Marching past and present

Siskiyou Lake - Mount Shatsa, CA (Siskiyou County)

Brown Trout
Photo Credit: Scott Caldwell

by Scott Caldwell

As we all ride this situation  out, I have chosen to look back at March 2018 and 2019. These photos come from the Klamath river, Lake Siskiyou and Shasta lake. Looking back on my 27 years of fishing and guiding these waters, there are some tried and true methods that have caught fish and will continue to catch fish. Today, I will give you all little "how to info", that has worked well for me. I can safely say I have used a Dodger and worm combo to catch fish each and every one of those 27 years, and I have continued to modify and refine its use each an every year. I like the dodger/worm combo because the dodger gives the worm life. What do I mean by life? It simply means the side to side action of the dodger is giving that worm some side to side twitching action. That life twitching action is often irresistible to the fish. Now of course, if you use to long of a leader from your dodger to the hook, you will not get that added action. I like to use a leader between 10 and 18 inches. This length has worked well for me no matter what type an size dodger I am using. I have used many types of Dodgers and we all have our favorites. I am going to just talk about one simply because it is the one I have used the most and they have treated me well over the years. A Sep's 4/0 pro dodger, is a 4 inch by 1 inch 1/4 fish catching piece of metal. Now we could talk colors and that like other brands sizes and shapes would take up way to much typing space. I am going to keep it all simple. I like the Sep's 4/0 pro dodger hammered brass/silver 50/50. I like this one because silver and brass or gold are fish catching colors, so the two together work really well. The hammered out pattern also helps to create more flash. The fish at the above mentioned lakes as well as McCloud reservoir have really like that pattern. So here you go, that Sep's dodger with 12 to 18 inches of 10 to 15lb Seaguar invis florocarbon leader tied to a modified woolly bugger and tipped with about 1 inch of nightcrawler then dipped into Pro-Cure shrimp krill oil, is a set up has caught a lot of fish and will work on most  bodies of water. 
All the specific pieces I mentioned the dodger, the leader, the fly, the worm, and the scent have been an accumulation of time spent on my local waters just trying different things out. Now the the other important part is putting this set up in the water. Some where between 30 and 100 feet behind the boat trolling at a speed of .5 to 2.5 mph in an S pattern will do the trick.  Doing this will catch fish from the surface down to 30 feet, without the use of extra weight or a downrigger. I like to speed up and slow down from a base speed of 1 to 1.5 mph  and continue to troll in that S pattern. This gives your dodger/worm combo set up extra movement, falling or rising and speeding up and slowing down, anything to get those fish to react an strike. You can talk all you want about gear tackle boats and bodies of water but in the end all fish strike that thing you tied on the end of your line because you made it move in a way the fish could not resist. Using this one particular set up and trolling it as I explained  touches many of the things that get fish to bite. I am going to let that one simmer for a while and I will continue to throw more how to info out, as we all deal with this situation, hopefully life will get back something that resembles normal soon. Hang in there everyone.

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