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Lake: Summit Lake
Fish: Cutthroat Trout

Fly+bubble question

Post By: bron      Posted: 8/12/2015 8:17:23 PM     Points: 37731    
Going to Summit on Friday. How do you all rig a fly and bubble on a spinningrod.....what fly would you recommend....and what retrieve? I know less about this method than I do with my flyrod.. but the wind is so bad there I want to take this road so I can get distance and my boy wont get frustrated. Thanks!
 Reply by: Jacob J      Posted: 8/12/2015 8:23:55 PM     Points: 1591    
Clear bubble (run line thru it) - swivel - leader with fly.
Leader can be 4'- 5'- 6'. I am using 6lb fluorocarbon line for a leader.
I am using 6lb and 8lb braid spooled on 2500 series reel.
Practically you can use ANY fly with it.
Just match the hatch (by color and size).
As to retrieve, you can simply crank slow and/or twitch with the tip of your rod.
You can also regulate depth by filling bubble with various amount of water.

Sorry, I did not mention that I am using these bobbers: [log in for link]

Filled with water will allow you to cast even against the wind for a decent distance.
 Reply by: Ajax5240      Posted: 8/12/2015 8:35:19 PM     Points: 30016    
The best fly I've had luck with behind a bubble is a pistol Pete. It's basically a wooly bugger with a tiny propeller on the front. Has a nice little bit of flash going through the water. A steady slow retrieve is a great place to start, just enough to leave a small trail through the water from the bubble. If there are fish slurping bugs off the surface use a dry fly. If they are disturbing the surface but not breaking above water, fish a little wet fly as they are eating just under the surface.

Go get yourself a spool of tippet 4-5x for the line from the swivel to the fly. A knot in 6lb fluro could be half the size of your fly.

Don't bother with the fancy bubbles either. The cheap ones seem to work best and are less bulky. Just make sure when you slide it on the line the swivel will push the center pin further in rather than push it out. Center pin towards the swivel.

It's a great way to fish flys!

Ask DJ for fly selection, he's forgotten more than I know and half my age....
 Reply by: bron      Posted: 8/12/2015 8:56:17 PM     Points: 37731    
Thanks guys! I have the bubbles...wasnt sure how to stopper them cuz split shots dont work. Got flys like you said Ajax. AWBs Jerrys flies might do good this way too. Got an open seat for you Ajax!
 Reply by: ultralightfanatic      Posted: 8/12/2015 8:59:47 PM     Points: 814    
I too am interested in this method of fishing, bubble and fly. I've always used the clear plastic bubbles with the rubber band thingy that you twist to hold the bubble in place. From what I've read here you guys use the swivel and leader material, whereas I just use my main line, 2 or 4 lb. Comments welcome, good or not so good.
 Reply by: Goosehunter82      Posted: 8/12/2015 9:15:23 PM     Points: 55121    
I like the bubbles that the inside tube is a rubber band. You slide your line through and twist it a few times. For the ones with the plastic tube I have a small box of matches. I stick a match in the tube and it holds the line just right. Regular match sticks are to big. They have to be the small camping size ones!
 Reply by: opencage      Posted: 8/12/2015 9:36:08 PM     Points: 164691    
This is an awesome way to fly fish without actually fly fishing. Perfect for the kiddo. I'd throw on a couple nymphs, simple ones like zebra midge, copper john, pheasant tail, hare's ear. Simple is better in my experience. Since these cause a bit of ruckus landing, I'd suggest casting it like 10 feet or more in front of a crushing fish if you can see 'em. And a longer leader like 6,7,8 feet maybe, as long as possible that casts and unfurls well. Let it sit for a long few seconds, if it looks like the fish is gonna pass by, give it as slight a twitch as possible. Repeat.
 Reply by: esoxrocks      Posted: 8/12/2015 9:42:49 PM     Points: 2498    
Once again Ajax beat me to it... I also use cheap bubbles so you don't have to care about bouncing them off of rocks or loosing them to snags (not so much a problem in lakes but a real issue in small streams...I buy em by the bag) and I also use really thin tippet (usually 5x-6x) from below the bubble to the fly.

