Introduction to Lake Fly
Often lake fish will
gather in schools and cruise around looking for food, but often it is the small
fish that rise to take surface insects while the bigger ones feed in deeper
Where the fish are
Fish in lakes aren't
much different than fish in rivers. Their concerns are still protection from
predators and finding food. Lake fly-fishing techniques involved finding the
areas where both these concerns are met.
Remember that lake water
is generally deeper than rivers water, so bottom structures may not be visible.
Try fishing where a stream enters the lake. Insects are often carried into the
lake here and the fish will be waiting for them.
Structure in lakes
includes piers and boat ramps, weeded areas and deadfalls. Fish are likely to be
hanging around man-made structures that have been sunken into the waters. Lake
fish like to hang around drop off areas. Here they can munch on food that has
fallen into the water and dart back into the depths when spooked. Warm water
fish gather around natural springs and weeds also.
Dry flies and lake
techniques usually involved fishing deep. It takes energy for a fish to take
insects from the surface and there has to be a darned good reason for a bigger
fish to do so. A big hatch might entice a large fish from the depths to feed,
but you are more likely to catch smaller fish when using dry flies on lakes.
Wet flies and lake
If a fish expends more
energy than he receives in searching for food, he will not survive long. Lake
fishing techniques include knowing how an aggressively feeding fish will behave.
He will check out the feeding zones, feed, and then return to safe water to rest
until it is feeding time again. If you are looking for large lake fish, you need
to get your hook down where they are holding.
The larger the fish, the
more energy it takes for him to feed, therefore the offering needs to be
worthwhile. A big juicy-looking streamer hanging right in front of his nose will
often tempt a fish.
The advantage of fishing
wets over dries in lakes is that you can vary the depth and the retrieve until
you find the combination that the fish cannot resist. Keep a close eye on your
line because often the take is subtle. Using a strike indicator is helpful here.
Often a sinking line or
sink tip can give you a big advantage when fly fishing a lake. You have a much
greater chance for success if you can get your fly to the fish.
About the Author:
Dale East is a long time outdoorsman and fly fisher and publisher of
Fly Fishing Wyoming