Anyone fly fish in stillwater?

Kiriesh

Adventurer
So last spring I may have impulse bought a 10wt rod and reel combo to try out some stillwater fly fishing in the sierras off of my kayak (also may take it out with me on my kayak for ocean fishing). It was a great idea but it's been sitting in my closet unused ever since because I'd get about a page and a half into reading about different sinking line setups before giving up and grabbing my spinning rod instead. Anyone have advice for a stillwater fly-fishing newbie? I've done a bit of fly fishing with a 5wt on some of the rivers up around Tahoe but that's the extent of my fly fishing knowledge and I'm the first one to tell you my technique is garbage. I'm hoping if I can get out on the water locally I can improve my technique and maybe actually catch something for once...
 
yes

I do no great success but he principles are the same . once you get good at fly fishing you'll skunk the best bait fishermen every time. no great advice but you might try fly fishing addicts forum.
 

waveslider

Outdoorsman
Wow, only one response?

Kiriesh,

Stillwater fly fishing can be some of the most productive you'll ever do. But it requires some specialized tactics that may not be intuitive to the average moving water fly fisherman.

For starters, I'm not sure you'll need that ten weight rod unless your still water includes salt water. Your 5 weight should serve you well.

It's too deep a topic (pun intended) to cover off on a forum post. But there are basically two primary methods for Stillwater trout fishing:

1: Stillwater nymphing. This involves a floating line, strike indicator(aka bobber) and usually a fairly long leader with one to three flies hanging off of it. The strategy here is to find a spot where the fish like to cruise -in maybe 4-8' of water- and hang your nymphs close to the bottom so that cruising fish will pick it up as they swim by. This depth is often critical and I've seen fishing go from non-existent to on-fire with as little as a 4" change in the depth my flies are hanging at.

2: Streamer fishing. This is where your sinking lines come in. This is basically a matter of (oftentimes) putting a hero cast out into the lake and then waiting for your line and fly to sink to a specific depth and then retrieving it until you get a take. Lots of trial and error here in terms of how long to wait before stripping. And the speed of the retrieve. It's not unusual for people to actually use a timer to precisely time how deep your fly and line is getting.

It can be rewarding but also very boring. I assure you, once you find the magic combo of depth and method on any given day, it can be so easy you will get tired of catching fish.

Hope that helps. Put that spinning rod away! Lol
 

letgonow

New member
What works for me:

Mountain lakes - typically brook trout, dry flies work great, no need to match a hatch the fish aren't that particular. Typically find best fishing is where the shoreline is steep, at base of cliffs & such. ALWAYS where the specific spot to be fished is in shade - the water is usually very clear, predators of these fish come from above thus the need for deeper water & shade. Haven't tried nymphing in lakes but imagine it would work well; fly fishing in these lakes has ALWAYS been far more productive than other methods, for me.

Your 5wt should be plenty with appropriate leader size & length - at least 9 ft.

Go forth & catch...
 

EMrider

Explorer
Yep, spent yesterday fly fishing on Crowley lake with midges at depths of 12-18 feet. Very fun and far more productive than bait or lures. Much more fun to fight the fish on a fly rod and easier to release the fish too.

That said, I'd much rather fly fish a nice river or creek.

R
 

Jay61

New member
I saltwater fly fish a lot and use 10wts for large Jack Crevalle and tarpon up to 70 or so pounds. I don't know what you would use a 10wt for in freshwater. For freshwater fishing I don't imagine there is much you would use a rod larger than 8wt for with the exception of larger salmon and striped bass. For trout I would like maybe a 5wt 9 foot rod for still water fishing. Ironically fly fishing and bird hunting is why I got into over landing.
 

hemifoot

Observer
my wife and i still water fly fish from ice off to ice up again.we plan every single one of our 100 days of camping per year around it.ditch the 10 wt. and get a 5.learn how to throat pump a fish and it'll make it easier to match what they're feeding on.try trolling around a sink tip .watch the birds flying around the lake,they will tell you where the bugs are coming off,that's where the fish will be.it is a sport with a very steep learning curve but it will hook you.learning the cast can be a little time consuming,but my wife was double hauling like a pro by the end of the first spring i took her out.she out fishes me 50% of the time now.also,don't let anyone tell you you need a $500 rod and reel setup.
 

hemifoot

Observer
my wife and i still water fly fish from ice off to ice up again.we plan every single one of our 100 days of camping per year around it.ditch the 10 wt. and get a 5.learn how to throat pump a fish and it'll make it easier to match what they're feeding on.try trolling around a sink tip .watch the birds flying around the lake,they will tell you where the bugs are coming off,that's where the fish will be.it is a sport with a very steep learning curve but it will hook you.learning the cast can be a little time consuming,but my wife was double hauling like a pro by the end of the first spring i took her out.she out fishes me 50% of the time now.also,don't let anyone tell you you need a $500 rod and reel setup.put a roll of lead core on your 10 wt.and go find some lakers or muskies or whatever there are in your area that like to lurk in the depths.we did that in august up in northern british columbia.we pulled in some huge fish.
 

steelhd

Observer
Chronomids, chronomid emergers, various drys, various streamers, muddlers, terrestrials, san juan worms, and many other patters all work well for trout on still water lakes at various times. Almost anything meaty will entice smallmouth and largemouth. If you happen to hit the right place, at the right time, nothing beats damsel fly nymphs in the surface film for fun. Trout hammer them like a tarpon crushing a baitfish that stole its wallet.
 

Explorerinil

Observer
I’m no expert fly fisherman by any means, but I can tell you that fly flashing is much more fun anywhere than conventional fishing. I got a 5wt sage foundation outfit, I get my flys from the fly shack, I got the stuff to build them myself but I just don’t have the time. Get on YouTube and start watching videos you’ll find a ton of good advice on there. I fly fish around here for pan fish, a nice bluegill or bass is a blast to catch on a fly rod.
 

luckyjoe

Adventurer
OP - Yes, 100%

I only fish big rivers and lakes, maybe a pond or two. I use an 8wt rod and shooting head set-up, so light a running line and 10wt heads (floating, intermediate, LC). For my fishing this gives the most versatility, flexibility and ability to cover big water.
 

robert

Expedition Leader
Yep, and like steelhd I've had good luck with fishing for smallmouths too. Agree with everyone about the 5wt too. (y)
 

Mike S

Sponsor - AutoHomeUSA
Fly fishing can be just as complicated or simple as you wish to make it. Your 10 weight is way too much for freshwater and most saltwater applications.

I suggest that Tenkara is a simple method of fly fishing, the gear is not expensive and it is effective - in running water. For stillwater, get a 5-6-7 weight 8.5' to 9' rod, a simple reel and a floating line. Tie a leader and a fly to the end of the line. Go fishing. More will become clear as you are fishing. Keep it Simple.
 
Top