Fly Fishing Techniques For Lakes...

Discussion in 'Stillwater' started by HappyHooker, Apr 28, 2006.

  1. HappyHooker Fly Fishing Enthusiast

    Posts: 94
    Snohomish, WA.
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    Hey ya'll,

    Sorry I haven't been able to help out much around here lately...I've been swamped with work and other things.

    I wanted to let you know about a new article I just posted to my blog.

    It's all about Fly Fishing in Lakes.

    I figured it would be a perfect time to post it since tomorrow is the season opener here in WA.

    Here's a couple highlights...

    "Often lake fish will gather in schools and cruise around looking for food, but often it is the small fish that rise to take surface insects while the bigger ones feed in deeper water."....

    "Where the fish are:

    Fish in lakes aren't much different than fish in rivers. Their concerns are still protection from predators and finding food. Lake fly fishing techniques involved finding the areas where both these concerns are met.

    Remember that lake water is generally deeper than rivers water, so bottom structures may not be visible. Try fishing where a stream enters the lake. Insects are often carried into the lake here and the fish will be waiting for them.

    Structure in lakes includes piers and boat ramps, weeded areas and deadfalls. Fish are likely to be hanging around man-made structures that have been sunken into the waters. Lake fish like to hang around drop off areas. Here they can munch on food that has fallen into the water and dart back into the depths when spooked. Warm water fish gather around natural springs and weeds also."....

    Click the link below to visit my blog and read the entire article:

    Fly Fishing Techniques For Lakes

    Tight Line's ya'll,

  2. ceviche Active Member

    Posts: 2,312
    Shoreline, Washington, U.S.A.
    Ratings: +42 / 0
    Here are some more items.

    If it gets sunny, expect the fish to either go deep or find shade. They don't like bright light and can't wear sunglasses.

    If the temperature is moving towards 55 degrees, you can expect to find fish feeding. Correspondingly, if the temperature is moving away from 55 degrees, expect the bite to shut down.

    I was fishing Green Lake today and found these two factors strongly affected my catch rate. I arrived around 10:00am. The bite shut down right when I hit the water. Too much sun. Things started up once the clouds came in and the temp started to drop again. I ended the day with two or three planter trouts at around 10" and a larger one at around 16" brought to hand. About three were LDR'd. I also hooked a sculpin that was about 6".

    These were some good trout. Very scrappy fighters. But, if you go, beware of the drive-by strikes. It was very common to get a single hard bump but no follow up--unlike the trout in places like Pass Lake or other locations.

    My rig? An intermediate sink line and an unweighted #12 olive mini-bugger.

    Late edit:

    BTW, I learned about the temperature thing from an old board member, Wildram007. Does anyone know what he's up to these days? The last time I saw him, I met him at some mall around Bellevue to buy a 6wt WF AST Mastery Series fly line for $25. That was a couple of years ago. That guy was a wealth of info. Following his temperature advice has paid out in spades in the years that followed.
  3. Porter Active Member

    Posts: 6,383
    Kenmore, WA, USA.
    Ratings: +490 / 0
    Good Info and thanks :thumb:

    This is sad and I feel guilty of posting this (somewhat)...but I have had some very good results from trolling a royal coachman fly on floating line ...I usually have done this when in our 12' boot and others in boat are trolling with rapala frogs or other lures.....I have done much better in most cases...and this is on the local lakes here...King/Snohomish/Skagit Counties..targeting stockers....(not my favorite type of fishing but at least I'm sticking to the fly rod....usually have kids in the boat too.) :) :)
  4. HappyHooker Fly Fishing Enthusiast

    Posts: 94
    Snohomish, WA.
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    Great tips Ceviche! Hopefully with it supposed to rain tomorrow, the cloud cover will keep the bright sun and warmer temps out of the picture. I like fishin' in the early am or later in the evening...
  5. pilchuck steelie New Member

    Posts: 95
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    ceviche, what do you think causes or contributes to drive by strikes?
  6. Willie Bodger Still, nothing clever to say...

