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> > question: sink tip vs. full sink fly line?

ScotttMarch 27th, 2007, 4:08 pm
crested butte

Posts: 5
hey everyone, just courious on peoples opinions on different fly lines for fihing for trout in lakes. i just started fishing in lakes from a float tube last summer. my friend taught my to fish with wooly buggers trolling behind the float tube, with what i think was a full sinking line. now i'm hearing about intermediate sink tip lines with a floating fly line. can i fish these lines like i learned with the full sink, are they as sensitive to strikes as the full sink? any other info or experiences you have too offer would be appreciated.

thanks, scott

ps. this is my first post, just found the site, seems great, nice to meet you
GONZOMarch 27th, 2007, 4:47 pm
Site Editor
"Bear Swamp," PA

Posts: 1681
Hi Scott,

Welcome to the site--CB is my favorite Colorado ski area!

The full range of sinking lines, from fast-sinking to intermediate lines and sink-tips, have application in lake-fishing for trout; and their application there is much greater than in stream fishing. The choice of line depends on the character of the lake and water temperatures.

On alpine lakes with cool surface temperatures, the trout will be cruising the shallows and surface where most of the food is found. In these situations, shallow-running lines like intermediates or slow-sinking or intermediate sink-tips have good application. Even a floating line will be useful when the fish are on a hatch or feeding on wind-blown terrestrials.

On lower elevation lakes, one often has to reach the thermocline in the summer months in order to find trout. Fast-sinking lines are often needed to plumb the depths, though I have had some success with heavily weighted flies or split shot added to intermediate lines. You can even get pretty deep by adding weight to a very long leader on a floating line, but casting gets compromised or even impossible. (If you're trolling, you just pay out line rather than cast.)

Sensitivity to the strike is not much of an issue when trolling or retrieving a fly, and most fish should virtually hook themselves.

What kind of lakes are you fishing? (No names needed, just depth, temperature, and character.)
TroutnutMarch 27th, 2007, 4:48 pm
Bellevue, WA

Posts: 2737
Welcome to the site. :)

I know next to nothing about fishing for trout in lakes, so I'll just defer to the expertise of others here. I'm a river guy, so far.
Jason Neuswanger, Ph.D.
Troutnut and salmonid ecologist
ScotttMarch 27th, 2007, 11:02 pm
crested butte

Posts: 5
thanks for the replies gonzo and jason. mostly i'll be fishing alpine lakes in CO above 8,000 feet and some lower lakes in utah. the main reason i'm asking is that i just bought a new reel with an extra spool that i ordered with a rio aqualux line which is translucent and sinks at a rate of 1-2 ips, but what wound up coming on my new spool was a rio aqualux midge tip line, which is like a yellow floating line with about four feet of clear sinking tip, which also has a sink rate of 1-2 ips. i don't really know how deep i'm trying to get, i'm guessing 1-5 or 10 feet, is this going to do it? should i send it back? does the sinking tip also pull some of the floating line down?
GONZOMarch 28th, 2007, 8:43 am
Site Editor
"Bear Swamp," PA

Posts: 1681

While the "midge tip" will work for some fishing near the surface, the floating portion is subject to wave action and limits depth. The line that you originally ordered is more appropriate. Get what you wanted--don't settle for a mistake!
ScotttMarch 28th, 2007, 4:21 pm
crested butte

Posts: 5
thanks gonzo, i agree, it's getting sent back

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