Stillwater Fishing…Naked!

I’m writing this after coming off a very perplexing but successful day that took place yesterday.  We started the morning in the same spot we had great success the day before.  The hatch was in full swing, but fish were sparse to say the least.  All the flies that had worked the day before, at the same depth, did not seem to be putting out the fast and furious action of the day previous. 


In a bit of a last ditch effort I broke down the rod with a strike indicator on it and threw a naked floating line of just 19ft of leader with a size 18 chironomid pupa. While I was still waiting for the fly to sink, the rod buckled over in the holder. A nice 20″ rainbow to hand, I figured I had fluked it so I made another cast the same as the one before.  Sure enough, another hot fish climbed on.  This whole time the indicator line stayed fishless with the same pattern suspended 16′ below the surface.  The day proceeded to be the same, with a ratio of over 6:1 with the naked floating line to the indicator. 


To effectively fish the naked line chironomid, rig your leader roughly the depth of the water give or take 10% generally erring on the longer side. From here I make a bit longer than normal cast and set the rod in the holder for around a minute. Lots of times they will hit it was the fly is still sinking or drifting in the wind, but after you feel it’s gotten down to desired depth begin a painfully slow hand twist retrieve.  The nice thing about naked line fishing is you get to feel the initial grab, which is sometimes as though you tied your fly onto the back of a semi truck. Don’t be afraid to fish your fly all the way back to the boat either as they often hit it right under your rod tip. 

Thank you for reading and remember it’s okay to get naked on the lake once in a while.  If you have any questions on this method feel free to drop me an email or leave a comment below. Until next time happy fishing! 

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