Trout in ponds and lakes require different procedures and skills to succeed in catching them. Need to get more fish? Here are tips and insights on casting trout, the flies to use, and how to present them to enhance your catch rate when fly fishing for trout in still waters.
Basic of Fly Fishing in Still Water
You may have heard that fly fishing is only for trout; however, nothing could be further from this reality. With a simple adjustment to your tackle, you can catch pike and bass or even utilize a fly rod for fishes like bonefish, striped bass, and big game fish like marlin and tuna in saltwater. Additionally, fishing for Stillwater trout has been perceived as a costly, challenging, yet exciting experience. However, your ability to fly fish will largely depend on your technique and skill. But how simple can fishing trout in Stillwater be? Fortunately, this article will cover all the essentials, including;
- Introduction to Stillwater
- Where to find trout
- Basics of rig setups
- How to Fly Fish for Stillwater Trout and flies' selection
Introduction to Stillwater Fly Fishing
Stillwater trout fishing presents tremendous rewards. In contrast to rivers and streams, lakes are not dependent upon yearly spillover. Except for spring and fall turnover, lakes provide extended open water seasons. Turnover is a blending cycle that oxygenates and re-invigorates a lake. When it happens, the turnover cycle sets fish off the bite for approximately seven days.
However, turnover does not take place on every lake. Lakes, noted to be rich and productive, offer several food bases; even the dedicated incubate matcher has a lifetime of puzzles to understand. The capacity for an enormous trout remains one of the significant advantages of a rich food base. Comparably, trout in productive waters can attain astounding proportions to surpass the growth rate of those in rivers and streams.
Where to Find Trout in Still Water
Trout in Stillwater generally swim in pods and continue to move around the lake. This implies that there will be various times of getting fish and later not getting any as they forge ahead. This period calls for patience as trout pods will find their way back to your region. Likewise, your location is essential when fishing in streams, although great fishing spots won't be easily noticeable. You will have to scout for inlets, reefs, and drop-offs. These areas are critical since they offer trout an excellent store for food and should be your primary focus.
In splendid conditions like blue skies and clear waters, you may be able to perform some sight fishing. Regardless, you have to keep alert for water activities like rolling and jumping fishes. Another good indicator is a massive insect movement, which causes birds to swoop down regularly on the water. There is no time to waste when you notice these – get your stuff together and head over to that area.
However, there are few more things to learn if you want to fly fish for trout in Stillwater. All lakes are not created equal since some are deep, clear, and may have different nutrient makeup and levels. Read on to discover how to productively fly fish for trout with the right rig setups and flies' selection.
Rig Setup for Fly Fishing in Still Water
As the water's layers change drastically, cooler water from the outside of the lake sinks further while the warm water comes up. In turn, the fishes move into low areas along shorelines, and there is a surge in their feeding activity. Due to bait fish spawning activity, numerous Stillwater inlets and outlets become ideal spots for catching bait-crashing and aggressively feeding trout that are taking down their stunned quarry.
However, in any activity, you will need the correct equipment and tools to perform regardless of experience and mastery level. Sadly, many anglers don't make an effort to effectively equip themselves, leading to the wrong rod, lost fish, wrong flies, and above all, a dreadful fly-fishing experience.
Below are some tips to get the right start for a simple tackle and kit for fulfilling trout fishing on any Stillwater.
Based on the Stillwater you are fishing with and the trout size you hope to catch, the reel you place on your rod can play some functions in making the day's catch. Practically, however, the reel stores fly line and support. When you make the casting, you pull the measure of the fly line off the reel that you expect to fish with, and the reel keeps the rest until you need to either pull more line off or set more line back on. Reels come in various types and coatings, sizes, prices, shapes, and handles.
The correct fly line is the most crucial choice of tackle when it comes to Stillwater fly fishing. Since fly lines cover various fishing depths, beginning from the surface to 20ft, the fly lines are the only way you can get the fly to the trout's location. You will require not less than two lines to achieve this in most Stillwater fishing applications, a sinking line and a coasting line.
For several Stillwater fishers, casting to rising trout evokes consideration of calm nights on quiet Stillwater characterized by rings when trout slurp emerging mayflies. There isn't anything as satisfying as watching some trout with their open mouths slowly ascending to your fly while you raise your rod to meet with the opposition of his cumbersome physique.
