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Far better is it to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure... than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy nor suffer much, because they live in a gray twilight that knows not victory nor defeat. ~Theodore Roosevelt

Basin & Range Outdoors was created to share the adventures experienced by two brothers in the American West. From the highest alpine terrains to the lowest sonoran deserts we will chronicle the pain and triumph that accompanies all of our outdoor pursuits.

There will be no high-fence hunts, no fly fishing lodges, no streamside caviar and wine breaks. Instead, you can expect cold nights sleeping in the dirt, flat tires on old trucks, and big dreams realized on small budgets. With Basin & Range Outdoors you will find useful reviews of hunting and fly fishing products, techniques, locations, and a general review of our outdoor expeditions on public land.

Monday, April 5, 2010

The Chironomid

Chironomid Pupae

"Chironomids are one of the most diverse and abundant aquatic insects in productive stillwaters and a significant trout food source on Kamloops lakes, other interior regions of the province, and most stillwaters throughout the Western states."  ~ Brian Chan

I didn't enjoy stillwater fly fishing until I was introduced to Chironomid fishing on Pass Lake (WA).  When Tate and I first heard of Chironomid fishing we were already dedicated long rod casters.  Niether of us see any use for a 9 foot fly rod.  At that time we both owned 10ft - 4wt Loomis fly rods (unfortunately no longer made) which we used religiously for everything from 6" brookies to 22" searun cutthroat (and the occasional 25lb Chum when the Dollies weren't interested).  So when we heard that guys were catching trout at Pass Lake with long rods, long leaders, and big Chironomids, we couldn't help but jump into the mix.  That was 15 years ago.... I haven't been to Pass
Lake in four years or so but with Spring in full swing, I have disappearing strike indicators floating in my head.  We usually start our 'mid fishing in early spring and continue through mid summer.   Chironomid fishing is fairly simple.  As the larve emerge from the lake bottom and shoot for the surface (or stay suspened at certain depths) the trout just inhale them.  You may have to figure out what depth the fish are feeding, but the presentation of the fly consists of just sitting there below a strike indicator.  I generally like to get my fly deep, so I tie them with heavy tungsten beads and start fishing within 12" of the lake bottom.  If that doesn't work I relocate the fly to a shallower position until I find the feeding fish.  The only other advice I have is if you are fishing from a drift boat bring two anchors.

The real master of Chironomid fishing and all stillwater techniques in general is Brian Chan.  I would suggest checking out his website to get much better information (and spelling/grammar for that matter).

 Chironomids as tied by T.S. Bare

As spring temperatures rise, chironomid fishing can be very effective at Pass Lake.

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Another one of our favorite lakes to fish using this technique is Hihium Lake near Kamloops, BC.

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