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Flyfishing and Leadcore Lines

 

Get it deep, keep it on the bottom and catch a fish. That's often the formula for fishing success and for good reason. Much of what a fish eats lives on or near bottom. There are multitudes of presentations that accomplish this 'get it deep' idea, but one of my favorites is using a flyrod and leadcore line. The beauty behind this is mobility. I can troll this presentation, covering water, getting my lure or fly in front of more fish.

Fishing leadcore wasn't something I came up with though. I thought that leadcore line was tough to manage and a burden on angler and fish. I was wrong. Leadcore line is supple. It can not be cast, because it does have a tendency to kink, but it can be trolled and when it's trolled, it's an all-star. When trolled, leadcore line effectively delivers my presentation deep, in a hurry. I have fished forty and fifty feet of water and caught bottom with my fly.

My good friends Kavin Barker and Trevor McLeod first showed me the beauty of the leadcore rig and it's effectiveness. We were fishing for rainbows and brook trout. We rigged our rods so there was a large streamer or nymph like fly on the end, tied to about 20 feet of leader, which was tied to the leadcore. We'd set a trolling speed fairly slow with the electric motors and periodically pump our rods for added action.

Beyond that, we varied our speed from a dead crawl to slightly faster. The idea was to give those trout lots of time to look over the fly and decide whether or not to hit. Well, many did. In fact we've lost count of how many we caught, but it was a bunch. I've since taken the leadcore show on the road and fished numerous pothole trout lakes near and far with similar success. Be it browns, rainbows or brookies, they've all responded favorably to the presentation.

My favorite flies when it comes to using leadcore are the larger, eat it or beat it varieties. A large full back nymph, bead head wooly bugger or one of my favorites but hard to come by, double shrimp patterns will all put fish in the boat.

The trick isn't so much in whether a fish will bite, for most do. The trick is in finding the depth and the speed that will trigger the bite. I believe that trout eat in response to their metabolism. When water temperatures are favorable, which is slightly cool, they eat aggressively and a faster presentation works wonders. But when water temperatures are downright cold, the presentation needs to be keyed down a notch to match their mood. This is where an electric motor shines, cause you can bring the speed down to a crawl and still catch fish.

So the question becomes, where do I fish when I plunk my boat in? My answer is to start at the deep edges of weedbeds and points and work out deeper from there. Because leadcore sinks like a rock, fishing anything less than about 8 feet is near impossible. Usually fishing the deep edges of the outside weedbeds will put me eight to ten feet down. Because it's an edge, there are likely to be fish hanging out too. It's a good combination. From there, I'll zig zag the boat deeper and shallower and let the fish tell me what they want and where.

But in the heat of the summer, sometimes a trout will need to go deeper to stay cool. This is especially true for the larger fish. They'll take to suspending over deep water in that area of rapid temperature transition called the thermocline. This thermocline could be 10, 12, 15 or more feet down. This is where leadcore shines and the reason it does is because it's colored. Every ten yards of leadcore is a different color. There are reds, blues, greens and whatnot. So with no knowledge of how deep the fish are, I'll start fishing by pulling out one color of leadcore off the reel. If there are no bites, I'll go a color and a half, then two and so on until I get hits. When I do, I know exactly how much line to pull out to put me right back into the good fishing.

This technique during the summer is magic. My buddy Ross Stout and I fished a local pothole in the heat of a plus 30-degree summer day. Nearly every pass all day long one or both of us lit up a big rainbow. We were down two colors and could do no wrong. Two to four pound trout were everywhere and the fishing was a fast and furious as we've ever had it. All thanks to leadcore, long leaders and big flies.


Previous Fishing Articles

(1) Old Man River

(2) The Pink Salmon of the Squamish River

(3) Small stream BT fishing

(4) Fly fishing beyond Trout: getting started

(5) In The Walleye Zone

(6) Zoo Trout

(7) Fly Selection for Beginners

(8) Fly Fisher's Christmas

(9) New Waters

(10) Big Bad Burbot

(11) Looking Back

(12) Out of Africa

(13) Finding Success on Crowded Trout Streams

(14) Mountain Peaks, Fast Streams, Fall Colours And Rocky Mountain Whitefish

(15) The Browns of Autumn

(16) Fly-Fishing Pike Through The Seasons

(17) Walleye Town

(18) River Fun - One Bite At A Time

(19) Fly Fishing Larger Rivers

(20) Going With The Flow

(21) Becoming A Better Fly Fisherman

(22) Swinging The Fences

(23) A View From The Aerie

(24) Dixieland Delight

(25) Atlantic Salmon - The Fish of 1000 Casts

(26) Do It Yourself Pink Salmon

(27) Montana's Cool Missouri

(28) Pretty Is As Pretty Does

(29) Toothy Critters

(30) Hard Water Lakers at Cold Lake

(31) Top Ten Flies

(32) Northern Exposure

(33) Home Water Lessons

(34) Chicken Of The Sea

(35) Sealing the Deal – How to Ensure You Land More Fish

(36) Deep In The Heart Of Texas

(37) Keep It Up!

