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cencalfly

Stillwater Flyfishing Rookie Needs Advice

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I've been fly fishing for a long time. It has almost always been on rivers or moving waters.  Last time I fished still water with a fly was probably 45 to 50 years ago. At least with any success.  I've used hardware or bait since then with success but not a fly

With my ability to wade moving water or even getting to it diminished I'm looking to feed the need with still water fly fishing.  I have a good canoe and a kayak to fish from.  From shore where there is easy access is also somewhat available.  The canoe is more stable for me.  Otherwise it's a chair and bobber (not that doesn't have its own appeal).  Just want to catch them on on a flyrod.

I thought I would start with some close by ponds that have some bluegill [Come to think of it I've caught bass on flies before (I forget things). It's like starting over.]  I've tied a fly for trout for a long time that I think should work on sunfish/perch.  The Fox Poopah.  That sucker looks like it'll work on bluegills/redears really well.  Of course I'm going to give it try but I would like you experienced still water fly fishers thoughts and advice.  The mountain trout lakes are going to be turning real soon so that may wait until next spring.  

Thanks

Fox Pupa.jpg

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First I am not a still water angler but I would start on youtube under "stillwater fly fishing techniques"   There are many videos that will get you started.  From gear set up to techniques.   I don't know if the links below will work on the site so you may need to copy and paste into you browser.  For information on fly fishing for trout in lakes/stillwater google Brain Chan who is considered a master of the stillwater trout discipline.  I hope this helps.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GiYKggRHs70

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nRBYVNZwqq0

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1LUsrOzK1PM

 

 

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Thanks for the links.  I'll give them a watch. 

I've watched a lot of vids but it's hard to separate the wheat from the chaff.  A lot of self proclaimed experts out there on the webs. 

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Thanks so much. This is what I'm talking about.  Me, I've been fishing runs/riffles, holes, and pocket water for ages.  Spring creeks or tailwaters to a lesser degree but still fishing it.  I can read moving water as good as anybody out there.  If I want to catch fish I know where to go and how to go about it.  Rarely a skunk.  Really just over a one-hit wonder.  Take me off of the type of water I know and I'm a babe in the wilderness.  Of course the first fish I caught in my memory was a gill in a lake (my mom's reaction is worthy of an essay in it's own right right).

Totally brand new challenge.  Give me some hardware or bait and I'm good.  Fly gear equals some sort of mental block.

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On 9/30/2022 at 8:47 PM, cencalfly said:

Thanks so much. This is what I'm talking about.  Me, I've been fishing runs/riffles, holes, and pocket water for ages.  Spring creeks or tailwaters to a lesser degree but still fishing it.  I can read moving water as good as anybody out there.  If I want to catch fish I know where to go and how to go about it.  Rarely a skunk.  Really just over a one-hit wonder.  Take me off of the type of water I know and I'm a babe in the wilderness.  Of course the first fish I caught in my memory was a gill in a lake (my mom's reaction is worthy of an essay in it's own right right).

Totally brand new challenge.  Give me some hardware or bait and I'm good.  Fly gear equals some sort of mental block.

Same here Cencal- I feel pretty comfy on flowing water, especially small rivers but lake fishing with flies is not something I've done much of.  I enjoy fishing moving water with a fly rod so that's what I do when I have the time.  However I feel everyone of my 56 years at times and reality tells me that age may get the better of me some day.  A lot of my favorite spots require navigating some very steep inclines to get in and out of.  My favorite free stone has a boulder field for a bottom with significant elevation changes from step to step at times.  

The show "Sport Fishing On The Fly" can be found on youtube and a lot of their episodes revolve around lake fishing.  (Brian Chan is a featured guest).  Obviously with lakes the water is usually deeper than the shallow streams you and I are used to.  Casting longer leaders and more weight would seem to be a requirement.  I know from watching episodes of SFOTF that to compensate they use a slightly different cast than we do wading a stream.  I believe they said it was designed to drive the fly down quickly.  And then there's the various sink tip fly lines the lake guys use.  I don't even own one as the water I typically fish is about waist deep at it's deepest.  I do know the lake guys don't spend as nearly as much time recovering their flies from the brush as I do so that's a plus.

To my mind the important thing is to keep fishing.  Fishing keeps us all young at heart.  I'm sure that you as a seasoned river fly angler will be able to master the skills needed to lake fish what ever they may be- I hope you embrace and enjoy the challenge, good luck to you!

 

 

 

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I'm pretty much like you.  My wading days in running water are pretty much over.  Most of the creeks I fish around here I can fish from shore in spots.  Some of the lakes and ponds are stocked with trout, but my main targets are bass, bluegills, chain pickerel, yellow perch and other sunfish.  At least, you can get into a canoe or kayak, I have problems doing that.  Fortunately the guys I fish with have boats with comfortable seats which I can get in and out of.  

My suggestion until you get comfortable fishing still water would be to concentrate on panfish and bass.  They're less fussy than trout and a decent sunfish can put a bend in even a 6 wgt fly rod.  I fish a similar fly that's worked well for trout and panfish.  This is the trout version

.863607728_P3130133(5).JPG.bd37232195f76018d4b33255b457b7fb.JPG

It's tied on a size 12.  For panfish, I tie them with either a size 6 or size 8 hook.  Two reasons, I don't have to dig the fly out with my forceps after they inhale it and it cuts down on the dinks I catch.   So any large nymph, damsel or dragonfly nymphs would be a good choice, small woolly buggers, even small crayfish or bait fish patterns.  Large soft hackles, size 8 and 10 would also work. I'm basically a dry fly snob, so I prefer chasing both bass and panfish with top water flies, foam bugs, poppers or sliders, but given the cool weather we've had around here, top water is pretty much off the menu till spring.  In fact, I'm working as a lake guide for a South Jersey Casting for Recovery retreat this weekend and have some small slip bobber(strike indicator) rigs set up.   Fishing your flies under a "strike indicator" is another option.

You're in a warmer climate so the panfish and bass should be still in shallower water.   Look for structure, gravel bars, rock piles, submerged timber, fallen trees along the shore, weed beds, lily pads.  Both panfish and bass should be near them.  Have fun.

 

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