Author Topic: Bank Fishing  (Read 2712 times)

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Aaron Laing

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Bank Fishing
« on: May 09, 2012, 01:06:17 PM »
I think as competitors we get pretty wrapped up in the loch style equation and forget that a lot of comps have a bank style component.

I'll be dead honest, I suck at bank fishing and rarely practice. My distance casting is so-so and playing fish in the reeds is usually a recipe for break-offs with me. Two blanks at the last bank-style event I was at was two blanks too many.

Anyone care to share some insight here? Line choices? Fish playing tricks? In the water as opposed to out of the water differences? Someone throw me a bone (or two), please.  :-\

Aaron
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Chris Puchniak

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Re: Bank Fishing
« Reply #1 on: May 09, 2012, 01:36:41 PM »
Just wondering if you happened to read the recent article in BC Outdoors, where Todd Oishi (Do we know him?) wrote a fine article on just this topic.

I really like bank fishing at times, but haven't had the chance to do so in a competiton event - it's something I'd like to consider, if the opportunity came up.  Though the lack of being able to choose my beat is a disconcerting concept...  One of my local lakes (Green Timbers) is bank fishing only, and I have a lake or two in the interior that I virtually always fish from the bank.  I find it a very interesting test of one's skills (stalking and otherwise, depending on the lake).

Since I have no comp experience on this matter, I am curious to hear more from others who do have some. 

My go-to lines have been Floating, Fast Glass, or sink tip lines, and bank fishing is one of those situations where the sink tip can be very valuable on stillwaters - I find that hinge effect allows a fly to drop down into the zone without getting hung up in weeds.  Fast Glass as well in clear lines is also helpful when you know a good portion of the area that your fly line will be in will be shallow, where trout spook more.

I think casting far CAN be important, but it also becomes a little like tackling a river as well - short casts, closer to the bank, may cover lots of fish in that region without overlining them.  Naturally though, depending on hatches and water temps, the far cast can be essential, but long casts can also spook more fish due to the fact that were often working in shallower waters (I'm talking the crystal clear lakes of our interior, with a bright marl bottom, where the spook factor is very high).

I've found being able to use wind currents more important as well, if you have the option to follow them.  Since we are stationary when bank fishing, as opposed to drifting, using a floating line to 'arc' with the wind/waves of the surface, slowly covering the water with a drifted fly can be great.  More time in the water, less time casting.  It's tough to do that in a boat unless anchored.
I will fish anywhere and find beauty in it.

Don't be a Pessimist. Don't be an Optimist.  Be a Realist and change when you need to.

Aaron Laing

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Re: Bank Fishing
« Reply #2 on: May 09, 2012, 09:57:48 PM »
Missed the article Chris, but I think I should get a copy (apparently my picture is in it LOL).

Not being able to choose your beat is definitely one of the joys of bank fishing in comps. In Fernie I had the joy of fishing over a submerged "railway graveyard," including among other things a complete railcar undercarriage. Needless to say, full sink lines were out.

Good point about the sink tip lines--I generally rely on my slime line for most shallower water lake-side situations, but it makes perfect sense to look more to the sink tips--particularly when a drop-off situation presents itself.

I'm not entirely clueless about bank fishing, but it's rare that it all comes together. One local lake I do bank fish at sort of regularly at is Lightning Lake in Manning Park. I fish a spot down from the Rainbow Bridge across the narrow channel between the two lake sections. The fish are nothing spectacular, but are suckers for a rising Zulu. When I'm fishing there it's often in deadfall timber, and I have managed to figure out a few tricks to deal with playing fish in that snag filled wonderland (some of which may be applicable elsewhere):
  • Get 'em up... It only makes sense that the deeper you go n the water column the more chance there is to encounter snags.
  • Choose your inflight path.. It pays to know the spot where you want to guide a fish too long before you hook them. In the lumber this is doubly important.
  • A midge tip is your friend. In the sticks the aility to present subsurface pattern in a very defined location is improved with a relatively short tip.
It aint much, but that's about the extent of my contribution to the topic.

Aaron
Randy Patton: "Did you get a picture? Did anyone see it? No? Then it never happened!"

