On the Fly column: Getting comfortable fishing still water
On the Fly
It seems to me that many fly fishers overlook or just don’t enjoy still water (lake) fishing. For some, maybe it’s the difficulty of the unknowns that come along with it. From having to make longer casts from the bank, not knowing what flies to throw, and especially where the hell the fish are, I can sympathize. These challenges are what fuel me to pursue more lakes, reservoirs, ponds and beaver ponds. Don’t get me wrong, nothing beats standing in the endless flow of a river or creek listening to their sweet song. For me, rivers and creeks can seem a little too predictable sometimes. Still waters hold many secrets and countless mysteries that just keep me coming back.
Here are a few tips I would suggest to those who are looking to get out of their comfort zone and try open water. First (this is what really changed my game in finding fish in larger pieces of water) invest in a float tube. Float tubes are relatively inexpensive in comparison to most fishing “boats” and allow you to cover vast amounts of water. Being just 10 feet out from the bank will open plenty of room for a good back cast. My next piece of advice would be to have a few lines with different sink rates. Fly line technology has come a long way when it comes to lake fishing, from clear intermediate lines, floaters with integrated sink tips, and full sinks for getting down deep.
For subsurface flies, bring a selection of chironomids, scuds, damsels, water boatmen, leeches, crayfish and other small streamer patterns. For dries, always have classic Parachute Adams in a variety of sizes, callibaetis, caddis, midges, and a good selection of terrestrials like beetles, ants and hoppers. One of the main reasons I am drawn to still waters is the ability to bypass the crowds of peak season. In Colorado, we are lucky enough to have the opportunity to fish an endless amount of reservoirs, lakes and ponds. Whether you’re earning it by hiking into the high country, or spending all day in a pair of fins kicking around a reservoir, do yourself a favor and break out of your river comfort zone and explore the mysteries that still waters can offer.
This report is provided every week by Taylor Creek Fly Shops in Aspen and Basalt. Taylor Creek can be reached at 970-927-4374 or taylorcreek.com.
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