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Toby Salz
(tobysalz) - M
bubble/fly on 01/29/2013 17:30:35 MST Print View

i've always used a traditional spinning set-up and want to try and fly/bubble set-up this summer. i mostly fish high sierra lakes.

how do you set this up? what flies should i bring? other advice?

Ben Wortman
(bwortman) - M

Locale: Nebraska
fly on 01/29/2013 19:33:33 MST Print View

I use an A-Just-a Bubble

I just put any yummy looking fly on my 4lb mono. Bubble goes on first, and you twist the middle rubber part to lock in in place. I usually vary the depth so that it is at the same level as the fish.

You can also fill it with water to add weight and cast further.


Erik Basil

Locale: Atzlan
Re: bubble/fly on 01/30/2013 07:42:31 MST Print View

There are some great thread on here (search: "spinning bubble fly fishing") with pictures of hikers' rigs and details. Also, as you get to Lone Pine, drop into the Sporting Goods store there with the big fish outside and spend a few bucks on the most-recommended flies...and get all the local beta and insight for free from the great old guys behind the counter!

For flies, I suggest a selection of small flies, such as the red-ant, mosquitos with red in them and maybe a couple of teeny ones with little pieces of red foam (no-sink) in them. These are used with the bobbers for the "bobber and fly" setup, particularly during "the rising" at sun-up and dusk. I carry mine in a take-out taco sauce container and many local fly-sellers will give these out, too.

Thread-wise, check out:

And then do a few more searches! :)

USA Duane Hall
(hikerduane) - F

Locale: Extreme northern Sierra Nevada
bubble/fly on 02/14/2013 21:04:18 MST Print View

To avoid tangles part of the time, after casting, grab your line before it reachs its furthest, that supposedly causes the bubble to stop and maybe let the fly clear it. Get half a dozen different flies and maybe a couple of the regular ones. I had one red ant fly I'd been packing for years, never used it and at Rae Lakes there was a hatch on, I killed the Brookies with it.

Kerry Wilson

Locale: North of Eugene, South of Portland
Bubble fishing on 07/16/2014 00:03:12 MDT Print View

I have fished with "fly bobbers" for 40+ years on lakes/rivers/streams and have a few observations of my own to share.

I have been very successful even when the lake surface is like glass which is the hardest time to catch anything in those clear lakes.

Use a long and light leader. 6' min. for me and 8' isn't too long. And generally a 2 lb. leader. Big end of the bobber goes towards the pole, not the fly. Use clear bobbers.

Cast out as far as you can when you are "searching" for fish and just before the bobber gets to the water, crank the reel enough to set the bail and then pull back on the pole enough so that the bobber starts to come back to you just "before" it hits the water. That causes the leader to straighten out and the fly to land behind the bobber in undisturbed water. (takes a little practice). Let it sit for a minute before starting the retrieve, but be prepared as many fish hit while you are letting it "soak".

Retrieve slooowly (lakes) and stop from time to time and "twitch" the bobber a little to cause the fly to move just a few inches. With a slow retrieve you will leave no ripples on the water. (Rivers and streams you can retrieve a litte faster, just don't drag it faster than the fish can catch it)

Fishing targeted rises, cast just past and bring the fly through the rise using same technique.

Just before lifting it out for the next cast, let it settle for a moment to make sure a trailing trout has one last chance.

I have found best luck overall with wet flies like yellow or black wooley worms and similar patterns with a taste of red at the tail or black ant patterns. Dry flies on lakes work, but its easy for them to get pulled under by the dragging and then they are no longer floating and fish seem to not like em then. Fish them even slower so they basically are sitting still.

The way I fish lakes, the retrieve may take 4 or 5 minutes/cast (longer with dry flies, but I tend to wet patterns). You can set the hook a little when they hit, then just make sure they don't get slack line.

If you expect bigger fish, set a light drag. Anything up to 12-14" should be no problem on 2# leader and larger fish are fine if you don't lock em up to hard with the drag. ( I once caught and landed an 18# salmon in the fast water of a river on 8# test line, just took almost an hour and a fair amount of patience)

I have used a fly bobber successfully with a bait hook and an impaled cricket, grasshopper and salmon fly as well, and fished pretty much the same way, esp. on moving water.

Don't forget that this same setup works for drifting flies (and bait) around on streams and rivers as well (on smaller streams/creeks you may want to shorten up the leader to around 4' or so, then its easier to "steer" the fly with the bobber). A fly bobber setup can be very effective and the spin gear provides lots of versatility that you won't get with a fly rod only.

Anyway, works for me...hope it helps ya. Good Luck all...