Wild Northerner Magazine Spring 2018 - Page 54


For Wild Northerner

Fishing any new water can be both exciting and challenging and the Whalesback channel is just that.

The “Big water “as its called locally (with good reason) is a special place. However, as incredibly beautiful as it is, it can be a bit daunting at first. If you’ve come from the comfort and familiarity of the smaller inland lakes as I had, it feels a little like the first day of school all over again.

As you leave the boat ramp behind and head out onto the seemingly endless body of water with your wee fly rod at the ready, the question “where the do I start?” pops into mind.

Don’t let this put you off. The key, as always, is to narrow the fishing down into the areas where you think will yield the highest success. Keep on the move and search around the usual structure. Stick to a plan. Fishing the wind ward shorelines, islands, drop offs and back bays are all good bets, and a better bet still if they have deep water nearby. Sooner or later, you build up a knowledge of what to look out for at different times and in different conditions.

I can promise the reward for the time put in is well worth the effort!

The Whalesback shiner is one of the best patterns I’ve found for the big water.

Smallmouth, walleye and pike all smash it. It represents the baitfish that they all prey on. I can really fish it with confidence going from spot to spot knowing that if it does swim across a fish’s path I’d be likely to find out about it.

It will fish well on most lines, but I usually have it rigged up on a sinking line and short leader.

Flies for the north