laying. Nothing like a big redside smashing a fly as it wakes through the whitewater.

"Perhaps fishing is, for me, only an excuse to be near rivers." - Roderick Haig-Brown
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post #9 of 24 (permalink) Old 04-22-2015, 01:29 PM
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After reading this, I had to give it a go. Even though I don't normally think about foam until mid-summer around here.

I tied up a size 10 skater on a TMC 200r in orange and tan.

What a blast, I worked it through a run and had a number of hatchery smolts attacking it. Unfortunately, my only hook up was a nasty foul-hook/snag.

It was so much fun watching them come out of the water, I was thinking about just cutting the hook point off next time, just to watch the rises.

-Matt

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post #10 of 24 (permalink) Old 04-22-2015, 10:59 PM Thread Starter
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Pete:
I did try some skating during the salmonfly hatch on the D several years ago and for some reason, couldn't get them to come up to anything but a dead drifted stumulator in riffles. Gotta get back there and try it.

Matt:
Cool that you gave some trout skating a try in Michigan!! Glad you had some fun. I hear you about rising and missing a lot with trout. Trout tend to make quicker, "snappier" rises to skaters, I think since it is more of a feeding response vs. the "killing" response of steelhead. With steelhead, due to their size, the rises often seem slower and more deliberate - speaking of which, can't wait til my local steelhead show up.

In the meantime I continue skating for my local trout and having fun. In fact I got out today and similarly to you, had a bunch of rises, but no solid hookups.

Todd


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post #11 of 24 (permalink) Old 04-23-2015, 01:00 AM
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Skating for Trout

I have been messing around with skating flies for trout for years. It works very well but I am not anywhere close to "dialed in" in the matter. I have caught many fish on skated flies but the most memorable are the explosions from large fish sans hook up. I can't wait to experiment more on the Madison & Yellowstone!

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post #12 of 24 (permalink) Old 04-23-2015, 02:34 AM
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Todd,
I hear you there on the fish on the lower Deschutes, they seldom eat waked salmonflies. Other sections of the Deschutes (and other rivers) where salmonflies also hatch, though, fish will chase a waking bug a long ways. On another note, this past weekend I ALMOST riffle hiched an elk hair caddis and waked it across the river. I decided since surface action was almost nonexistant I would wait till another time when raising a trout would be more likely and continued nymphing. I know you would have done it, no problem, but I lack your determination when it comes to the waked fly.

"Perhaps fishing is, for me, only an excuse to be near rivers." - Roderick Haig-Brown
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post #13 of 24 (permalink) Old 04-23-2015, 11:13 PM Thread Starter
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Lawrence:
Let me know how your skating goes on the Madison and Yellowstone! When I lived in Bozeman from 93-94', those rivers were among my homewaters. Of course I fished the heck out of the Gallatin. Wished I would have tried skating for trout when I lived out there!

Pete:
I wonder why those lower D redsides don't go for a skated stone?? It sure would be fun if they did, they fight like minature steelhead - I'd never seen 13-14" trout take me into my backing before, some of the larger ones are unstoppable!

I sure am glad that trout elsewhere chase skated stones. Not having the crazy persistence I have with skating is probably a good thing - you are definitely more mentally balanced than me and catch way more fish!

Todd


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post #14 of 24 (permalink) Old 04-24-2015, 10:43 AM
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Quite literally one of the funnest things to do is skating a fly for big Thompson River rainbows. 5/6wt Anglers Roost 14footer with some SGS scandi, using ska-hoppers.......heaven.
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post #15 of 24 (permalink) Old 04-29-2015, 12:15 PM
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Can you skate a fly any time of the day or do certain times work better (early morning or late in the day)? Is there certain weather you look for like sunny or overcast?
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