Fly & Bobber Technique

October 11, 2008

As a professional fishing guide, I am often asked if I “fly fish.” My common response is, “yes, I fish with flies, but not with a fly rod.” Most people are surprised to here that you can catch trout on flies with a bait casting or spinning rig. The truth is, this method will out fish most of the purists 8 to1.

Most fishermen, who fly fish, do so from shore. Conventional fly fishermen need to wade out into the water, or utilize a float tube, to create the required distance behind them for casting. If you use a spinning rig, you can keep you feet dry and cast much further then your purist friends.

One of the secrets lies in a water bobber. This is a plastic bobber, which has a hollow center tube. You can thread you line through the tube allowing for an adjustable distance between the fly and the bobber. The reason I use a water bobber is that the tube can be pushed on one end of the bobber to allow water to partially or fully fill the bobber. This provides weight for casting distance; but will sink slowly when fully filled, or floats when only partially filled. This solves one of the biggest problems when fly fishing, which is getting the fly to the fish.

I thoroughly enjoy catching trout or bass on flies. They seem to fight harder because the hook is usually lodged in the corner of the mouth. The trout tend to become airborne more when hooked by a fly.

Rigging for Flies: (See Photo)
Main Line: Runs through bobber & bead, then ties to barrel swivel.
Leader: Tie the fly on 4-pound fluorocarbon line or leader. Leader length should be 6-8’. Tie the leader on to the barrel swivel.

The Presentation:
Fill the bobber approximately half full of water.
Cast the bobber. Give a little flick on the rod to locate the fly and bobber. This will also straighten out the leader to prevent knots. Retrieve the fly slowly.

If you see a fish rise, cast past the rise and retrieve the fly through the rise ring in the water. The trout will strike quick and hard. They think they are crushing an insect in their jaws. Many times you will see the fish take the fly. Set the hook! You must keep the tension on the fish or he will spit the hook.

If the trout are not rising, completely fill the bobber with water. When you cast it out, it will sink slowly. Count to five or so and retrieve slowly. The longer you count before retrieving, the deeper the fly will run. You will need to play with the depth until you find the fish.

Have a wonderful time fishing!

Ken Bear Cole
Fishing with Bear


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