Category Archives: Fishing Tackle

For a fisherman, reading about fishing tackle is nearly as exciting as purchasing it! Below we aim to bring you the latest in fishing tackle trends, new and exciting products and tackle news.

2015 TF Gear Babes Calendar

tfgearbabescalendar blog 2015 TF Gear Babes Calendar

It’s back! The ever impressive TF Gear Babes calendar has arrived at our warehouse and is ready for sale, along with a dozen beautiful images of our favourite babes, and carp of course!

It’s just 9 weeks until Christmas and many have started their shopping already, but what do you buy an angler who already has all the carp fishing tackle under the sun?

The 2015 TF Gear Babes calendar is the ideal stocking filler to spruce up an office, garage or fishing tackle room, with a beautiful babe holding Common and Mirror carp for every month of the year!

Price: Just £9.99!

Click here to purchase the TF Gear Babes Calendar!

TFGear Fishing Babes 2015 Calendar 1 2015 TF Gear Babes Calendar

Alan Yates Sea Fishing Diary October/November 2014

Alan dabs at Seabrook Alan Yates Sea Fishing Diary October/November 2014


Alan Yates with a bag of dabs and a goer bass which won him a match from Seabrook’s Princes Parade with 8lb 4oz.

Midway through October and still the weather is mild and relatively settled. Yes we are enjoying an Indian summer and for the shore anglers it’s been a long spell of mixed fishing with the crossover of summer and winter species somewhat prolonged this autumn. Could be that this is now becoming the norm with the mixed fishing lasting later into the winter every year due to global warming. Whatever, it’s welcome for sure. Only this week I landed a mixed catch of dabs, bass, whiting, codling, smoothhound and dogfish from my local pier and beaches. Fishing the Prince of Wales pier inside Dover harbour the anglers next door landed two smoothhounds, mine was just a goer, but the specimens landed by Kyros Andrea from Tottenham both topped the 6lb mark, both took a large squid bait. Kyros is a retired trucker who regularly travels to Dover to fish and these were his best ever smoothhounds.

Kyros Andrea Totenham 6lb hound Prine of Wales Dover Alan Yates Sea Fishing Diary October/November 2014
A surprise bass amongst the dabs at Seabrook whilst using braid line on the new Continental beach caster caused me some excitement and those codling seem to be showing all around the UK, even in the sunshine and so it’s going to be a shock for many anglers when the weather does eventually change to winter. Looking at the continuous south westerly storms that are buffeting us, that all too familiar winter weather blocking pattern will soon introduce more easterly and northerly winds and lower temperatures. Anglers in the North Sea will be rubbing their hands together at the prospect of onshore winds and more cod and here in the south when its calm nothing beats a calm sea and a frosty beach to spice up the night time whiting fishing..

However, now is a time to get serious with your beach fishing and going out prepared for the weather is an important factor. The waterproof thermal suit, a beach shelter or brolly, chest waders, warms socks, a hat and a flask are all essential to survival when the weather gets mean. Also important are the means to continue fishing when the wind blows and the sea swells. I pack a few heavier grip leads in the tackle box, those 7oz Breakaway green tops in fixed wire take some beating, although if it gets extreme then it’s a Gemini yellow head 7oz and nothing sticks like they do. Lots of anglers forget that the importance of a heavy lead apart from it anchoring to the sea bed is that it punches through the wind and tows baits far more efficiently than lighter leads. Which go off course in the wind. Bait clips also help you gain extra yards by tucking the bait snugly behind the lead for a more streamlined rig and bait. Now is the time to get your sea fishing tackle right. Make up a few rigs for extreme weather – the Pulley Pennell is a great choice for wind and sea both on rough and smooth ground and it’s the easiest clipped rig to make yourself. Lots of anglers also boost up their rig hook snood line to 25lb to combat conditions and that chance of a bigger cod.

One of the biggest winter mistakes made by many sea anglers, especially beginners is using too big a bait. OK big bait, big fish – that’s true, but a large bait is of no use if you cannot cast it far enough to reach the cod. So compromise between bait size, bait clips and lead size to maximise distance with your biggest bait and don’t fall into the giant bait fished in the gutter trap!!!!

