Trout in Laskes, what set up?

Im new at fly fishing but have the basic cast down and all, and trout season is about to begin here very shortly in lakes around where I live. I was just wondering if anyone could help me out on what to use for stocked trout in lakes, as far as what flyies to use or what type of line set up to use. Thanks.
Welcome Drew. I've just started fishing stillwater for stocked trout myself. Timing is everything because they'll bite on anything near the surface for the first couple of days after they get dumped into the lake. Here are some flies that I've had luck with: olive mohair leech, green crystal leech, six pack, olive wooley bugger. These are all pretty basic flies. I've been trolling these slowly on a slow sinking line. Be patient and try different times of day. Yesterday I fished a few hours in the morning and got one fish over two hours. I took my daughter out in the evening and she got four fish in an hour.
Welcome Drew, what Patrick said as well as just start thumbing through the Stillwater and other forums, this site has more good info than you can shake a stick at. Also, reference wise, check out this book Stillwater Strategies, written by a chap that posts here alot, it is an excellent resource for PNW stillwater fly fishing.


Welcome. You have indeed showed up where you can learn the most in regards to stillwater fishing.

You'll find there are many different schools of thought when it comes to stillwater fishing with fly gear. Some use nothing but a dry line and do well with an indicator and midge patterns. Others, as myself, use three different fly lines:

A dry line, an intermediate sinking line and a full fast sinking line.

The idea is to present your fly where the fish are holding. Unlike a river, it is difficult to read a lake. So, unless you can see the fish or use a fish/depth finder, determining the location of the trout can be tricky.

Normally, when fishing stillwaters with flies, you're wise to first fish the shallows and the points, drop offs and along the shoreline. This means you can get away with a dry or intermediate sinking line. If the trout are holding very deep, this is where a full fast sinking line comes in.

Some don't agree with me but I use long leaders for stillwaters ... meaning 15-20 feet. I do so because the trout have plenty of time to look at your fly and do not need to make a quick decision as they do in a river.

When it comes to patterns for stocked trout, I do better with leeches and Woolly Buggers than I do patterns that imitate bugs. This is especially true if the lake was recently planted. It takes time for planted trout to figure out what bugs they can eat but they attracted to leeches and WBs right off the bat. I almost always tie on two flies when fishing stillwaters to cover different sizes and colors. Sometimes, an olive colored leech works when brown doesn't and vice versa.

Presentation can be key. Sometimes planters like a slow retrieve, other times they like the pattern moved very quickly.

Here's one of my fly boxes for stillwaters.


You'll notice I use a lot of different sizes and colors of leeches and WBs.

I have other boxes that include varieties of midge emergers, damselfly nymphs, caddis, mayfly emergers and dry flies but normally, when it comes to planted trout, something in the above box will work.

Good luck and have fun!

Jim Wallace

Smells like low tide.
Heh, heh, I logged in just to peer into Gene's WB & Leech box. I fished a lake yesterday afternoon/evening trolling and casting my NSC (a mottled brownish gold BH bugger) on a clear intermediate line. I was using a med action 8' 4 wt. It was very windy, and difficult to cast a med action 3 or 4 wt, except for just off the lee shore, where my sonar showed hardly any fish. The fish were all hanging out in the windy part of the lake. (Should I curse the fish or the wind?)
I paddled and fished for over 3 hours, from about 4:15 to 7:30pm, but didn't do that well. "Wind trolling" got me going too fast, so I had to paddle into the wind to go slow enough. I only brought 4 smaller (10" to 13" trout to hand. Missed a bunch of subtle grabs. A black bugger didn't produce anything, and then I lost it to a log on the bottom.
Out further from the shoreline, I think that I could have been fishing a little deeper. Sonar showed fish at various depths all the way to the bottom, but mainly mid-depth. I was fishing anywhere from casting to the shoreline weeds and the logs in the shallows, and also trolling mid-depths out to around 17'.
Surface temp reading on my sonar was 51 F.
I left my type 3 full sink at home, since its a 6 wt and I'm still babying my R arm with 3 and 4 wts.

The smaller fish, a little over 10", was a wild coastal cutt.
I had a couple of nicer stocker bows grab on. First one hit like a ton of bricks, so I thought I had a good hook set, and then it jumped and threw the hook.
Second one hit hard making the drag on my Medalist 1492 1/2 sing out nicely before I grabbed the rod and tried to get in control, but the fish jumped and then thrashed a bit, throwing the hook.
Both of these fish looked like fat 20"ers, easily 3 or 4 lbs.
All fish were released. Trout are for playing around with, not for eating. I had a smoked albacore sandwich for lunch.

It was good to get out and go for a paddle. I met another fly angler who asked me if I ever posted on this forum. When I told him yes, He told me that he had a cabin on the lake and that he would appreciate me not mentioning the name of the lake, if I posted a report. He was friendly and courteous, so I am honoring his request. He was letting 'em go, also said he doesn't like to eat em, either.
What the heck! All the lakes I fish are now secret!:p


Some type of watercraft will make stillwater fishing much easier.

Gene - What are the flies in the top right hand corner of the pic?
Patrick, those are leech patterns tied with variegated Kraft Fur from Hareline. I haven't had a chance to try them yet so I have no clue if they'll work -- but they look kind'a cool.
I have a 5 wieght pole right now and I think thats alittle overkill. Whats wieght would be the best for trout, and would a light action pole be good? I have a small light action spinning rod i use for trout and i love it and was wondering f there was a ly pole that will be a similar experience. So basicly what wieght of pole?
People will range quite a bit in their choice of rod weight. It depends on a lot of factors: type of fishing, size of fish, size of lake, how much/how far you are casting, what type of setup you are fishing, weighted flies vs unweighted......

I have used 2,3,5,6 weight rods in different circumstances and only havent used a 4 weight because I don't own one. A 5 weight is a good all-around rod, sure it may not be too much fun to fight 9" stockers on, but its not fun casting big heavy streamers on a 3 weight either. I say, if you have a 5 fish it, unless of course you are a gear whore and looking to buy another rod, then by all means pick up a 3 or 4 weight and fish both rods depending on circumstances.
Keep the 5wt like Gary says. You'll want it to cast streamers and heavier flies. You might also need it when you find a lake with some wild fish or strong holdovers. A moderate action 4wt might be a good next rod. It'll be fun with the stockers, and make a great summer dry fly rod

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