Campfire thoughts: Fish biting at bubble/swivel?

Public High Lakes Forum High lakes discussion Campfire thoughts: Fish biting at bubble/swivel?

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    • #115968
      Ryan Bowering

      Hey everyone,

      Was just curious to hear your thoughts. I’m pretty sure the other day I got a nice bit of action towards my bubble float and swivel!

      Some of them happened kind of far away, so I couldn’t see at first, but I was noticing the hook was flying out of their mouths,frustrating!, but after a few more strikes, I’m pretty sure they were going after the bubble and not the wet fly!

      I suppose it’s a clue as to what they are going after? or just really hungry fish?

      It was making me laugh/wish I had a hook on that thing! lol

      Just curious if anyone had any campfire thoughts!


    • #115971
      Brian Curtis

      Yeah, that happens frequently and it is always frustrating. Sometimes it just means that they are hungry and you can laugh it off. But sometimes it means that they are keying on something on the surface. In those situations you want to get your fly floating. This can be accomplished with a new fly, or by adding floatant, or sometimes it will work to reel a bit quickly so the fly floats to the surface. The latter will depend on the fly and how the fish respond to a moving fly. All the various variables are what make it fun.

    • #115972
      Ryan Bowering

      Hey, once again, thanks Brian!

      I did actually catch one of those with a dry fly and bubble. I’m not actually sure if the fly was above or below water when it was taken.

      And yea, I discovered that if I reel in quickly enough, I can manually float the fly if it had sunk, but wasn’t sure if it was too fast to be taken or not, so thanks for letting me know it’s at least viable sometimes.
      I was also wondering if:
      A) you guys blow dry your dry flies before every cast
      B) if there are dry flies specifically for bubble fishers with little floats,

      but now you mention floatant. looks like it comes in various goo forms? any favourite brand?

      thanks sir!

      I really do love the tinkering aspect of fishing in this state. Back home we jigged or used worm and bobbers and caught a lot of fish. It’s more of a unique challenge out here.


    • #115973
      Brian Curtis

      When I need the fly to be dry I will normally blow it dry before every cast.

      You can tie flies with closed cell foam that will float no matter what. Flies like that normally float very high and are often used for visibility in running water. I imagine there might be someone who has come up with foam patterns good for fishing with a bubble in still waters, but I’ve never used one.

      I don’t have a particular floatant brand that I favor. Perhaps someone who knows more then me will chime in.

    • #116067

      I like Dilly Wax, believe it’s made in Great Britain, recommended/sold in the States by Doug Swisher and others.

      Pages 168 & 169 in the 1938 book “Trout” by Ray Bergman talks about a DIY floatant preparation of two ounces of shaved paraffin to one pint of non-leaded gasolene or benzine; I’ve used white gas. Dip the fly on a tippet into a small bottle of it, put the cap on and shake. The fly comes out covered in wax and the gas quickly evaporates. I would hook the fly onto a rubber band attached to my vest or pack, and holding the fly by the tippet I give the rubber band a few flicks to remove the excess wax, It also dries the fly. The fly will float like a cork for quite a while even after taken by a fish. Very cheap to make. The main reason I haven’t continued to use it is the gas evaporates quickly even in the small sealed bottle so I have to remember to add gas before each trip and it’s hassle. But it’s the best floatant I’ve ever used.

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