The other common mistake of the novice is to recast a washed out bait. Replace your hook bait fresh every cast, fresh worms etc means a fresh scent so the bait scent trail the previous cast set up is continued. Casting timing is also important, keep an eye on how long your bait lasts against crab and small fish attacks and set you timing between casts around that.

The major problem once the cold weather arrives is obtaining bait. Lugworm prices go up every year as the worms become hard to come by. The problem is that the army of part time summer diggers cannot dig or pump enough worms to make it worth their while and generally it’s only the real professionals that dig all winter. Thus fewer worms and a bigger demand make bait scarce and easy for diggers and dealers to hike the price. One solution is to collect your own, although many will quickly find out that’s easier said than done. Winter lugworm digging in stair rod rain, frost and decreasing daylight is not easy. (Try it and you may not complain about the price or how small the worms are again!)
There are a few solutions and one is to freeze your lugworms. Black lugworms freeze best and when using them, tying them on with bait cotton makes keeps them more intact and on the hook because they do go soft. Frozen baits can be used to extend a limited supply of fresh although lots of anglers swear by frozen on their own. One tip – Treat frozen bait like you would your food, would you eat sausages that have been in the freezer for four years!

Sort your frozen bait in terms of how long it’s been frozen. Frozen lugworm from the spring tides can be used a week or month later when the tides are neap. That’s the way to manage frozen bait and not keep it for years!

Frozen squid is easy enough to buy earlier in the year in bulk, it’s cheaper. Break down into smaller amounts and store in the freezer and on some venues it’s all the bait you need, although for the current crop of codling fresh yellowtails or blacks take some beating.
You can obtain a supply by looking after your dealer – How many anglers buy their gear on the internet and then only visit the dealer when they are desperate for worms, small wonder he has none he will be looking after his regulars. So keep it in your mind to keep in with the local fishing tackle shop and with luck you will get a supply.

Tight lines,

Alan Yates

Fishtec/Celtic League Match 2014 Results

celtic league match winners 525x277 Fishtec/Celtic League Match 2014 Results

Nymphomaniacs – League winners 2014

For the past 8 years, many Welsh anglers have been competing in what’s called the Celtic League match, a competition devised by competition anglers to get us out on the water more often, different times of the year, and fishing with anglers of all abilities. One of the best ways of anglers learning to ropes of competitive angling.

The competition is based on a catch and release basis, with your fourth fish being timed and your total catch verified by your boat partner. In previous years some competitions were being won with over 30 fish a day!

Chew Valley has been a great venue for the past two years with many quality trout being taken all throughout the year on a range of methods, fly lines and flies – A great top of the water venue if you’re looking for some nymph or dry fly fishing.

The last comp of the year was held last Sunday with favorable conditions for most of the day. A misty start saw many anglers head to Villace Bay and Woodford bank, a popular area for both boat and bank anglers and some five boats headed north towards the Dam. By 11am the mist had lifted and a slightly chilly northerly breeze had arrived, the fishing was good for the first two hours until the chill put a dampener on fly hatches, towards the end of the day there was a slight rise in temperature and the fish switched on somewhat, giving anglers a chance to get a last fish or two!

The results were as tight as always and many were keen to know the outcome. In such a competition where your final scores are dependent on each angler of the teams performance, positions can change drastically. A blank will give an angler maximum points, a disaster if the team is just a few points ahead or behind another.

As main sponsors, Airflo, gave an impressive goody bag to each angler who fished the league throughout the year, fishing reels as prizes for the first three teams, a fly rod for individual and a free fly line for each heat winner and runner up.

Teams

1st – Nymphomanicas
2nd – Team Cwmbran
3rd – Harvey Angling Margam

Individual

1st – Mark Thomas, Harvey Angling Margam

Full results aren’t available as yet, but will be uploaded when posted.

