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Redneckr3bel

How to fly fish for trout in a lake

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Hey I'm goin on a long trip to lake moomaw in va and its loaded with huge rainbows and browns. The only problem is I've never fished for trout in a lake. I don't have any more sinking line on my trout rods and only have floating, will this be ok. What flies do I use, how do I present them, how long of a leader should I use and just other tips

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Oooooh! I'll bet you've been waiting for a chance to use that one. Funny!

 

What about it Red? You gonna let him get away with that? Or use your catch-all fly and prove him wrong?

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By the way Red, how deep is the lake you're wanting to fish for trout in? You might be able to get by with a long enough leader and sinking fly. Here in Fla., that's all we need as the lakes are pretty shallow. Of course Fla. lakes don't have trout. ☺

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And the ouch-o-meter wobbles at 95%, there, it hits 96% and steadies. Not quite a pegger but quite strong and well timed.

 

Redneck, you need a lot more info. I fished trout lakes a lot up north and during the day I'd throw a spinner on UL spin gear. As the lake settled and the dimples started I'd grab the fly rod and begin with, and usually stay with, a small Muddler Minnow. That for me was as close to a "catch anything" fly that I had, and it was the Gapen originals back then too. So you need to find out depth FlaFly said, primary food source, and if they cruise the shallows on top like they do in a lot of lakes. If they are stocked fish you can try you chicken fly since it resembles a blob which resembles trout pellets. If they work deeper then they probably are best fished with a buzzer and an indicator (bobber). Find out more and post that.

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Found this information about Lake Moomaw:

"Alewives, members of the herring family, were stocked in the early 1980's in order to establish a plentiful food base for both trout and other predators. These small, silvery fish are truly the "backbone" of the lake's sport fishery. They are abundant, ubiquitous, and, seemingly the prey of choice for trophy fish that are caught from Lake Moomaw."

 

Silvery streamers might be a good start.

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Jaydub, you must of looked at the same info I did. Problem is the trout are wherever the alewives are. According to a fishing report I found for last week. They were mostly hanging out in 20-25 feet of water. So unless the feeding trout drive them to the surface fishing for them will be tough.

 

Redneckr3bel:

Given what I've googled. It's going to be tough to fish for trout in that lake with just a floating line. It's a deep lake and probably best fished with the same set ups they use on the Great Lakes. You didn't mention whether you had access to a boat or not. That may make a difference. There are a couple of small lakes I fish when I go up to Vermont. They're deep and they're stocked with trout. I'm limited to fishing from the shore, but what I have noticed is that in the evening trout will cruise the shore, along the edge where it drops off into deeper water. If there's a midge, caddis or mayfly hatch you can see them rising. You just have to figure which way they're going and hope you can drop your fly in the feeding lane or as Jaydub suggested try throwing some white and silver streamers.

Ever so often I get lucky, though actually I was disappointed.

It was one of those I was fishing for these

post-309-0-39092700-1433806654_thumb.jpg

and I caught this

post-309-0-93316100-1433806911_thumb.jpg

on this fly

post-309-0-55747000-1433806995_thumb.jpg

 

so much for selective trout.

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but what I have noticed is that in the evening trout will cruise the shore, along the edge where it drops off into deeper water.

 

I think this is good advise for any lake. Early morning too.

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A lot more information needed. This subject isn't going to get covered in any depth on a board. There are entire books on the subject.

 

Generally. Learn to cast as long a leader as possible. The further from your fly line your flies are the more fish you will catch. By long I mean 20 foot from the bank and 25 foot plus from a boat. Some people will suggest you use a level leader. With leaders of this length you will need to taper them. this long leader is going to be carrying 2 or 3 flies. That will take practice if you are going to do it well, ie not spend more time untangling your leader than fishing. Generally your 3 flies will be arranged with the bushiest at the top and the slimmest at the point.

 

Bank or boat fishing?

 

If you are fishing from the bank be mobile. Set up your gear so you can cast and walk without putting anything down. Work along the bank making your cast and moving 6' or so before retrieving your flies. You can cover miles of bank in this way in a day's fishing.

