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Old 04-16-2011, 09:55 AM
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Koda Koda is offline
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Thumbs up Trolling Flies-A Maine & NH Heritage

Wondering how many of us old timers are left out there who troll the open waters for trout and salmon with a fly rod in early Spring? A small row boat, but more often a canoe is used with an electric trolling motor.

It's a simple and productive way to fish and covers a lot of water resulting in some rather large fish.

I made up a lighter rig for this year. The 7 and 8 weights just aren't providing the fun factor any more. So I paired up a Redington 6 WT CT with a Martin Mohawk multiplier reel.

The reel is a China import from Martin. But it's well made and really gobbles up the line. The reel is heavy but it's just what I wanted to balance the 9 foot rod. I went this route because when two people have 90 feet of line out and one has a good fish on things can get tangled up real quick. So the one that don't have the fish reels in and grabs the net. Works out pretty well.

Salmon,Rainbows, Brook Trout, and Browns all fall victim to this type of fishing. And so do horn pout, perch, and pickerel. Oh, and one very foolish loon.

Chime in if you do it and we can compare some notes.

BTW~ The weight comped lines or steady sinks make a huge difference in hookups.





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Old 04-16-2011, 10:18 AM
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bushbuck bushbuck is offline
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I still love trolling a fly. I enjoy trolling now from my kayak during the day when the fishing slows down a bit and waiting for an evening hatch. Most FFO waters in Maine you are not allowed to troll, but in NH we are allowed to troll them all. Its a very productive way to get some mid day action.
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Old 04-16-2011, 10:42 AM
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deanwo deanwo is offline
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Never trolled flies, but am curious. Without a perfectly symmetrical fly in the water, how do you keep your leader/line from twisting (swivels?)

Sorry if this is a stupid question, but I had this issue the other day casting a small popper in the wind, which appeared very symmetrical to the eye, but apparently helicoptered as I was casting. It twisted my leader so bad that I had to cut it off.
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Old 04-16-2011, 11:16 AM
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deanwo

Not a dumb question at all. Trolling a sewn shiner behind a dodger with Sampo ball bearing swivels everywhere won't stop the mono from getting all messed up. The reason is, when sewn on properly, the shiner will make a slow cork screw in the water.

With a trolled fly, the barb end of the hook rides down due to more weight in that spot, and the barb and point act as a rudder.

But, a heavily palmered woolly bugger that is only done so in one direction can cause wicked line twist. That's why I lay it in both direction when I tie those.

I run 6 pound flurocarbon direct to the fly line with a nail knot, an improved Clinch knot or Turl knot to the fly and have never had a leader get fouled up.

You'll notice the collar on the smaller flies goes all around. When pulled straight in the water the hackle pretty much lays down. Twitching the rod makes the hackle relax and pop up. It drives the trout crazy.

For a long time I favored a salmon hook, the 80500BL Mustad, but Mustad quit making it. The Gamakatsu salmon hook IMO, is actually a better hook, but the smallest it comes in is a size 8. From mid May on I like a size 10 in a salmon hook.

I can see a popper doing it just as you said. It's light, bulky, and prone to the whims of the wind, or cast.
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Old 04-16-2011, 11:17 AM
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mirrorlakedave mirrorlakedave is offline
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I just got off the lake trolling with a 6wt from my kayak. Wish I could say I caught something but nothingn this morning. This is a lot of fun for any kind of fish.

Dave
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Old 04-16-2011, 01:27 PM
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I also troll from my kayak. It is fun and a chance to get some exercise too. I am not great at casting from the kayak (although getting better at it.) so trolling can be a lot more producive for me. Is trolling with a fly still considered fly fishing. Can you troll in Fly-fishing only waters in NH?

Last edited by jike; 04-16-2011 at 04:50 PM.
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Old 04-16-2011, 02:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jike View Post
I also troll from my kayak. It is fun and a chance to get some exercise too. I am not great at casting from the kayak (although getting better at it.) so tolling can be a lot more producive for me. Is trolling with a fly still considered fly fishing. Can you troll in Fly-fishing only waters in NH?
Yes you can troll in FFO waters in NH.
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Old 04-16-2011, 03:43 PM
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Dave

It's early yet. The water is still ice cold, the water is high, and it's the time of year when there are no layers in the water, the whole body of water will turn over if nothing else than by the wind. Usually gets good around here in early to mid May. Further North mid to late May. Some are being caught early but it's really not prime time yet

Jike

Far as I know it's fly fishing, never heard otherwise
One of the reasons trolling is so productive is because the fly is in the water more than it's in the air. Exception may prove to be the rule, but I know of no one who has caught fish on the back cast.

bushbuck
I was going to say I don't believe I ever trolled in waters that were labeled FFO, but there is a pond headed towards Andover that is FFO and paddle only. I like outdoing the bait boys, puts em right over the edge
In general, I see dunkers a lot. They get a few but nothing consistent. The ones I do see trolling are 20 or 30 meters off shore following the perimeter. Some famous Pro fisherman once said as you face shore you should consider that over 90% of the fish are behind you! I tend to agree with that in a trout pond or lake.

When we consider trolling flies we think about the Gray Ghost and streamer type flies. They'll work, sometimes. The ones that work the best for us are what I call modified Hornbergs. Then there are days when you can't keep them off the hook with a nymph. You heard that right, troll nymphs!

I remember one day last season when they were all over the nymphs. After C&R an insane number of fish we tried to see if we could get the fly away from them before they inhaled it. Soon as they'd make a peck at it we'd yard on the rod for everything we were worth. Got it away from quite a few of them, but the bigger greedier rainbows got hooked HARD! They were all good size fish, 12 inches and up.

It's not spot burning because Newfound is a BIG lake. But if someone wants a shot at a 5 pound plus rainbow that's the place to troll some flies. And the nice thing about doing it there is, you're just as likely to hang into a good salmon, or even a big lake trout.

I'd like to be there when you do. It's a fun thing for sure, I've been on that end of a fly rod there myself. Knees get a little week when you win out on a 30 inch salmon with a fly rod.

If that don't float your stick then a trip to the Salmon River may be in order for some nice Kings!
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Old 04-16-2011, 04:27 PM
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What speed do you troll the nymphs? That seems very strange to me, unless of course you're trolling them very slowly, which does not sound like it's the case?

Just normal PT, hares ear, etc? In normal size 16's and such?
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Old 04-16-2011, 05:00 PM
jike jike is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Koda View Post
Dave


Far as I know it's fly fishing, never heard otherwise
One of the reasons trolling is so productive is because the fly is in the water more than it's in the air. Exception may prove to be the rule, but I know of no one who has caught fish on the back cast.
I may become the first then because when I cast from the kayak my backcast is often in the water
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