 

Low Water and Light Fishing Tackle

Big Trout Small Fly 525x349 Low Water and Light Fishing Tackle

Like the weather, a river is changed by the seasons. In October the Henry’s Fork flows are at about 25% of peak summer levels and the resulting changes in the fishery are multiple. This essentially applies to the slow water sections beginning at Last Chance Run and extending through Harriman to the water below Pine Haven.

This is mostly wadeable water even when downstream agricultural demands push release of water from Island Park Reservoir to 1,000 cfs and above. Storing water for the coming year begins in early Fall when flows are reduced to around 300 cfs and often lower. Responding to a rather radical and abrupt change in their environment, trout begin to concentrate in winter habitat that features greater security in terms of water depth and structure. What this means is that even though big trout may be found feeding in surprisingly thin flows of a foot or even less, they are seldom far from the sanctuary of deeper water. Awareness of this behavior will assist a visiting angler who might deal with finding fish when previously occupied water becomes seasonably devoid of opportunity.

While low water provides advantages in access and wading comfort fall fishing produces complications that are not nearly as pronounced at other times of the year.

Aquatic vegetation, a necessity in the welfare of trout and insects, grows densely in the higher flows of summer. Losing a good fish in the weed becomes an increasingly familiar disappointment as the season progresses.

Thin Water Trout 525x349 Low Water and Light Fishing Tackle

In the fall, vast expanses of exposed vegetation reduce the amount of open water in some sections and the tendrils are always close enough to the surface to disrupt the current and complicate fly presentation.

With only minor exception, fall hatches are small in physical size but their numbers can be astounding. Mahogany Duns in size 16 or 18 are a bonus through mid-October; otherwise you will be dealing with Baetis and midges if dry fly fishing is your objective. A size 18 is at the large end of the scale, and they range much smaller.

A high quality tippet of 6X or 7X is needed to accommodate imitations that probably average size 22. And while futility with regard to landing a big fish may instantly come to mind, bringing a 20 inch trout to net is not impossible even with such a delicate connection.

Upstream Connection 525x349 Low Water and Light Fishing Tackle

As a matter of practicality, tackle adjustments based on seasonal requirements will determine a particular rod, fishing reels, and fly line to accommodate the extensive variety of opportunity available during a year of fishing in Henry’s Fork country.

Fishing streamers and other large subsurface flies on still and moving water will call for a 7 weight to handle a long cast and truly big trout. I like a 6 weight for float fishing or wading during Salmon Fly time and the Golden Stone hatch. Both insects require patterns as large as size 4, and most are quite air resistant. The size 10 and 12 Green, Brown, and Gray Drakes are best handled by a 5 weight, especially when making a long cast to cruising trout on the flats of the Ranch. A 9 foot 4 weight is the rod I carry on most days when a fly larger than size 14 is not likely to be necessary and a cast beyond 50 feet is a rarity. Fishing the small dries and nymphs that typify fishing the shallow flows of October is, for me, best accomplished with a 3 weight rod.

Low, clear water, tiny flies, and easily alarmed trout combine for some of the most challenging fishing of the year, especially when weed altered currents enter the picture. In a game of enhanced precision and delicacy, the light weight and small diameter of a 3 weight line permit a more subtle and controlled presentation that will put the fly where it needs to be and with a reduced tendency to alert a wary trout.

Relying upon stealth to minimize casting distance, I rely primarily on a crisp action, 8 foot 3 weight rod for fishing the small hatches of fall. A lighter line and shorter rod can be efficiently coupled with a 12 foot leader, which is considerably shorter than what I would typically use with a heavier line and longer rod.

Keeping the distance to a target fish at 30 feet or less plays strongly into the accuracy of the cast and management of the drift. And of course, seeing a small fly is entirely dependent upon fishing at relatively close range.

An upstream cast from behind the fish is the most efficient method of approaching shy trout in thin water. Quite often, however, surface feeding trout are found tucked tightly against the bank, edge of an exposed weed bed or other locations where a different presentation angle is called for. A reach or curve cast from the side in these situations is less likely to disturb the fish than approaching from upstream where you will be far more likely to come into a trout’s window of vision before ever getting within reasonable casting range.

