I fished with Dan Dee this cloudy morning on San Luis Reservoir. Dan spends his summers at his Montana Estate on the Madison River and his winters fishing for stripers in the lakes around San Diego. He showed me an interesting way to catch deep water stripers with flies. He uses full sinking lines– The Air Flow Sixth Sense SS-DL-WF S7 lines followed by 60 feet of amnesia shooting line tied to the backing. In the lakes around San Diego, they troll size 1 unweighted marabou flies with a hint of orange in the wing.
The water temp was 53 and there was a cold wind on the lake about 6mph. We landed most our fish in the early morning at daybreak. I had no idea that even cold mornings can be productive right at daybreak. I guess no more sleeping in for me . But, it also means I can come home early. When casting the shore got slow, we headed out to the deep water following the fish. In 70 feet of water, we started trolling flies around 2-5 MPH until we spotted fish at 30-40 feet. Dan let out all the fly line plus about 45 feet of Amnesia shooting line out behind the boat. I let out the equal amount of backing but his angles in the water looked better with the same lines. The flies were at 30 feet. I think that amnesia cuts the water better. Whe would troll till we spot fish, troll about 150 feet past at 1mph and then stop the motor letting the lines sink. Then we retrieve and jig the flies back to the boat. It works pretty good on big schools of deep fish. We ended up with 4 fish in the deep water. Dans lakes in San Diego are rarely deeper than 50 feet, but Ive seen Large schools of San Luis stripers at 40 to 60 feet. Also, Ive done well at San Luis spotting deep schools a stripers and dropping a weighted 1 oz feather jig down to them and jigging with a baitcaster. The ability to get a fly down to 40-50 feet in a moving boat really fast would be awesome. There are articles on the internet about fishing for stripers with flies at 60 feet in the ocean in a stationary boat. Fly anglers would mend out 100 grains of flyline and another 100 feet of shooting line to drift with the tide jigging an eel fly at 50-60 feet back up through the water table. This could be a good idea at San Luis near the trash racks where the depth is 100 feet with fish metering on the bottom!
Thinking about the heaviest fly line for the deepest fishing, I cant help remembering those old discontinued RIO 30ft tungsten dredger 1150 grain shooting heads. They were 10x heavier than a 10 wgt fly line. I recently acquired a Helios 10 wgt for Redfishing and I think Im going to rig it up with a 50 foot head of T-20, which is 1,000 grains and attatch 100 feet of 50 pound RIO Slick Shooter. This combination should get those flies down to fifty feet depending on the speed of the troll. While this might not be the best casting fly line I have ever used, its effectiveness at fishing depths of over 40 feet for San Luis Stripers will certainly outweigh its awkward casting (if even possible!). The 10 Weight Helios II will at least be the lightest 10 weight on the market and should be easier to fish all day when those stripers head for the depths.