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Messages - Chris Puchniak

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Stillwater Fly Fishing / Re: Chironomid
« on: June 30, 2020, 07:42:57 PM »
I am not precisely sure how the size of the husk relates to the size of the chironomid, but I would always think the husk would be a size bigger.  This would be because the husk gets expanded just prior to emergence as the chironomid gets larger due to gas accumulation.  I would also think that the splitting process would make it look bigger too.  But the size difference may not be significant.

I would always start with the husk size and then scale down from there.  Often there is nothing wrong with being one size or so bigger than the hatch as long as you have the profile, color, and movement matched.  Being a bit bigger only frequently helps your fly get noticed (though it might not be so beneficial if there is a lot of fishing pressure, in which smaller and more subtle would often be best).

Chironomid fishing can be so finicky with respect to depth (especially for rainbows which are much more prone to staying at one depth) and color.

Analyze This... / Re: How would you fish this stream?
« on: June 16, 2020, 07:55:32 PM »
It looks like a nice narrow gorge in a pretty high gradient creek.  It's beautiful.  Curious if it supports a good population of wild fish or if it is very nutrient rich?  Around my area, a place like that would not hold much year round (most likely) unless there was a migratory species coming through to spawn (attracting other fish).  It would hold mostly juvenille fish here.  However, I know you are not anywhere near Vancouver, so it could be vastly different... lol.

I would be wondering if the fish were in the shadows or the sunny waters, and if that changed through the day.  It's tough to tell the time of day, but the sun looks reasonably high suggested by the shadows - but tough to really tell.

I like a small stream like this because you can really make a good effort to thoroughly cover it, and the entire length of this pool looks like it could hold fish.  I would suspect that since it is summer that the bulk of the fish would be near the whitewater at the head, but I wouldn't be surprised to find fish along the edges if it as steep as it looks, and even in the tail section.

I would like to dry fly as much as I could from about where you are standing (or further back even) with fairly light line.  I would guess that I could cover up to half the length of the run from that position.  Then I would nymph from the bottom to about where I finished with the dry slowly moving up the shadowed right side.  Switch over to the dry and cover teh head, and then change over to a nymph to finish off the coverage.

I would expect most of the action to be at the head of the run, but it is tough to predict and I wouldn't want to spook much in such a small creek.

If it was around here, I would expect migratory fish to be in the river, and fishing something suggestive of an egg like pattern or baitfish might be useful.  But I could be way off on that.  Regardless, based on the picture, it's something I would be considering.

I am guessing that picture of the nice brown trout came from this river?  :-)

Stillwater Patterns / Re: Extended body Damsel
« on: June 16, 2020, 02:45:29 PM »
That is really nice.  It is a much more prettier version of a similar fly I use for damsels which uses thread-knotted marabou (instead of ostrich) and partridge.

You have a great talent for tying (I think I have told you that before - if not, I'm saying it now!) and do a very nice step by step video.  I think I much prefer the still image voice over presentation you do as it allows me when playing it back to better 'pause' on the image I want to look at when tying as opposed to the the real-time tying videos (the latter are also good too as they demonstrate technique very nicely in certain cases where important).

You might be inspiring me to do some vids!

Rivers and Stream Fly Fishing / Re: Dropper tag knot
« on: May 22, 2020, 10:57:43 AM »
That's a good measuring tools Francois.  I do similar.  I hold the point fly or end of the tippet with my right hand thumb and index finger, stretch my arm out away from me, and tie my knot where my shoulder it - then I have dropper right on my bicep.  Makes it routine for me too.

Rivers and Stream Fly Fishing / Re: Dropper tag knot
« on: May 20, 2020, 08:37:23 PM »
I think the topic of knots is always an interesting thing because not a lot of guys all use the same knot, yet each does so well (I am diverging off of just dropper tags, but the same applies here too).  You can ask 10 good anglers what knots they use, and you you likely get about 5 different answers.

I think a lot of it has to do with the person as opposed to the knot.  Some knots seem to work well for some people and not for others (same with leader material).  I think it often comes down to the fact that it isn't the knot or material, its more the person tying the knot - and often there are things in each of our tying styles that as so habit forming that they can't be changed.  And some of these habits really impact the success of a knot.

I know guys who swear by certain knots, and it works so well for them... then I try it and 'snap'.  Lol.

But to answer this question, triple surgeons with the hemostats (which I think goes by another name too which for the moment eludes me).

Fly Tying General Discussions / Re: Adding Patina to Beads
« on: May 05, 2020, 06:24:18 AM »
I have seen that some vendors (IIRC) do sell tarnished versions of beads.

I usually hold onto a number of my tarnished beads for a few flies as well.

I am sure it will be discussed.

That went well and I am sure we will see it done again.  Very good presentation and discussion.

So unfortunate what the virus has done to affect things.  But good call Todd.  Good giving everyone notice.

