Fish just under surface

Discussion in 'Stillwater' started by Jim Hartwell, Mar 18, 2013.

  1. Jim Hartwell Jim

    Posts: 31
    Tulalip Wa
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    I live at port susan. We have a small privet lake that last year the tribe put in 3000 cuts. Yesterday I was down at the lake just looking around. The lake was alive with some thing feeding just under the surface.
    What do you think they were feeding on?;)
  2. Darryl Pahl Active Member

    Posts: 150
    Seattle, WA
    Ratings: +89 / 0
    Emerging midges would be my guess.
  3. GAT Active Member

    Posts: 4,009
    Willamette Valley, OR
    Ratings: +2,592 / 0
    Probably fish pellets.
    X-rated Death Squad likes this.
  4. triploidjunkie Active Member

    Posts: 2,318
    Grand Coulee, WA
    Ratings: +1,264 / 0
    Darryl is likely correct. Boils right below, sometimes a fin breaking the surface. Put a corresponding midge pupae pattern a foot under an indicator or use a hand twist retrieve with and unweighted fly(if the the lake is open that is).
    Irafly likes this.
  5. Jeff Dodd Active Member

    Posts: 1,576
    Langley, WA
    Ratings: +356 / 0
    Love seeing those swirling dorsal fins slowly working their way around the lake! I go first for a Chrome chironomid pupa just below the surface, as triploidjunkie described.
    Islander likes this.
  6. Jim Hartwell Jim

    Posts: 31
    Tulalip Wa
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    Thanks all. The lake so not open yet for the year. I have been told the tribe may put more fish in this year.
  7. Irafly Active Member

    Posts: 3,618
    Everett, Washington, USA.
    Ratings: +1,051 / 1
    I will second this notion but I will also say that when this is happening that a mid as little as inches under an indicator can also be deadly. Sometimes a foot under is below their sight when they are up at that level.
  8. Tim Lockhart Working late at The Office

    Posts: 1,934
    Mill Creek, WA
    Ratings: +267 / 0
    That can be a tougher situation than meets the eye but, once you find something that works, it can be sucker city. Another simple/effective one is just take your dry fly setup and instead tie on a small GRHE, a 14 or 16. Troll it, hand twist it or strip it sorta quick - I've seen all those work, sometimes in the same situation.
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  9. robl Member

    Posts: 423
    Richland WA
    Ratings: +7 / 0

    What type of indicator do you use for fishing just under the surface?

    Pinch foam? The corkies that I use are just too big.
  10. Tim Cottage Formerly tbc1415

    Posts: 1,685
    Outer Duvall
    Ratings: +244 / 1
    I don't see any reason to use an indicator if you are fishing just under the surface and you can see the fish boiling. Just use a dry line. You can see your line, you know where your fly is, you can see the fish boiling and you will certainly feel if not see the take as long as you maintain a reasonably straight line.

  11. Irafly Active Member

    Posts: 3,618
    Everett, Washington, USA.
    Ratings: +1,051 / 1

    I have as of yet found the fish to be frightened by the size of my indicator so I just use a standard slip indicator.
    Tim, if I can make it work to watch an indicator slip under, then I'm going to do it. Besides the indicator is one more... well indicator of the take and it certainly doesn't hurt when you have it dialed in.
  12. jwg Active Member

    Posts: 538
    West Richland, WA
    Ratings: +106 / 0
    I tie in a tiny peice of yarn, white polypropylene or watershed material from my flytying supplies.

    I dont like the plop of a bigger indicator if I can avoid it, but in a hurry, I'll use the existing indicator adjusted for a very shallow fly. It still works but I dont know if I am spooking fish with the plop.

    I do have some pretied chironomid pupa on a tippet with the yarn indicator tied in, so I can tie these on quickly and not fuss with tying in the yarn indicator, when I cant remember how to do the knot right.

    When I can remember the knot, of course, tying in yarn is quick.

  13. Drifter Active Member

    Posts: 1,628
    Ratings: +637 / 2
    When the fish are boiling and fining and I can not see an adult or pupa I always start with this fly to match the glass midge hatch with a 15 to 16 foot leader on a dry line. this pattern has about 5 turns of .010 lead wire and can be cast to let sink dead and popped up with short strips when fish get in it's zone making it look like it's rising - or - very slowly pulled under the film. like mentioned watching the leader for movement works for me also!

    sippers 004.jpg

    For a deeper sink a red tungsten added =

    tungston softy\'s 017.jpg
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  14. zen leecher aka bill w born to work, forced to fish

    Posts: 3,151
    Moses Lake, WA
    Ratings: +963 / 1
    I use the pinch on foam indicators at Rocky Ford. I've found the hard ones scare the fish (when I'm casting). I have fished as shallow as 6 inches below the indicator but not at Rocky Ford. At Burke last year I was fishing foam pinch ons 12 inches above the fly and catching trout in the shallows. I'd see the trout swim under the indicator and the indicator start to follow the trout off.
  15. fly-by Active Member

    Posts: 160
    Tangled in the Pines
    Ratings: +33 / 0
    Had this exact situation on Saturday. For every splashy rise taking an adult Chironomid off the top, there were 5 rises where just a fin subtly broke the surface. Size 18 gray soft hackle with peacock body fished in the film on a floating line was the ticket. We caught fish on dries, but the bigger numbers and much bigger fish were in the top 6" of the water column.
  16. chief Active Member

    Posts: 348
    Portland, OR
    Ratings: +123 / 1
    I've always thought this was a good idea for the fish just under the surface, but I tied up a few in various colors and have yet to hook a fish on one..... overthinking it I guess........ this is not one I tied myself, but gives you the idea.

    Mark Kraniger likes this.
  17. robl Member

    Posts: 423
    Richland WA
    Ratings: +7 / 0
    Sweet looking fly though chief!

    Even if all it impress is me.
  18. GAT Active Member

    Posts: 4,009
    Willamette Valley, OR
    Ratings: +2,592 / 0
    If I must use an indicator, I also go with the Cortland pinch-on foam jobs... they are much more discreet than other bobbers when hitting the water.

    I don't think the "parasol" style of midge emergers are presented deep enough and are too close to the surface. Most of the time, I need at least a foot between the bobber and the emerger pattern to catch the feeding trout. The parasol emergers are what, an inch below the surface? I can't see how that dog will hunt.
  19. Tim Cottage Formerly tbc1415

    Posts: 1,685
    Outer Duvall
    Ratings: +244 / 1
    With or without the parasol thats a good looking fly chief. One potential problem with parasol flies is that they often helicopter through the air causing twisted leaders.
    Also, to get them to hang properly there is a delecate balance between floatability of the parasol and weight of the fly below. Too much weight below and the whole thing sinks. Too little weight below and the whole thing can land on its side and stay that way. Either condition defeats the intent of the design.

  20. GAT Active Member

    Posts: 4,009
    Willamette Valley, OR
    Ratings: +2,592 / 0
    I think the pattern is another one of those that seemed like a good idea without adequate testing to insure it actually performed as perceived. I wonder what the chances are that the originator tried them extensively in an aquarium or at least a bathtub before showing them as a viable pattern?
    Jim Wallace likes this.