I also run those rubber bobber-stop thingies (they come on wires and are red, yellow and black) behind a bead above and below the bubble so I can adjust the length of the line below the bubble at will.
 Reply by: GoNe_FiShIn_11      Posted: 8/12/2015 10:01:28 PM     Points: 12153    
Everyone beat me to it. By far the best method to fish flies in ponds or lakes. Just run line through bubble then tie swivel on then leader from there to fly. Let the bubble run free. If u put a stopper on the bubble it adds too much resistance from the bubble and miss the strikes. With the bubble running free u have a direct line to the fly which will give ya better hook ups.
I seconded or third the braided main line with a fluro leader. U get the best casting distance with better hook ups with the no strech. Also add a little water for weight.
Also when u get hit just keep reeling and use a sharp snap of the rod tip rather then a home run swing. Lol a lot of times they will miss and keep casing it down.
Good luck man
 Reply by: Kev-o      Posted: 8/12/2015 10:05:24 PM     Points: 62871    
Try using that fly rod of yours homeboy.
 Reply by: bron      Posted: 8/13/2015 6:02:27 AM     Points: 37731    
Kevo--Blake was doing real good with the bendy rod in the Granby canal last weekend...don't want to make him struggle in high winds up at Summit. He had a tough day at Barker this Spring that way. I'd like to see him build on his confidence. Whatever method I use he will want to copy me.
 Reply by: Jacob J      Posted: 8/13/2015 6:29:21 AM     Points: 1591    
I am thinking about using this setup for ultra light tackle.
If I can achieve a nice long casts and deliver lures far enough I would be a king of the lake.
 Reply by: CoachK      Posted: 8/13/2015 7:48:25 AM     Points: 140    
use the swivel as the stopper for the bubble. I have trouble with the torpedo bubbles that have the rubber in them in that they get tangled more often. The best fly I have ever used behind the bubble is a renegade in size 14 and a size 10 renegade pistol pete. This is how my kids learned to fish. Fishing for bluegills they can cast and retrieve all day without having to bait up or get a lure snagged on the bottom.
 Reply by: Flyrodn      Posted: 8/13/2015 8:29:39 AM     Points: 184621    
All good comments.

I was an avid fly tyer and fisher with a fly and bubble, long before I became proficient with flyrod.

My preference is clear bubbles with a hard stem that the line slides through and then a swivel. I used to use 6 pound line on a light action rod, then a 3-6 ft leader of 4 pound, about 5X never found a need for any thing much lighter. Always make sure you have a smooth drag.

After casting, I'll often give a long hard pull to straighten out the leader, then a long pause, especially if using a brown Hare's Ear size 12. Think food pellet. They'll often take it while you wait.

As to a retrieve, as I mostly used "dries" and nymphs, sizes 16-12, my rule was if the bubble made a wake, slow down. I found slow retrieves worked best.

