Darren Huntsman, a seasoned angler and expert in Stillwater fishing, shares his valuable tips and expertise in fishing the Henry’s Lake area.

Stillwater Fishing Tips with Darren Huntsman. Hit play below!

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(Read the Full Transcript at the bottom of this Blog Post)


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Stillwater Fishing Tips Show Notes with Darren Huntsman

3:42 – Darren gives us a quick intro about him and his love for Stillwater fishing. We had him in the podcast in Traveled #7 where we talked about the top lakes to fish in Idaho. For this episode, he’ll be giving valuable tips on Stillwater fishing.


5:50 – Learn how to cast. On still waters, not being able to cast a good distance is a severe handicap. You don’t need to be grandmaster, but you need to throw farther than 30-40 feet.

8:23 – The most common problem people have with casting is timing. Wait a little bit longer for that line to load your rod on your backcast.

8:40 – Keep your rod tip high on your backcast.

10:10 – Keep that straight contact line from the minute you start your countdown to when you start with your retrieve. So have your watch with you.


7:13 – Use a bit heavier rod like a 6 or 7-wt to be able to cast into the wind.

24:35 – If he can have one pattern to fish a stillwater with, it’s a real sparsely tied black and blue leech that Phil calls a bruised leech. Leeches are one of the most abundant food sources for fish year-round.

39:25 – Bring rain gear. The worse the weather, the better the fishing.

42:52 – Tie your own bugs. If you’re not losing flies and you’re not hanging up on the bottom, you’re not down where the fish are.

45:50 – When done properly, a throat pump will not harm a fish. You only pump its esophagus, not its stomach to see what it ate in the last hour. He describes further how he does this.



12:20 – Know the depth of the water so you can count your fly down and be consistent with your presentation to the fish.

19:27 – Watch your rod position. It’s very important to have your rod tip down.

30:00 – The shallower or the clearer the water is, the longer his leaders are, anywhere from 11 to 15 feet for a single bug. If he’s going to throw a dropper, he’s going to lengthen that out to 15 or 18 feet because he wants his first fly to be about 9 feet from where his fly line and leader join.

57:25 – Vary your retrieve until you find the retrieve that the fish want. His basic standard retrieve is about an 8-inch strip.


21:20 – Depth, Retrieve, and Pattern (DRP) –Phil Rowley discusses this in detail in our Littoral Zone #3 episode.

27:48 – Figure out when a fish subtly takes it and you don’t feel it. Darren’s favorite way of Stillwater fishing is to cast and retrieve.

Finding the Fish

36:20 – Find the habitat or the weed beds. That’s where the bugs live which are the food source of the fish.

52:20 – When you’re out on a lake, use your senses. Take a pair of binoculars so you can watch what fellow anglers are doing and don’t be shy to ask questions.

56:27 – Be patient.

56:28 – When you think you’re deep enough, go a little bit deeper.

1:03:40 – We’re giving away a Stillwater fly fishing trip plus a bunch of gear. Visit wetflyswing.com/giveaway to join.

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You can find Darren Huntsman on Instagram @stlwtrfishingco and @stillwaterskeeter.

Facebook at Stlwtr Fishing Co.

Visit their website at StlwtrFishingCo.com.

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Related Podcast Episodes

Traveled #7 – Top Lakes in Idaho with Darren Huntsman – Stillwater Fly Fishing, Henry’s, Hyde

Littoral Zone #3: How to Approach New Lakes with Phil Rowley – Stillwater Fly Fishing

Read the Full Podcast Transcript Below


stillwater fishing

Stillwater Fishing Tips Conclusion with Darren Huntsman

Darren Huntsman, a seasoned angler and expert in Stillwater fishing, shares his valuable tips and expertise in fishing the Henry’s Lake area.