    Posts: 1,112
    Lynnwood, WA
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    Fish that grew in a bad area of town with no strong authority figures...
  7. Keith Hixson Active Member

    Posts: 1,496
    College Place, Washington
    Ratings: +52 / 0
    Year ago someone invented a trolling fly for early season fishing on Washington Lakes (Western WA). It was called the Offut Lake Special. It was tied on # 8, 10, or 12 size hooks. It had a light orange body and tail to match. Soft White Saddle Hackle for hackle. I tied them by the hundreds and sold them to various sporting outlets in the Olympia area back in the late seventies and early eighties. I even used the fly on several occassions and they did work. Just trolled slowly behind a boat. Preferrably a rowed boat because it gives a jerky action more like an insect swimming. If you tie flies try this old standard from from the Olympia area, many sporting good stores sold them in 60's and 70's. No, I did not invent the fly. I had a friend who owned a sporting good store and he asked me to tie them for him and tied some for other stores also. The only fly I ever tied and sold commercially.

  8. ceviche Active Member

    Posts: 2,312
    Shoreline, Washington, U.S.A.
    Ratings: +42 / 0
    That's a good question of which I really have no good answer. Yesterday was the first time I've encountered that type of strike. Actually, I think I might have run into similar behavior the day before at Lake Martha. I was trolling pretty fast at the time and was in a rush to catch up with my friend who was heading back for the boat launch, so I figured at the time that it was all due to my speed. The only theory I can come up with is that of genetics.

    This may seem a little odd, but I've noticed a sudden difference in the behavior of the stocked trout this year. In previous years, the stocked triploid rainbows have acted like lazy dogs when hooked. Not so this year. As a matter of fact, especially even the small stockers have proved to be very scrappy fighters. Whazzup? I've been thinking it's a strain of trout the hatcheries have found that are all very vigorous. However, along with this vigor might be the tendency to take only one bite and leave. As somewhat of a testament, there was a noticable loss of tail on my mini bugger coming from short strikes.

    Short strikes like this are typical of rainbows, as they tend to take flies from behind, utilizing suction to pull in their prey. In contrast, browns like to take from the side, probably targetting they head or the eye of, say, a fingerling. I've noticed a consistent pattern to the way browns get hooked (back towards the corner of their jaws and not infrequently from the outside. AND NO ACCUSATIONS OF FLOSSING, OKAY! These are lake fish.) when taking my streamers. Basically, the so-called "short strike" is that attempt at suction and only getting a lip-lock on the tail of the streamer/leech pattern.

    The weird thing is that, from my experience, a rainbow will normally take more than one strike at a streamer/leech (W-bugger, etc) pattern. If you briefly/quickly stop your fly after the first strike and re-animate it a touch, you can usually expect another bump or two. That's when you must strike back. It's like: Bump. Bump. Gotcha!

    The pisser is that these new "breed" of rainbows don't do that. It's like they've got this urban attitude that full of desire but without wanting to really work for it. But when they get burned, boy do they get pissed off! That's when it gets fun!

    iagree :rofl: :rofl: :rofl: See what I mean!
  9. ceviche Active Member

    Posts: 2,312
    Shoreline, Washington, U.S.A.
    Ratings: +42 / 0
    Note the high lighted bold-faced line above. This is an extremely important thing to do when trolling flies. Strip your fly! When trolling, strip and release line. When casting and retrieving, this motion naturally occurs; however, you should also think about what you're imitating and adjust your retrieve accordingly. Things that swim do so also to escape predators. Here, trout can be like cats: the act of fleeing can motivate the attack. When the fishing seems to have totally died out, I will often resort to this tactic to elicit a strike. Some of the "young lions" of this site like to do this to score JT's when using huge streamers.
  10. pilchuck steelie New Member

    Posts: 95
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    ceviche, the strikes you talk about are maddening, like getting hit by a freight train, maybe even taking line, then gone. and i sharpen my hooks! i agree, the trout are nice and feisty. as for short strikes, i try and keep my hackles or tails no longer than 1/4" past the bend of the hook, except for the stillwater nymphs i tie. martha...
  11. Flyn'dutchman Member

    Posts: 459
    Wenatchee, WA
    Ratings: +3 / 0
    You can sum it up in one word,"CHIRONOMID".