My favorite flies were soft hackle gray, zug bugs, hare's ears in brown, black, and olive, ants, renegades, adams, and blue duns. Most of my fishing was high mountain waters, such as the Grand Mesa for trout.
 Reply by: not too old to fish      Posted: 8/13/2015 10:55:50 AM     Points: 5235    
Bron, the wind doesn't always blow at Summit, so take both fly and spinnig rods. I've had some good action late evening with the flyrod after the storms pass using a #16 Adams. Be careful driving down after dark that road is not well marked and there are no guard rails.
 Reply by: bron      Posted: 8/13/2015 11:01:41 AM     Points: 37731    
We are fishing it all morning and in the afternoon we are going rafting. It's a last hurray for Summer for my son. School starts Monday. This is one of the things on his to-do list for Summer break. We focused on the flyrods a couple months ago--trying to refine our technique on the bubble method right now.
 Reply by: Goosehunter82      Posted: 8/13/2015 11:04:22 AM     Points: 55121    
To add to what flyrodn said just before the bubble hits the water I grab my line or close the bale that way the fly flips forward and the line is usually straight.
 Reply by: CnR      Posted: 8/16/2015 8:12:00 PM     Points: 416    
A lot of good info here. One thing I noticed is that the first 10 feet of line takes a bit of a pounding from the bubble slipping on it as you cast - I use the loose bubble with the internal rubber hose, and allow it to slip so the fish doesn't feel a strong pull when it hits the fly. So I make a point to cut off the first 10 feet of line a couple times a day.
Learned the hard way - eventually the line wears out and the whole rig goes sailing off into the lake while I watch. Changing out the first 10 feet helps prevent that. I use Crystal braid braided mono 10 Lb weight FYI.
 Reply by: Ajax5240      Posted: 8/16/2015 9:18:17 PM     Points: 30016    
How'd you fellas do??
 Reply by: bron      Posted: 8/16/2015 9:41:45 PM     Points: 37731    
Thanks for asking Ajax! We are still on a skunk...were getting hits on eggs but the fly thing was a bust. Small fish busting the surface but I couldnt figure out what they wanted....nobody else could either and the guy wading using a kastmaster went under then went home! That waters cold. We were pressed for timr cause our rafting trip started at 1. Ill put up a fresh post tomorrow....no fish porn but lots of scenery...animals...and tourist advice.
 Reply by: D-Zilla      Posted: 8/16/2015 9:43:07 PM     Points: 2422    
You guys need to quit talking about this stuff....it's making me want to try! I've never thrown a fly in my life, in any manner aside from over dry land in high school. (I had a friend who was a fly fisher, and he TRIED to teach me.) Can you catch the "big ones" with this method too? (See some of fishingdj's post for what I mean by big.)

Man, I have GOT to find some polarized sunglass clip ons......so I can see these fish better and MAYBE find what they want quicker.
 Reply by: bron      Posted: 8/16/2015 10:32:38 PM     Points: 37731    
We will meet up zilla....Ill give you all my limited knowledge.
 Reply by: wickedfisha      Posted: 8/17/2015 8:59:03 AM     Points: 1485    
You can ABSOLUTELY land large fish on a fly-n-bubble rig. I went to Spinney last Friday and put a 21 incher in the net using my bubble rig. I will say, the art of properly casting and presenting one of these rigs does take practice. Because your bubble weighs so much more than your fly, it will lead the rig when you cast. Therefore, a straightlined, laser-like flat cast doesn't work well, because as the bubble leads the way through the air, the fly and leader can spin around the line behind it. It is important to work on an arcing cast that allows your fly to trail the bubble through the air without spinning around the line. And then, and arguably most importantly, you must stop the bubble just before it lands on the water so that your fly will pendulum out in front of the bubble and land beyond it on the water's surface. I accomplish this by closing my bail just before the bubble hits. If you don't do this correctly, your rig will just land in a big pile on the water. Also, an easy rule of thumb to follow with leader length is to have your leader be as long as your rod. Any longer, and it will be very difficult to negotiate for casting. I prefer the "Adjust-A-Bubble" brand, and I like it fixed on my line right down against my swivel.
 Reply by: Fishneveryweek      Posted: 8/18/2015 10:35:13 AM     Points: 36    
I have, at times, had good success with a fly and bubble, often with a black woolly worm or a red copper john. Many times, though, they will be rising but not interested in any fly I put out there. Some of those times they only seem to want to go for my bubble! Wonder what pattern imitates a big plastic bubble?
 Reply by: Ajax5240      Posted: 8/18/2015 11:21:17 AM     Points: 30016    
When I see fish hitting my indicator (the bubble when you are using a fly rod) I tie on a big stimulator dry fly as a dropper rig rather than using the thingamabobber. Won't help you much if you are limited to spin casting, but may be worth switching out to a dry and see if they want that.
 Reply by: Jacob J      Posted: 8/18/2015 11:52:56 AM     Points: 1591    
After trying a leader with multiple flies I am leaning toward the single fly setup. I have made about 4 leader assembly with various flies (only one of them had wet fly at the end). So far caught only one small brown (4" monster) with it. Getting better success when changing patterns and various presentations.

Sometimes I am finding the right fly before it is time to go home.

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