Alastair Grogan

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Re: Bank Fishing
« Reply #3 on: May 10, 2012, 08:29:53 AM »
Bank fishing on lakes is really all I do due to a rather sensitive inner ear (I get sea sick at the drop of a hat).  I know what you mean about Summit.  In the practice sessions I tended to fish the easy water.  Then during the competition, I drew a beat that had open water in close, the 20 feet of nasty weeds then openish water.  I figured a full sink would be the ticket during the practice sessions but my heart sank when I saw my beat.  I tried the full sink to start but quickly switched to a sink tip and was rewarded with one of only three fish caught during that session. Tough fishing!!!!  I managed to avoid hooking any trains, either in the water or on my backcast.

Todd Oishi

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Re: Bank Fishing
« Reply #4 on: May 10, 2012, 02:18:27 PM »
Anyone care to share some insight here? Line choices?

Floating, slow and fast intermediate, and sinktip fly lines are generally the most effective lines for bank fishing in shallow water. The slow sink rate of a Hover or intermediate line makes them ideal for bank fishing, as the slow sink rate allows you to select and stay in control of the speed and type of retrieve thatís being employed - whereas fast-sinking lines require a fast-paced retrieve in order to avoid hooking the bottom.

Itís also very important to fan cast the area that you're working, so you're thoroughly covering the water - rather than pulling your fly through the same narrow band of water (a common mistake amongst stillwater anglers). Itís equally important to experiment with the depth, retrieves and flies, and once you feel youíve thoroughly covered an area, move slightly down the bank so youíre always covering new water, as staying in one place for too long will reduce the number of fish thatíll see your flies.
« Last Edit: May 10, 2012, 02:20:01 PM by Todd Oishi »
For me, the quality of a trout is not measured in inches or pounds, but rather by the journey and circumstances that allowed our paths to cross...

Chris Puchniak

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Re: Bank Fishing
« Reply #5 on: March 28, 2014, 01:20:30 PM »
Just resurrecting this topic as I was thinking about this type of fishing recently (Iain Barr Bank events being on and one of my local lakes just getting stocked, which is bank fishing only).

I have really found that being prepared with good Roll casting skills (both overhead, sidearmed, and the other variations that go with it) is a must.  In a boat you don't usually have many casting obstructions behind you, but on a bank you frequently do.  If you just fish the spots where you can easily... well, you are just fishing where every other lazy angler fishes too.  Roll casting (and a sink tip line helps on this, as opposed to full sinking) opens up a lot of new water.

I find fish tend to spook more too.  Usually in a boat you are in fairly deep water, and fish are more oblivious or brave, following a fly right up to the boat.  When casting from a bank, even though fish sit in shallow water, they are often more on the alert for danger.  You have to be more cautious about noise and suddenly movements than I think even in a tin boat.
I will fish anywhere and find beauty in it.

Don't be a Pessimist. Don't be an Optimist.  Be a Realist and change when you need to.

Marc Bilan

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Re: Bank Fishing
« Reply #6 on: March 28, 2014, 02:20:21 PM »
This would be a real curve ball.  I think it's worth considering the incorporation of a bank fishing session into a Summer Series event right before a major international tourney, or as a little added spice to the finale of the Summer Series.

Chris Puchniak

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Re: Bank Fishing
« Reply #7 on: March 28, 2014, 04:29:56 PM »
There are a couple of locations locally we could do something, and we've always batted the idea around.  So I wouldn't be surprised.  It comes up at the regional and world levels every now and then, and many times that venue turns out to be a game-breaker. 

And there are many times travelling that I have fished a lake having a fly rod with me but no boat.  Those have been some fun bank fishing times!

There is good reason to have bank fishing as a skill set.

I will fish anywhere and find beauty in it.

Don't be a Pessimist. Don't be an Optimist.  Be a Realist and change when you need to.

Marc Bilan

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Re: Bank Fishing
« Reply #8 on: March 28, 2014, 04:39:45 PM »
Great to hear Chris.  I figured that you and Todd would have already spoken about this.  It'd be good to hear from other competitors/forum members and see if anyone else thinks this would be a fun thing to try(even if just once a year).