 

If you have a boat do not just use it as a mobile casting platform. You can fish very effectively from a drifting boat. Some years ago a couple of friends fished Hebjen Lake. The advice they were given at local fly shops was "Its hard fishing just now, Head for the inlets and look for gulpers". instead they fished "loch style", from a drifting boat. In half a day they had over 50 fish to the boat. Next day they had to take one of the shop owners out to prove to him how well the style works.

 

All you do is set up the boat at the up wind end of a likely area. Position the boat side on to the wind. As the boat drifts make short casts over the forward side of the boat. Lift your rod as you drift towards your flies. as you get the rod into the vertical re cast. When a fish takes with your rod vertical make a roll cast to set the hook.

 

If you make a successful drift and want to do it again do not motor back up through your drift. Make a wide ark back to your starting point.

 

In stronger winds you may need to slow the boat down. This is done with a drogue. An underwater parachute hung from the back side of the boat. A 50 inch square of material with a 10 inch diameter hole in the middle and cords attached to each corner. The four cords come together in about 10 feet to a single rope that is attached to the boat. At the end of the drift simply pull on one of the corner cords to drag the drogue over the gunnel before starting your motor.

 

This form of fishing isn't often done on your side of the pond. You are really missing out!

 

There is a lot more on this subject. Try looking up "Loch Style Fishing".

 

Cheers,

C.

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I fish a lot in lakes and two stage ponds throughout New England. Mid day is boat time as meantioned already. We use lead core line when the fish are marking at 20-25 ft. And in June they often mark around 12 ft in the northern colder lakes and ponds, if at all.. Sometimes they fool you, they are right up top but out over 60 ft of water. Often a good indication of that is we mark no fish, this generally means they are in the upper two ft of water, assuming you are over them at all. We troll marabou streamers and bucktails and we either know the lake already or we concentrate on points and drops, underwater structure.. Just because they are in the upper two ft of the water column doesn't mean they aren't ever structure and probably are over structure.Many northern lakes and ponds though, the fish are in the shallows in the evening and first light of the morning this time of year. You get the odd caddis hatch and in all these Northern waters you can get a night time Hex Hatch. You just don't know where it will be, it may well be all out over the deeper waters than is wadeable.

 

So stuck wading, fish the early morning right after first light, often a wooly bugger is as good as anything. during the day scope out the place, check out what might be good spots to fish during prime time, which is not mid day ! Fish the evening with more minnow like streamers and bucktails. I think of the bucktails I use the black Nosed Dace is my most universal. I tie it with a variation though, I use silver tinsel with a gold rib and only a few strand of each color bucktail. It's a fly than can be over dressed easy and a lot of people over dress them. The three colors should make up the full portion of what a lot of streamers use one color on. If you feel like you are under dressing the black Nosed Dace as you apply each color, it's probably perfect. It probably will get fish in many various waters too ( at least my pattern of it has for me)

 

There are probably streams around the area with trout in them, just sayin ! I don't just use our boat, even locally I often wade and fish first light off points in our local spring fed ponds. As it gets lighter and llighter the fish move out. Midges can be king in the later day but at first light it's more likely a wooly bugger will get fish.

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Lake MooMaw is a favorite camping and getaway destination for wife and I. We will be going there in 2 weeks for 5 days of kayaking and camping, and I will fish.

It is a unique fishery. The deep deep water support robust populations of both warm water and cold water fisheries. They do indeed have huge trout in there. Bad news is: it is a unique fishery. Successful trout fishermen will drop minnows/alewives on jigs and perhaps spoons and such jigs from boats to anywhere from 25 to 40 feet (15-20 in winter and early spring, we are past that now). Usually they'll hang at 25 or 30 feet. Fishing from shore is all but useless, for trout, certainly at this time of year. They may still be up a little (meaning 20-25 feet) because the weather has been cool. I have seen some good success, but from boats fishing spinning gear and fish finders, going deep with live bait. By Jul fishermen will be going to 40 feet.

