A Still Water Fly Fishing Overview …
For those just starting out here’s a general fly fishing overview on how to fly fish the productive still water trout lakes of the Okanagan & BC Interior. And please remember, getting out and relaxing in nature should be your main goal; catching fish is an exciting bonus! However, by starting with the basics outlined here, and then supplementing your knowledge base with the specific advanced still water fly fishing articles listed at the end of this article, along with experience (time) on the water, we’re sure that you will start to see a significant increase in your “bonus” days! 😉
Fly Fishing Overview | Arriving at the Lake:
Tie on a searching pattern (leech/shrimp) and troll it slowly off the bottom while taking the time to have a good look around. Make note of locations and characteristics of structures like marl, weedy shoals, weed beds and drop offs. Look for insect activity such as hatches and note any feeding birds. Scan the shallows for cruising fish.
Fly Fishing Overview | Depth & Feeding Patterns:
Watch for signs of fish activity and when you find fish watch them for a while and try to determine what they are feeding on as well as their depth. If fish are feeding with their noses in the mud with their body at an angle to the bottom then they might be digging around for shrimp or other staple foods. If fish are concentrated in a particular area and appear to be lazily feeding they might be taking ascending pupa. Fish spotted sprinting to the surface of shallows displaying a splashy rise are probably taking adults on the surface – if you are lucky they may be taking adult caddis! 🙂
Fly Fishing Overview | Match The Hatch:
Watch for signs of insect activity. Many insects will leave a husk behind as evidence of a hatch. Besides having fun, matching the hatch and properly presenting the fly is the whole idea.
Diet charts, such as these by Philip Rowley, can also help by providing insight as to which insects you can expect to see during the different parts of the year:
Fly Fishing Overview | Handling Fish:
When you catch a fish and need to handle it, always make sure your hands are wet as this reduces the amount of slime that you remove from their skin. The slime protects fish from infections. Never put your fingers into the gills as this could kill the fish. When the fish is calm remove the hook. If you need to take the fish out of the water be gentle. Make sure the net has been wetted and minimize the amount of time out of the water for both breathing and structural reasons.
If you are going to take a throat sample now is the time.
Fly Fishing Overview | Throat Pumps:
Once a fish is hooked you can use a throat pump to extract some of the contents. This will help you to identify the type of feed they are on and you will be able to match what is happening very accurately. When the fish is calm insert your pump just to the back of the throat, squirt in a tiny bit of water, relax the bulb and remove.
Fly Fishing Overview | Releasing Fish:
At this point if the fish doesn’t burst out of your hands, gently move it forward and back in the water aerating the gills. The warmer the water, the longer this recovery may take.
Fly Fishing Overview | More Stillwater Strategies
For more specific stillwater fly fishing strategies please check out:
- A Still Water Fly Fishing Overview
- Barometric Pressure & Fishing
- BC Trout Strains & Treatment Designations
- Brian Chan Still Water Ice Out Tactics
- Chironomid Fly Fishing Strategies | Finding Fish
- Chironomid Pupa Fly Tying Tips
- Early Spring Fly Fishing Kamloops Style
- Fall Fly Fishing Strategies
- Fish Feeding Theories
- Fishing Cutthroat Trout | Winter Strategies for Coastal Cutties
- Fly Fishing Beyond Seasonal Peaks
- Fly Fishing Bomber Chironomids
- Fly Fishing from Shore 101
- Fly Fishing the Booby Fly
- Fly Fishing the Micro Leech
- Fly Line Selection Trolling Flies
- Fly Selection & Presentation
- Fly Tying Tips & Tricks
- Full Sink Deep Water Chironomids
- Long Lining Deep Water Chironomids
- Pre-chironomid Season: Early Spring Fly Fishing Strategies
- Rainbow Trout Strains of British Columbia
- Sight Fishing Stillwater Rainbow Trout
- The Fluorocarbon Myth
- Trolling Flies | Fishing the Long Line
- Turn Over & Lake Stratification Made Easy
- Winter Kill & Trophy Trout
Fly Fishing Overview | Care Prep & Cooking:
But what if I don’t want to go fishing to just to harass fish & then release them? What if I actually want to eat them? No problem, please check out our informative articles on how to clean your fish, fillet your fish, and cook your fish (and other wild game recipes)! 😀
Hope you found this fly fishing overview helpful! Tight lines folks!
*** for more still water fly fishing strategies please hit up & review our still water fly fishing category here!