Our Man In Canada
November 26th, 2001

Wind Blowing? Start Trolling!

By Robert H. Jones
From Fly Fishing Canada, Published by Johnson Borman Publishers


Casting flies with a well balanced outfit is one of life's joys, especially when the fish are cooperating. However, when the wind starts blowing, pleasure decreases in direct proportion to its speed and intensity. You have two choices: give up or troll.

If you opt for the latter, select patterns with bulk, like leeches or dragonfly nymphs. Two standby patterns are the Woolly Worm in black, "muddy" maroon, olive-green, plus the Carey Special in various color combinations. I favor peacock herl body with a hackle of blue-phase pheasant rump feather. Simple, easy to tie and effective.

Gotta Ya!

If the lake contains Blackwater or Tzenzaicut strain rainbows, cutthroat trout, Dolly Varden or bull trout, bear in mind that all are meat eaters, preferring small fish to aquatic insects or invertebrates. Use streamer patterns that represent shinners, sticklebacks, sculpins, or juvenile suckers, squawfish or salmonides - whichever are most common. Dependable patterns usually incorporate a silver body with a light-colored hair underwing, darker-colored top wing, and a few strands of Krystal Flash or Flashabou. An exception is the Muddler Minnow and its many offspring - sculpin imitations that use natural-colored turkey wing and deer hair.

As all of these critters are found close to the bottom, a full-sink line is a better choice than a sink-tip. In most cases, a 9' leader is sufficient.

Seek areas offering protection from the wind's direct force - behind an island or in the lee of a peninsula or irregular shoreline.

Fly Fishing Canada

Trolling without a motor may pose problems while fishing alone and lacking a rod holder because you need both hands free to row or paddle (I like the Scotty 265 Fly Rod Holder). Place the rod handle on the the deck between the feet,with the reel handles facing upward and the rod tip hanging straight back over the stern. Set the reel's drag lightly and depend on the ratchet to prevent overruns. This allows you to row slowly or control the drift as required. Don't worry about setting the hook if a fish hits - in most cases the boat's momentum will do the job.

No, it isn't fly fishing in the true sense, but it beats not fishing at all. ~ Robert H. Jones

Poached Rainbow Trout
Brings out the natural flavor
(Makes four servings)

1 large or 4 small pan-sized trout

2 tbsp - olive oil - 30 mL

1/2 - 1 cup - each chopped onion, carrot and celery - 125 - 250 mL

1 - 2 cups - liquid (white wine, fish stock, water) - 250 - 500 mL

(or 50/50 wine and water)

Salt and pepper to taste

2 sprigs - fresh herbs (thyme, dill or tarragon)

1 lemon, thinly sliced

    1. Clean fish, wash and pat dry.

    2. Heat olive in poacher. Saute vegetables in oil for 5 minutes, add liquid and bring to a slow simmer.

    3. Season inside of trout with salt and pepper to taste; then place on rack. With a slotted spoon, remove some vegetables from the stock and place in the cavity, adding some thyme and lemon slices. Place a few lemon slices on top of the trout, and add remainder to the stock. Lower rack into stock and cover poacher. Bring to a simmer (never boil) and poach until fish is opaque. This method takes somewhat longer to cook fish, so check often by probing at the thickest part.

    4. Remove rack and carefully transfer tout to a large plate. While fish is still hot, remove skin from the top side only. Remove and discard vegetable stuffing from the cavity. Place trout on a platter and garnish with herbs and fresh lemon slices.

    5. Serve with a simple mayonnaise sauce made from fresh minced dill (tarragon, or chives) with lemon juice and mayonnaise. Thin with white wine if required. A dash of hot sauce helps heighten flavors.

(If lacking a fish poacher, use a roasting pan with a rack.)
~ Wayne Phillips

Credits: From Fly Fishing Canada, From Coast to Coast to Coast, By Outdoor Writers of Canada, Published by Johnson Gorman Publishers. We appreciate use permission!

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