Chris Puchniak

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Re: Bank Fishing
« Reply #9 on: March 28, 2014, 05:42:23 PM »
I agree Marc!  The annual Bank Fishing Comp could be a valuable learning tool!
I will fish anywhere and find beauty in it.

Don't be a Pessimist. Don't be an Optimist.  Be a Realist and change when you need to.

Randy Paskall

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Re: Bank Fishing
« Reply #10 on: March 28, 2014, 06:01:46 PM »
Slime line or floater or even the 40+ or 12' ghost tip and in some instances hi D quick sinkers can have bearing depending upon where you get depth wise as well as what you are fishing on the end of the line.
Long casts in lakes (80+') can really make a difference even if the fish are close in as Chris said above. The longer casts can make following the contours of shore similar to trolling in a boat a breeze as well as casting to far off rises.
I fished the same area Aaron did and at my beat time to get long casts out there I was putting my back casts through 2 rail cars. lol
Sinking lines, 'shorter' leaders coupled with floating or bouyant flies can realy shine in this instance. One beat I had saw me with a deer hair gomphus on the end of a slime line, 6' leader, and a slo-o-o-o-o-w hand twist retrieve.
See there was about 5' of water that sloped up in front of me and then about 50' out, it came up in depth to about 2' and then back down into a hole beyond that was around 6 to 8' deep. How I handled it was to bomb LONG line out there over the 2' rise into the hole beyond as far as I could get it, then allow the whole line to settle to the bottom. Then with an achingly slow hand twist retrieve I could crawl the pattern right through the deep water, over the hump, and back down into the 5' chunk and then right to my feet. Would have won me the session if I didn't lose the fricking 7 to 8 lb rainbow I latched onto like I lost everything else that comp. lmao!
Sorry, but you weren't catching that fish anyway.....

Chris Puchniak

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Re: Bank Fishing
« Reply #11 on: March 28, 2014, 06:31:01 PM »
Good point Randy.  Not being in a drifting boat, nor dealing with moving waters, you can really take advantage of S-l-o-o-o-w retrieves and creep the bottom when bank fishing (and stay in touch with your flies).

Sorry about the lost fish.
I will fish anywhere and find beauty in it.

Don't be a Pessimist. Don't be an Optimist.  Be a Realist and change when you need to.

Marc Bilan

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Re: Bank Fishing
« Reply #12 on: March 28, 2014, 06:33:20 PM »
Randy, where on your retrieve did you hook the big rainbow?

Randy Paskall

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Re: Bank Fishing
« Reply #13 on: March 28, 2014, 07:09:17 PM »
During the session I tried multiple things and had not a sniff though I felt my pattern and method were working well. I was both covering good water and was able to fish effectively water other anglers hadn't been able to (because of where it was) but what happened is I crawled the line up and over that hump and the fly came up over the hump with the line going down into the trough off the little drop and pulled the fly down, the line just plucked, I pulled the line once, tight, strip set, and put the rod into the fish, Full weight, up comes this toad and just sits infront of me doing nothing, I have 90' of line on the ground, this fish is going to explode, line tight rod folded good but not too much and he just turns and spits the hook at me with a weird shake oif his head and slowly swam away. lol
Morgan Thorpe whupped everybody with a single fish I think and it was a little guy but counters win the race. :)
Sorry, but you weren't catching that fish anyway.....

Todd Oishi

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Re: Bank Fishing
« Reply #14 on: March 28, 2014, 07:22:30 PM »
This would be a real curve ball.  I think it's worth considering the incorporation of a bank fishing session into a Summer Series event right before a major international tourney, or as a little added spice to the finale of the Summer Series.

A bank fishing competition would fun, and is something that I've been considering, but haven't found a satisfactory venue in the lower mainland that could accommodate a large group of competitors, and offer somewhat equal quality beats (a beat rotation system would be used as an equalizer).

On another note; a bank fishing competition would be purely a stand alone event Marc, as the Summer Series is purely a loch-style fishing event/championship. I'm open to suggestions if anyone knows of any suitable venues for a bank fishing competition...

Thanks,
Todd
For me, the quality of a trout is not measured in inches or pounds, but rather by the journey and circumstances that allowed our paths to cross...