Stillwater Newbie

Discussion in 'Stillwater' started by Jeff Sturm, Mar 19, 2013.

  1. Jeff Sturm Member

    Posts: 44
    Ratings: +11 / 0
    Transferred to the area (Everett) this fall and I immediately got addicted to Steelhead (winters on S Rivers and one trip to OP where I hooked my first Wild Buck!). I'm looking forward to trout later this year, but I want to give the stillwater a try now...

    I just ordered a float tube (Outcase Trinity) and I'm anxious to get it out on the water somewhere. Anyone willing to share some advice on where a stillwater newbie should go and what gear I should bring along?

  2. Drifter Active Member

    Posts: 1,627
    Ratings: +635 / 2
    My first advice if your fishing out of a float tube - DO NOT DRINK COFFEE BEFORE YOU GO!
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  3. jakesmylab New Member

    Posts: 27
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    Bulldogge, I would keep it simple to start with from the tube. Fins, net, 1 rod (floating line), general tools (nippers and hemostats). Fill a fly box up with some general lake flies. Everyone will have a different idea on what is a general fly box but right now I would say you would be safe with buggers (green, black, brown and wine), a mix of chironomids, soft hackles, prince nymphs and a few adams just in case. Make sure some are bead head and some are not. I'm sure I'm missing something but if I were just starting on lakes and fishing from a tube this is what I would pack. As far as water goes, pick an East side lake right now or in the next couple of weeks (different openers)and spend a weekend there. Before you go, do a little research on that lake and also see if there's a fly shop in the area. Stop by there and spend a few $$ and you'll be surprised at what you can learn. If you hit one of the popular waters right now, you will find a large number of fly anglers, most willing to share a ton of information and quite possibly a pattern or 2. My advice beyond the above is to just get on the water and have fun. Don't make it too technical in the beginning. Troll around with a bead head bugger and prince nymph trailer and if there are fish to be had you will hook up.
  4. zen leecher aka bill w born to work, forced to fish

    Posts: 3,147
    Moses Lake, WA
    Ratings: +961 / 1
    If you want to fish the Moses Lake area waters drop me a "conversation" and we can schedule some time on the water. Fishing here just started March 1st and will do good until the end of April (or so). If you have a float tube, waders, fins and a rod/reel you have enough to get started.

    I live over here now and have fished the waters since 1980.
  5. Globetrouter1 Methow Fly Fishing Guide

    Posts: 29
    Twisp, Wa
    Ratings: +0 / 0
  6. Gary Knowels Active Member

    Posts: 1,073
    Seattle, WA
    Ratings: +393 / 0
    I recommend a 4 or 5 weight rod, 9 foot and a sinking line, type 4. Also pick up Tim Lockhart's book, read through it a couple of times, and use the information within to your advantage. I live in Seattle and am by no way an expert but if you want we can get together on a lake and see what we can find.
  7. Evan Virnoche Guest

    Posts: 0
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    Silver and Martha lakes are great little lakes that art super local. When u say transfered by any chance are u a seamen?
  8. Steve Unwin Active Member

    Posts: 317
    Edmonds, WA
    Ratings: +84 / 0
    Careful as there is more than one Martha and only one of them is currently open.

    Lake Ballinger in Edmonds is reasonably close as well. I just bought a float tube as well but haven't been out on Ballinger with it yet.
  9. Gary Knowels Active Member

    Posts: 1,073
    Seattle, WA
    Ratings: +393 / 0
    If you head to Ballinger, let me know. I live less than 10 minutes from there. Fished it 4-5 times. Caught fish there every time, mostly 10-12 inch planters with some 14-16 inch triploids thrown in for fun.
  10. GAT Active Member

    Posts: 3,994
    Willamette Valley, OR
    Ratings: +2,562 / 0
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  11. GAT Active Member

    Posts: 3,994
    Willamette Valley, OR
    Ratings: +2,562 / 0
    As depth presentation is paramount for stillwater fishing, normally you'll need fly lines to cover most situations. I use a floating line, an intermediate sinking line (I like the clear ones other guys prefer the colored ones) and a full, fast-sinking line. Those lines will usually get you in the ballpark.

    For special situations I also carry a clear sink-tip line. Others like the new "hover" lines but I've never tried one.

    Most successful stillwater fly anglers I know use the three basics: dry, intermediate and full sinking.

    So... first question. What lines do you have available for stillwater fishing?
  12. Patrick Gould Active Member

    Posts: 2,356
    Ellensburg, WA
    Ratings: +688 / 1
    The fish and wildlife department has a website that lists stocking info. They stock most of the lakes in the spring.

    Some of the lakes are no bait, single barbless hook rules. Pass lake is fly fishing only.
  13. Irafly Active Member

    Posts: 3,610
    Everett, Washington, USA.
    Ratings: +1,033 / 1
    By adjusting your leader length and the types of flies you use, you can realistically fish any depth zone effectively with a floating fly line. So for a newbie should focus first with a floating line an indicator and a handful of weighted and unweighted flies. Put a weighted fly on if you don't see surface activity and then keep playing around with depth under the indicator. You can find an exact depth by pinching your hemostats onto your fly and then dropping them down to the bottom and then measuring how deep it is by how much line plays out.
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  14. GAT Active Member

    Posts: 3,994
    Willamette Valley, OR
    Ratings: +2,562 / 0
    Ira... oh sure, you had to bring up the bobber bit :) You didn't mention that leader length could very well be 20 feet when using nothing but a dry fly line.

    The technique does of course work but some folks, as myself, are not all that great with a bobber set up. That's why I prefer the different sinking lines.

    However, if you don't want to buy the additional lines, Ira's system does work.
    Irafly likes this.
  15. Roper Idiot Savant

    Posts: 4,285
    Glenraven Ranch
    Ratings: +770 / 1
    Keep it simple for sure, one rod, two spools for one reel. I suggest a full sinking line in one spool and dry line in the other. Ted's on 99 in Lynnwood has a decent selection of flys. You'll want some buggers/leeches, some nymphs, a few soft hackles, and some (gack) chironomids.

    I have spare fins, and a net if you want to borrow them (I'm in S. Everett). Waders and a vest and you're good to go. PM me if you want some inside intel....
  16. Islander Steve

    Posts: 2,176
    Langley, Wa..
    Ratings: +182 / 6
    Great advice from all of the above. If you want to take the ferry and fish Lone shoot me a PM and I'll get you started in the right direction.
  17. Nick Clayton Active Member

    Posts: 2,849
    Ratings: +1,126 / 4
    Gotta go with Ira on this one. Simplicity, as suggested by many, is great for beginners. So what is simpler than a single rod and line capable of covering almost any situation? I am a big proponent of spending time focusing on all methods as it helps one become a better all around angler, but IMO there is no better way for a newbie to consistently catch fish than to learn the ways of the bobber.

    Of course, there is more to fishing than just catching fish. Being one with nature, seeing wildlife, being alone with ones thoughts..l
    Whatever floats you're boat. Personally I'd rather just catch lots of fish, but whlll we all enjoy it for our own reasons
    Irafly likes this.
  18. Jeff Sturm Member

    Posts: 44
    Ratings: +11 / 0
    Thanks for all the great input. I'm all for K-I-S-S...

    I would love to get out this weekend, but home chores are keeping me around the ranch.