Hot day on a Cold Morning on the Forebay with Ken Oda

Friday November 12 2022. Thanks to Ken Oda,  we nailed them today in the Forebay.   Even old dogs can learn new tricks and today school was in session for me with Ken Oda on the Forebay.  One way to become a better fly fisherman is to fish with guys that are better than you.   Surround yourself with superior  talent and you have no where else to go but better,   I got out fished 2 to 1 on the forebay today by Ken.    The last time I fished with Ken was in Cuba where we all caught COVID.  He obviously recovered and whatever “Slow Covid” he has benefits to his slow and easy hook set.  I wanted to show Ken how the Panoptix Perspective mode works in the forebay and for the first time,   I had two Side Scanning Panoptix units on the boat – one for each angler.     Ken is the perfect person to try this with since he can cast backhanded and understands how to use sonar..   It was fun describing fish we were both seeing on different screens that were swimming 80 feet from the boat.  Ken picked up how to use the sonar and between the two of us site fishing stripers from 9-5 put near 40 fish to the boat all over 18 inches and hooked as many more.   The biggest of the day was 23 inches and the fish fought incredibly hard in the 55 degree water.  For the most part the fish were hitting the fly hard even though they were not going out of there way to hit it more than once or swimming from long distances to eat as observed on the sonar.

After editing the video and studying a great fisherman like Ken.   The main difference between our fishing setups yesterday was our lines.  Currently, I have a variety of 8 wgt Outbound Shorts for different depths.  I like the engineered lines because they sink in a straight line.

  • 8wgt floating Wulf Ambush Line for throwing  crease flies, gurglers and pole dancers. {OBS floating equivalent}
  • 8 wgt Outbond Short hover engineered to sink in a straight line just below the surface. for 1-2 foot depth,
  • 8 wgt Outbound Short   Int/3ips/5ips
  • 8wgt  Outbound Short.  Int/5ips/7ips.
  • 8wgt  Outbound Short    Int /7Ips.   to dredge.
  • One Fly reel with 8 colors of Lead Core for FLY CORE trolling with a fly rod.

Yesterday to match Ken,  I used a type 3 OBS int /7ips.  Ken was using a level T11 with mono running line.   There is no doubt in my mind that I was fishing similar flies and leader below the depths he was fishing.   Its not often when you get one guy in the boat getting more hits all day long using similar equipment.   Its actually great when that happens,   These are the times when you really need to think about whats different and how a change in tactics can  double your success.  Yesterday I think the differences was the depth and hover we were fishing .  Also Ive had a Paradigm Shift  about what depth the fish are at in relation to how far they appear out from the boat on the Panoptix.   Ive got my MAX range set at 100 ft.  In 20 feet of water,  fish that show from 10-50 feet out have to be above the middle of water table to be visible  since the Perspective beam aims down.   We were fishing schools in 15 feet of water most the day which means ken was fishing in 5-10 feet of water most of the day while I was fishing 10-15 feet with an OBS.    Most of Kens hookups were within 30 feet of the boat or closer whereas most of mine were out past 30 ft.

We fished till the last minute and came off barely in time to get rebanded at 5:00.   We hung out with Mark Won for awhile who was out fishing in his pontoon.   As the sun set over the hill ,   Float tubers could be seen like Maylies on the water  all across the lake.  We only saw a couple fish bust but we were not out there at dark .   There were more than a dozen tubes on the water as we left waiting for the MAGIC hour of busting stripers and non stop action.    They stopped kicking float tubes  of the forebay after dark I have heard but boats must be off the water by sunset.


I use to feel like I could fish 10 feet of water with almost any line.  Weather a floating line, heavy fly and long leader or stripping a t14 faster  ,  you can put the fly at 10 feet.   But the movement of the fly  is subtly different with every line and fly design.   In my opinion , one way to improve your game is to find the  right combo of line sink rate , leader length and fly design in relationship to where the fish are in the water column and how active and aggressive they are.   I love the puzzle.

Engineered Rio Outbound Short fly lines for every depth designed to sink strait at different rates. 

Rio Outbound Short Shooting Heads – TAPERED to sink straight at different sink rates. 30 Feet to “T line” used for Spey tip –  Level Titanium shooting heads whose main advantage is sink rate and small diameter, 


Sure is great to have game tape to review !

4 thoughts on “Hot day on a Cold Morning on the Forebay with Ken Oda

  1. Always fun fishing with you! I’ll have to look into rigging a livescope for one of my boats. Big advantage for tracking squirrely schools that only let you get one shot at them before they take off. Learned a lot!

  2. Very interesting analysis of a productive day. I sure am missing that game. Glad you guys had a beautiful day and you shared with us.

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