Analyze This... / Re: How would you fish this stream?
« on: March 26, 2020, 10:50:17 AM »
Really nice and small, but it has a fairly fast gradient and looks like some color.  Banks are wide open which doesn't give much cover, but it does allow for easy access without worrying about casting obstacles, etc... and there is no problem about not being able to cover all the water.  I suspect the fish in a tiny stream are going to be concentrated in the plunge areas that offer the best shelter in the creek.  Not much overhead cover.  But anything that is on the edges and clearer waters will spook very quickly, and all it takes is one spooked fish to ruin about 50' or water.  Being mindful of that is important.

Hoping it isn't private property and the guy in the building is going to shoot me...

Have to fish it from the bottom working up, and I am going to fish a single dry staying downstream about 40' as far as I can.  The fish can so easily spot you here, so you have to be extra careful and likely kneel your way along the edge staying as much vertically downstream as you can.  Then switch to a single nymph and fish up to covering what I just finished covering with the dry.  Then, go back to dry and repeat the process.

Small areas so if you hook a fish, force it downstream to hopefully not spook the other fish that may be in tight proximity.  It's not like a big run where you can fight a fish and not worry too  much about spooking the others.  Here if you hook a fish, if there are any other fish sharing the good lie, they are going to be spooked very fast as they have no where to go.

I will be going over the refunds to resend them back to those that paid in advance.  As Ian, the treasurer, is in transit and unable to make those changes.  This should be taking place on the March 18-20th.

Please bear with us for any delays as schedules are a bit muddled up currently for most of us in our work and personal lives.


Not sure precisely.  Last I heard they were booking flights and such and planning to head back Tuesday or so.

My understanding is that the Commonwealths are still proceeding, though I don't know how many teams are staying for it.

Amazing numbers by the groups.   We've never seen those numbers collectively on the local rivers!

I was told that Squirmy Worm material has an issue with passing through trout. Has anyone seen a study on this matter? This is for some research I am doing for a future article.

That was my understanding for part of the reason for banning the fly.  I certainly see fish break off the worm material and 'likely' swallow it, unlike most other fly patterns.  I haven't seen any studies on it though.

I believe that corn was sometimes banned (and still is in some regions) because it was difficult for a fish to digest and pass the kernels through the intestine, but I think this was old school thinking that eventually got proven as false (though I think the no-corn law still exists in some spots). 

I find it hard to imagine that fish would be troubled by a bit of inorganic material.  I assume they swallow the odd rock and stick without spitting them out too, and I think they live fine with that.  I would suspect that similar to snail and ant feeders (both of which are tough to digest), it might slow down their feeding as it does fill their stomach up.  Ant and snail feeders are know to stop feeding for long periods afterwards (though not just for the material being tough to digest).

I would be interested to see if there is a study on trout/bass/fish consuming scented eggs or similar inorganic material, which have been around a lot longer and used more regularly.  Someone must have done a study on those plastic eggs.

Analyze This... / Icy cold river
« on: January 19, 2020, 07:08:08 PM »

Medium Sized River.  Depth at this time of year in the area is 1.5 to 3'.  Clarity is very good.
Mid-January with sustained temperatures around 0 to -20C for the past 10 days.
River contains trout and whitefish, though the trout vacate this region over winter.
Any of the deeper, slower runs are iced over.
There are very minor black midge hatches, though perhaps too small to imitate.
It is the late afternoon, around 330pm, maybe 45 minutes before dusk.
There are small ice flows drifting downstream from the afternoon melt upriver.



Where I found fish:

It was very nice looking water, but I only had an hour or less to fish before dusk. The sizable ice chucks made it too hazardous for me to fish once light levels got too low because I just couldn't see the ice coming at me.  So I had to quit fairly soon. Knowing very few trout would be around, my focus was on the whitefish (though I'd be happy with any trout - duh).  This was not the type of water I'd think to find many whitefish in winter as they often prefer slower waters and larger pools at this time of year.  Occasionally though I do find whitefish moving into the faster water despite the cold, making it always worthwhile to explore waters you think might be faster than optimal for the conditions.  Regardless, with the recent cold-snap, all the typical 'good' water was covered with 6-12 inches of ice anyways, making anything but the faster riffles unfishable.

I caught 4 fish in a 25 minute span divided amongst the 3 locations circled below.  Although I was using nothing close to the ongoing midge hatch, and certainly much larger (size 14), I found the fish were sitting in the slicks behind the large ice clumps that were attached to the submerged boulders and creating much bigger breaks in the current than would normally be found here.  I can only suspect that the whitefish had moved up from some of the frozen-over waters to the swifter riffles where the smaller midges were hatching (suspecting that the midges weren't hatching under the ice downstream as they had no way to emerge through the ice and it was perhaps too dark there to stimulate a hatch), and of course taking advantage of the generous current breaks.

I considered this a very fortunate day where I rad the water right and got rewarded.

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