Recovering a fly on choppy days over trout that stay and feed in deep water means so much to Stillwater anglers. Indeed, you can't fish successfully in 90% of Stillwater circumstances without sinking a line. Approximately 90 percent of most trout feeding occurs subsurface, making sinking lines beneath the surface most beneficial in most fishing circumstances.
What is the point of purchasing sunglasses if you were going to leave them behind at home? Get them, as your sunglasses do so much more than just help you see clearly in the water. They drastically decrease eye fatigue by keeping you from squinting from direct light or reflections off the water surfaces. They likewise shield your eyes from debris on those breezy days.
Additionally, sunglasses may permit you to spot a fish. This is the point where your lens color can be a game-changer. If you’re in doubt, go for either copper or amber lenses, which are most ideal in spotting fish in ponds and lakes.
The simple yet most important decision you will have to make is the choice of your fly rod. While you may experience discomforts over the cost of a fly rod, finding a good one will only hurt once. Nothing will cost and ruin a much-awaited trip than a bad rod. You don't want to have that experience, do you? The most widely used Stillwater fly rod for trout is a nine-foot 6-weight. If you are making your first rod purchase, this should be the obvious choice.
Setting Up the Rig When Fly Fishing in Still Water
Have you ever seen anybody fishing for trout without a right rig? The term "rig" is used to describe the process of arranging your rod, line, leader and tippet for fly fishing. It is essential to sort out your trout rig and set up your line before hitting the water.
Having a general understanding of what trout fish looks like makes your goal of getting one much more straightforward. Your best strategy is to show your insight and set up your trout rig and fishing line. There are numerous ways to set up a rig for fly fishing in still water, and we have a great article that explains not only still waters but also moving water that you can read here.
A rig is essentially a blend of tools required to make your day on the water a time to remember. Here are a few things you will need for a basic rig;
- Fishing Rod and Reel
- Fishing Line - Sometime floating, and other times a sinking line
- A Great Set of Flies
- Indicator – This is not always used but at time is needed. An indicator is a device that keeps your line from sinking to far down and also lets you know when you have a bite or a strike! Wondering what Indicator to use? Read our article here on all you kneed to know about indicators.
- Weight or Split Shot – This is the exact opposite of the bobbers. The split shot weight brings the fly faster to the feeding zone. To learn more about split shot, check out this article.
Nymph Fly Fishing – Drop-Shot Rig Setup for Fly Fishing Still Water
This fly fishing setup is excellent for fishing in deep pools or needing more than one flies in the various water section. It is additionally incredible for fishing in grimy waters. The Drop-Shot Rig Setup is dangerous and can fish as many flies as you want but check with local fishing laws to ensure you are not breaking any.
- 8ft Leader 4x or 5x
- Clear indicator
- Weight on the bottom
- Overhand Knot, connect fly with a dropper loop
- Overhand Knot, connect fly with a dropper loop
- Continue as needed. Keep Flies 8" to 12" apart
How to Fly Fish for Stillwater Trout
Hunting for Stillwater trout can be an exhilarating and testing experience. However, your ability to fish regularly relies on the technique you adopt. The small changes and adjustments you regularly make can increase the odds of catching these fish. Fly fishing in lakes is about the rigs you set up beneath an indicator or hopper design. While your primary focus should be finding the depth and flies' needs, you can follow these steps when Stillwater fishing.
Step 1: Select the best depth
The initial thing you will have to decide is the correct depth to put your line. There are a few factors to consider when making a decision, such as the water’s temperature. Numerous trout prefer to stay in calmer waters where they find more oxygen, making it easier to move around. Although the perfect temperature for trout is between 10 to 14 Celsius, the water depth can change with the weather. For instance, trout are more likely to swim to the surface due to the abundance of food.
Step 2: Find the precise fly
Using the right fly is essential to attracting the fish. There are a couple of ways to ensure you have the right fly. The first approach is to consider the sort of insect life available since most trout feed on insects. If these insects are little hatchlings, you stand a better chance with a little fly. This is why it is essential to have a comprehensive option of flies, so you won't be reluctant to change for an adequate alternative when one is not working.
Step 3: Decide the correct location
The presence of trout depends on the water temperature. Trout remain close to underwater obstacles like rocks or logs when the climate gets too cold or too hot. Despite this, they move to the middle part of the river or lake when actively feeding; therefore, it may take a few experiments to locate a decent fishing spot. Continue moving until you find a good location. However, don't stay more than 15 minutes' fly fishing in an area with no trout sign.
