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Lake: Sprague Lake - RMNP

Ice Flies

Post By: FJ Bear      Posted: 12/11/2022 5:24:49 PM     Points: 3    
Fished this lake on Friday. 10 of ice, 20 of water below the ice. Fished in the NW corner of lake. Drilled a series of holes to find a little more depth. You cannot use any bait or anything scented. I fished with Prince and Pheasant Tail bead heads, Also 1/12 plastics, etc. Caught nothing, had three bumps, and spent some real quality time watching fish swim by on a regular basis. Any ideas on what Im doing wrong . Thanks.
 Reply by: GoNe_FiShIn_11      Posted: 12/11/2022 8:32:58 PM     Points: 11037
May have been fishing too small. The bugs will work but trout are a predator. Give them something to chase. A lot of times that cant resist but to bite. Small jigging raps and spoons Should get some attention.
 Reply by: ozzy      Posted: 12/11/2022 10:06:16 PM     Points: 1256
trout magnets - dead stick em.
 Reply by: ND Transplant      Posted: 12/12/2022 6:26:12 AM     Points: 14546
Email me at and I'll give you some pointers. I never have a bad day icing that lake. Hitting it this weekend with a buddy and his two little boys. It's the perfect starter lake for taking little ones ice fishing for the first time since it's so easy to walk there from the lot.
 Reply by: FJ Bear      Posted: 12/12/2022 6:48:58 PM     Points: 3
Thanks for the advice. I did notice when I used larger plastics thief seemed to, attract more fish. Im new to Fish Explorer. Im a 71 year old retired guy who loves to fly fish and ice fish. Raised in northern Minnesota. You play hockey and do ice fishing to survive the winters. Thank you again.
 Reply by: malty falcon      Posted: 12/13/2022 8:36:01 AM     Points: 9978
I am also a fly- and ice-fisher, and have never had any luck with flies through the ice. I gave up using them years ago.

I'm sure they would be effective at some time, but I'd rather catch than watch. The closest I get to flies is a wooly bugger on a jig hook, but it's always tipped with a mealworm. White has been my top producer for my ice-fly. If it's a "no bait" lake, actively jigging spoons or tube jigs is usually productive, as the fish have less time to sniff your offerings.

BTW, 20" of water is pretty darn shallow
 Reply by: Troutbisquits      Posted: 12/13/2022 8:49:39 AM     Points: 2392
So it is not a traditional fly, but the VMC tungsten bullfly jig works really well for trout. I also have had luck on some HEAVY scuds and leeches. The problem with using flies ice fishing is they are often not heavy enough to get you the jigging action you want. When I fish for Grayling at Joe Wright, which is also artificial only. I actually drop shot flies above a spoon. Have had some good days with that. One really killer plastic jig for trout is the atomic teasers tube jigs. I caught my PB ice brown at 25in on one of those.
 Reply by: FJ Bear      Posted: 12/15/2022 6:12:04 PM     Points: 3
Thank all of you for your help and advice for fishing Sprague Lake in the park . I will give it a try early next week and let you the result.
 Reply by: xavierk31      Posted: 12/16/2022 5:33:41 AM     Points: 6008
Id love to see a conditions report for Sprague Lake whenever you head up there. Tight lines!
 Reply by: i2fly      Posted: 12/16/2022 9:26:38 PM     Points: 2345
Flies like this balanced minnow will certainly work as a ice fly. You can tie it with tungsten beads 2 in the nose. The color selection would be what you chose for materials. You can change that minnow fly to Hot fluorescent pink ice fly. Even use glo materials. Heck Id make creature bugs with tentacles. Cmon you cant tell me that the atomic ant and the rat finky is special. Not to mention the ratso and shrimpo. Lol Have fun with making stuff up or your version of a existing bait.

Weight is not an issue. Just use over sized tungsten beads. There are some truly cool beads available these days. The up side to making your own ice bugs.Is you get to fish them right away
 Reply by: xavierk31      Posted: 12/17/2022 9:14:12 AM     Points: 6008
i2fly- those flies are pretty awesome. Have you considered selling some of your flies on the side? I can see some of those patterns working not just for ice fishing....
 Reply by: GoNe_FiShIn_11      Posted: 12/17/2022 7:06:21 PM     Points: 11037
Ive been loving the vmc flies for panfish the past couple of years. One my go to anymore for finesse. Bluegills love them.
 Reply by: droolr      Posted: 12/18/2022 6:39:24 AM     Points: 3658
squirmy worms and euro jig flies . a visit to a fly shop should do it . maybe ask them to tie up a batch of scuds or wooly buggers on jig hooks with tungsten heads .

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