(38) River Fishing for Fall Walleye

(39) After the Flood - A look at Southern Alberta rivers and streams one year after the flood

(40) Reindeer Lake - A Diversity of Opportunity

(41) Hawg Holes

(42) Saltwater Salmon

(43) Early Season Dry Fly Fishing

(44) Down a Lazy River –
A Fly-rodding Adventure on the Lower North Saskatchewan

(45) The Fly Fishing Season Ahead

(46) IN SEARCH OF SPECKLED FOOTBALLS

(47) FISHING CANADA'S PRAIRIE CITIES

(48) Bright Fish from the Land of Silver

(49) Canada's "Other" Salmon

(50) Fall Walleye

(51) Wet Flies

(52) Versatility the Key to Success

(53) Grayling of the Boreal

(54) Teaching Kids To Fly Fish

(55) Size Matters

(56) Fly Fishing Small Streams

(57) Chasing Winter Whites One Lake At A Time

(58) Manitoba's Fishing Jewel

(59) The Twelve Gifts Of Christmas

(60) The Point Of It All

(61) Fishing With Friends-Big Weather Seizing The Day

(62) Fall Fly Fishing

(63) Personal Pontoon Boats 101

(64) Big River, Big Fish

(65) Bottom Bonanza

(66) Fishing Small Flies

(67) So Many Choices, So Little Time

(68) Four Seasons of the Bow

(69) Favourite Lakes - Some Like it Hot

(70) GEARING UP FOR SMALL STREAM TROUT

(71) Trout Hunting - New Zealand-style

(72) Don’t Leave Home Without Them –
10 Lures That Should Be In Everyone’s Tackle Box

(73) Edge Walleye

(74) FLY FISHING STRATEGIES FOR HIGH WATER

(75) Smallmouth Bass – An Oft Overlooked Challenge

(76) Four Corners – Four Waters

(77) Chasing Pothole Trout

(78) Springtime Stoneflies

(79) The Torrents of Spring

(80) Drift Boat Fly Fishing

(81) Bust Them With Bait

(82) Cure the Winter Blues with a Good Book

(83) Hot Strategies for the Cold Months

(84) Cutthroat: The Angler's Trout

(85) Terrestrials

(86) Fly In For Fishing Fun

(87) Rocky Mountain High

(88) Reading the clues

(89) Where the Trout Are
The art of locating feeding trout
in rivers and streams.

(90) K.I.S.S. and Tell Fly-fishin

(91) Fly Fishing 101

(92) To Catch a Big Halibut, or Ling Cod

(93) The Bountiful Bones of Ascension Bay

(94) Grayling in the Eye of the Beholder

(95) Fly Fishing for South Fork Clearwater Steelhead

(96) Manitoba's Red River - North America's Catfish Capital

(97) Eliminating the Spook Factor

(98) Trust Your Electronics

(99) The Most Important Hatch of the Year

(100) Early Season Nymph Fishing for Trout

(101) Finding Success for Ice Trout

(102) Walleye can be Humbling

(103) The Secret to Landing the Big One Finally Revealed

(104) Winter Flyfishing

(105) North Saskatchewan River - An Underutilized Gem

(106) Hot Fall Pike Action

(107) Tips and Tricks to Save the Summer Slow Down

(108) Reading Trout Stream Waters

(109) Frequently Asked Questions

(110) Streamer Fishing for Larger Trout

(111) The Lure of Big Walleye at Last Ice

(112) Deep Water Perch

(113) Post Spawn Brookies

(114) A Fisher's Life

(115) The River's Last Stand

(116) The Big Ones Come out at Night

(117) Coho on the Coast

(118) Chasing and Catching Halibut

(119) Summer in the Mountains

(120) Peak Walleye Season

(121) Slow and Steady Wins the Race

(122) Last Ice Rainbows

(123) The Burbot Event

(124) Tackle Matching

(125) Ice Fishing Strategy #2 - Going Light

(126) Ice Fishing Strategy #1 - Location

(127) The Lure of Brook Trout

(128) The Shallow Water Hunt is On

(129) Hot Backswimmer Action Happening Right Now

(130) Fishing Among Giants-Pursuing Lake Sturgeon on the Prairies

(131) Adventure at Davin Lake Lodge, Northern Saskatchewan

(132) The Vesatile Plug

(133) Bead Head Flies, Plugs and Shot and other Spring Favorites for Pothole Trout

(134) Planning your Upcoming Angling Adventures

(135) Good Fishing at Last Ice

(136) Maximize the Odds - Use Multiple Presentations

(137) Daily Fish Migrations

(138) Fish Migrations - Following the Spawn

(139) Lake Whitefish - An Ice Fishing All Star

(140) Pick Your Favorite Brook Trout Lake...and Go Fishing

(141) A Look Ahead to Great Trout Fishing

(142) Wrestling White Sturgeon on the Fraser

(143) The Fun in Ultra Light

(144) Flyfishing and Leadcore Lines

(145) Embrace the Spirit of Adventure

(146) Never Stop Learning

(147) Ice Fishing is Getting Hot

(148) Jigging through the Ice

(149) An Ice Fishing Unsung Hero – The Setline

(150) Rainbows on Ice

(151) The Season of Ice Begins

(152) Red Hot Fall Pike Action

(153) Hitting it Right with Water Boatman

(154) Facts On Cats

(155) West Coast Adventure

(156) June Walleye Frenzy

(157) Aerated Lakes are Big Trout Factories

(158) "First Fish of the Year - Pothole Rainbows and Browns"

(159) "Northern Exposure"

(160) Sometimes There is More to Fishing Than Catching Fish

(161) Early Season Pike On The Fly

(162) Man Overboard