 

When we go to MooMaw, it's about bass and pickerel fishing for me. I've had fair success at bass and for some reason can't discourage the pickerel despite my best efforts (I now use a steel leader for my bass fishing because I've broken off so many toothy creatures). I use spinning, baitcasting, and fly gear. Bluegills can be fun on fly, and I imagine crappie as well, though I never target them. Bass will come in shallow or hang in 10 feet or so of water.

 

I don't want to be discouraging, but when I first started going to MooMaw 22 years ago, I had stars in my eyes over the stories and pics of the huge trout. Eventually, I discovered that fishing for them requires a very unique, deep technique (someone above mentioned "Great Lakes" - spot on!) that in my book calls for putting the fly rod away. I've no doubt folks have caught trout on the fly there, it's just that I wouldn't commend it as the norm. Trout will rise to surface occasionally, but not close to shore usually, for both surface insects but mostly chasing alewives. That's mostly winter and early sprint. This time of year, you might catch a glimpse early in the morning. Evening temperatures are getting too high to encourage them, I would think.

 

Go in with eyes open, don't expect much unless you can get some intel on where they are and the depth of the day, which will be deep now. The local marina is very helpful if they've heard anything, more than willing to get you pointed in the right direction, but it's a big lake.

 

btw, it's just that I love flycasting, and this scenario calls for sinking straight down and jigging nymphs and streamers. For me that's spinning time. Plenty of flyrodders deep-nymph to 30 feet with great success in the big lakes of the world; that's just not my bag.

 

Now, within 1-1/2 hour drive north and the same west are some fantastic trout waters in the N Branch of the Potomac, Savage in MD, and the Elk in WV.

 

Oh I forgot to mention, silly me, the Jackson river which is the river feeding Lake MooMaw is a great trout fishery. Do some advance research, downstream sections from the dam have public access and great fishing but some private landowners can get pretty nasty if you stumble onto their lands so be sure you know where you are. VA Dept of Game and Inland Fisheries can help you with public access maps. Above the lake, most of the trout stream is posted private land, next to impossible to access unless you are a guest at the local resort/fishing club (which if you are so inclined could be a great time, I've not tried it).

 

it's a beautiful, remote area. I love it.

 

Maybe our paths will cross ...

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You can get "leaders" that you can attach to your floating line to in essence make them a sink tip line. I have no experience with them but I am betting they aren't great for casting distances. It would seem to me that the loop to loop connection would hinder casting efficiency and create a hinge.With that said I bet you could hook one on add a short section of mono leader and a streamer, huck it out there a little ways let it sink down to desired depth using the count down method and make a slow retrieve or troll behind a canoe or what ever. This certianly isnt the most effective or efficent method of fishing lakes on the fly but it seems like an option that could work for you and at about $12 a piece a sinking leader isnt a bad piece of kit to add to your collection if you dont want to spring for a spare reel or spool and a sink tip or full siink line.

 

http://www.rioproducts.com/fishing-leaders/versileader/trout-versileader/

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You can also use Brian Chans techniques for deep water trout, Using a floating line, inicator, and a leader of the depth you need, in this case 20ft ish. Then a weighted fly or flies. I bet suspended chironomids are on the plate for even the big fish in moomaw as they are almost everywhere trout exist in lakes. Southern chironomids tend to be larger than the northern kin, So 12-14 size imitations are worth a try. You could use an alewife colored weighted streamer and chironomid dropper. Sounds like a fun fishery Enjoy.

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Preparing for my trip, just talked with the Corps of Engineers. Lake MooMaw is at approx. normal level (good news!); trout are at 20-25 feet. This will probably hold for the next couple weeks.

 

My weapon of choice this time out will be kayak - trolling via downrigger mostly, with some fly casting in shallows early and late for 'gills. Targeting mostly bass/pickerel, and I'll troll through the 25 foot zone with my bass Rapalas looking for trout (very successful bait on MooMaw for big trout).

 

I would think the chironomid dropper tactic is worthy of a try. I'm downrigging because of the size of the lake and the fact that there's a lot of movement vertically and horizontally among all the species there - that's what I do to prospect. If I tie into a couple nice trout in the same place, guarantee I'll dust off the flyrod and try dropping a nymph.

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