Fishing forum > Fishing a fly under a float

Author Topic: Fishing a fly under a float

Hey everyone, I have never had too much luck fishing for bull trout, and unfortunately my fly rod snapped. I have a large collection of flies still. Would fishing a leech, or a sculpin or a flesh fly under a float on a spinning road still be productive, on the squamish river? if so how much float depth do you think?


I think you could catch fish in the right water. I have caught bulls on jigs, so I imagine it would be possible. However, you might have difficulty controlling the depth of your presentation, unless the fly is heavily weighted, like a big lead wrapped sculpin with a large fish head.

If you have a spinning rig, swinging spoons would (IMHO)be far more productive in terms of the amount of water you can cover (important considering the size of the Squamish) and the number of fish you are likely to catch.


PS, as for float depth that will be highly dependent on the speed and depth of the water you are fishing, i.e. a 2-3' tail out or a 6->10' deep hole. Ideally you want to 'short float' your presentation ~1-2 foot off the bottom. Not drag your gear along the bottom. Depending on water clarity your leader (distance between hook and weight should be no more than 16-24 inches).

This video explains short floating and how to drift a float for any type of fish.

Awesome video

I have river fished with a fly-under-float set up before. It's definitely tricky in faster/rough water as it tends to throw the fly around a bit, so it makes presenting it properly and setting your depth hard at times. But as mentioned previously if you use a heavier fly it is more controllable. Some have suggested using split-shots or some form of weight on the leader, so as to weight the fly down.... I've never had to try this but it's an idea.

Slower/calmer water it actually works surprisingly well, in my experience.

A larger woolly bugger I find usually has enough weight to it

thanks for the great info guys!

chris try no weight at all , use fluorocarbon leader and water float as your weight , weight no good with flys , if you use f/c it will sink slowly , and if you use clear float will be less noticeable to fish just try it you can go crazy with leader up to 10feet (didn't try more so far) and depending on size of float(if you need more distance or quicker sink) you can adjust your presentation

Any luck out there Chris? With all the advice here and on other forums I thought we might be seeing a report with a couple of fish?

hey guys, sadly i still havent had a chance to get out! work has been keeping me busy. As soon as we get a few dry days and the squamish river clears up a bit (im assuming its muddy from all the rain) then i will head out, hopefully next week. And hopefully I will have a few bulls or dollies to report about! Thanks guys

As alexfromrichmond mentioned, using a clear water filled float (adjustabubble!) for weight, and a lengthy leader, is in my opinion the ideal way to fly fish with a spin rod.

I use this technique very often, river or lake, and it works wonders.

Only down side is the float does sink, which can be trouble in busy areas as other fishers cannot see your float.

Good luck, let us know how it works. I have been planning a trip to the squamish area myself and I'm curious if it will produce

not really , you can don't fill it all away up and it will float , or slowly sink ... just takes time to figure out what you want your fly to do

Chris, do not worry about the colour it's not like the Vedder. As you can see above, even with the recent rain the water was perfect very slightly brown/green with ~4-5 foot of visibility.

Any water levels between 2-3.2 and its usually fine. You only have to worry when it gets really high and or later in the year when the freshet starts and it colours up until September due to snow melt.

When it's below 2 it starts to get pretty clear.

Dylb: fishing has been pretty decent and steady for the past 6 weeks or so, it's a good time to be out hunting bulls.

PS, swinging spoons, still the most productive method.

Thanks again for more awesome advice! Much appreciated

Where was this pic taken on the Squamish? I've never seen the river like that... Is it quite high up along the gravel road? Looks like great water!

Yes it's up the gravel road. If you take a drive you will find it pretty easily. It does look nice water, but I have not had any luck there, but that's probably just me ...

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