Step 4: Weigh your retrieval speed
Do you have any idea what triggers trout to make a bite? This is an essential thing to remember any time you go fishing for trout in still waters. For instance, you may attract trout using various shapes and sizes of flies. This attraction has been linked to how bait behaves in water since temperature affects the speed they travel. Meanwhile, trout can be sensitive to such changes.
Step 5: Use of fan casting
When trout fishing, the smart approach is to use the fan casting approach. This means you will need to cast at a different angle every time, guaranteeing you lure in another patch with every cast to ensure an entire base is covered before moving.
Step 6: Land your fish
After following the above tips, you are guaranteed a Stillwater trout action. The first step to landing the fish is by pulling the line to set the hook, to secure it in the fish’s mouth firmly. After, keep the trout tight on the line. Then wait for the fish to tire itself out and reel it towards you while positioning the net.
Do you have any leeches or streamers on your rig? You may need to give some movement by performing a strip retrieve the same as you would with streamers that you would fish on a rive. A slow retrieve can also give your nymph flies some movement. But speaking of flies, how do you decide or pick the right one?
You often see other anglers doing so well, and you are left wondering how they do it. Before burying yourself in thoughts, you may want to consider a few things, whether you are using your fly at the right level, retrieving at the correct pace, and pattern. If all these factors are in place, then you may now have to focus on your flies. To find out how to retrieve your fly check out our article on not only how to set up your leader, but also how to retrieve those flies for optimal success. You can find it here.
Selecting your Flies when Fly Fishing Still Water
Regarding picking flies for Stillwater, you have three fundamental classes: recommended flies that may speak to the number of various food sources, have common features to all and are acceptable in particular conditions such as clear waters. These flies look incredibly similar to a real food source. Appealing flies will lead the fish to pursue them even when they aren't in the mood to feed. Trout are generally aggressive hunters, so utilize splendid, flashy, unbalanced, versatile flies to exploit that attribute. Check some recommended flies and available on Drifthook.
Hare's Ear is arguably the most well-known nymph fly available and comes in varieties to suit any condition you'll be fishing in due to its popularity. Conventionally, it is made to speak to a mayfly. Still, it can be confusing for many insects that trout feeds on. This is the reason it remains a compelling choice when fly fishing in lakes around the globe.
The Copper John is a fundamental nymph fly if you intend to go fishing in more deep waters. The wire on this fly permits it to sink at a much quicker rate, allowing the nymph to choose the lower part of the water to draw in trout swimming past. This is significant for more deep waters as it will empower your fly to arrive at its planned depth considerably quicker. This implies there's less possibility of the trout getting on to your draw and getting frightened by it.
Glo bugs are unbelievably famous for both salmon and trout. It is intended to emulate eggs and is best utilized when trying to float along the lake's base to impersonate an egg that has loosened up. There are various kinds of glo bug flies, yet the most famous ones generally highlight a red dab in the center. This triggers fish to strike significantly more regularly than different patterns, yet it is practical to take a few with you on a fishing trip.
The Holy Grail is a caddis imitator that works extraordinarily in waterways and still lakes. The Holy Grail is novel in that it's regularly matched with various dry flies and emergers to make it more compelling. A two-fly rig isn't phenomenal, particularly in case you're keen on drawing in trout. You can emulate various insects if you're keen on pairings.
The Parachute Adams is a shockingly flexible attractor fly. This implies that it's not made to impersonate a particular insect or animal yet contains different flies and insects to pull in trout. It can duplicate various insects; however, it's best utilized when there is no incubate present. This assists in withdrawing trout, paying little mind to the ebb and flow conditions in the water.
Keynote when Fly Fishing Still Waters
Always ensure to make the most of your trout experience. Occasionally, some days will be awful, while other days will be worth your while. Trout fishing challenges you in several ways that most tips won't save you in such situations. Regardless, proceed to learn and build up your aptitude when it comes to fishing. As the renowned Henry David Thoreau put it, "Many men go fishing all of their lives without knowing that it is not fish they are after."
Matthew Bernhardt, a third-generation Coloradan, grew up at the forefront of the state’s fly-fishing revolution, enjoying time on the water, side by side with experienced guides and lifelong anglers.
By combining his passion for fly-fishing with input from other experienced fly-fishers and guides and his fine arts degree from Colorado State University, Matthew spent five years carefully developing the Drifthook Fly Fishing System, built to help every angler catch more trout.
When he’s not spending time with his wonderful family, you’ll find him out on the water catching MONSTER trout, and he anxiously looks forward to the day when his kids are old enough to join him there.