Controlling a big rampaging rainbow is never an easy proposition, regardless of the tackle being employed. However, a lighter action fishing rod will do a better job of cushioning a fine tippet and precarious connection to a miniature hook. A smooth functioning fly reel with a reliable, adjustable drag system is also an asset when playing large trout on very light tackle. Firm, relentless pressure can quickly tire a trout but you must concentrate on its every move and be prepared to release line the instant forceful movement away from you is indicated. And while luck is likely to ultimately determine the outcome, elevated skill in the techniques of playing and landing big trout can result in a very satisfying accomplishment.

Fishing small flies on light tackle is a fitting end to the dry fly season where thin, gentle currents and big, wary trout combine to demand our best. We are carried into the long winter by those fresh memories of crisp, fall days and rising trout. And as fly fishers, we survive until spring largely on the strength of those memories.

Low Water Rainbow 525x349 Low Water and Light Fishing Tackle

Hell Nino: Red tides, jelly fish swarms & sea lion famine

Drought in Northern Australia, wet and wild conditions in California, climatic disruption in South America, extreme cold in Northern Europe.

Just some of the consequences of the upwelling of exceptionally warm water in the equatorial Pacific, a phenomena known as “El Nino, ” or the “Christ Child”. The last such event was five years ago and now it looks like there might be another this autumn and winter, the result: misery for many millions of people across the world.

But how does the flood of warm water affect the marine environment and the people whose sea fishing tackle is their livelihood? Read on to find out.

Jelly fish swarms

Jellyfish swarm Hell Nino: Red tides, jelly fish swarms & sea lion famine

Image source: The Dancing Rest
Velella Velella everywhere!

This summer saw a biblical plague hit the Pacific coast of North America. From Southern California to British Columbia, a mega-swarm of billions of bright blue jellyfish filled the sea and littered the beaches with their rotting carcasses. The Velella Velella, or “by the wind sailor”, is a small creature with a stiff sail-like protuberance that stands clear of the water, enabling the jellyfish to go wherever the wind takes it.

Ocean warming caused by a possible El Nino event, is thought to have caused a spike in jellyfish numbers. Normally, the North Westerly prevailing wind off the coast of North America keeps the jellyfish far out to sea, but this year, strong Southwesterlies have made the Velella Velella run aground. Fortunately, though alarming to look at, the swarm is harmless to humans.

Sea lion famine

Sea Lion Hell Nino: Red tides, jelly fish swarms & sea lion famine

Image source: Wikimedia
Hungry pups are overwhelming rescue centres.

Thousands of dead and dying sea lions washed up on the shores of Southern California this summer. The problem is so bad that this spring, well over 1000 pups overwhelmed rescue centres in the area, and victims had to be taken to sanctuaries further north.

The the sea lions are victims of starvation – and El Nino may be to blame. The dissipation of shoals of anchovies and sardines caused by the sudden warming of the water off the coast of California, spells famine for sea lions and other marine mammals.

Red tides

Red Tide Hell Nino: Red tides, jelly fish swarms & sea lion famine

Image source: Wikimedia
Unusual looking, highly toxic to marine life.

A sudden bloom of harmful algae is a natural phenomenon. Coastal upwellings of cold, nutrient rich water fuel a rapid growth of algal cells that can turn the water to a reddish brown sludge. Such blooms can be highly toxic, poisoning marine life, killing corals and devastating fishing communities. In 2001, researchers discovered a 400 km stretch of reef off Indonesia, where all the coral was dead. The cause – El Nino.

In 1997, a severe drought in Indonesia, caused by El Nino, sparked uncontrollable wildfires throughout the region. It’s thought ash from the fires drifted East, falling in the sea off the Mentawai Islands. The iron rich particles fed an algal bloom that reached truly epic proportions. The decomposing plant matter leached all the oxygen from the water, killing everything in it for hundreds of kilometers.

Fishery collapse

Dying fisheries Hell Nino: Red tides, jelly fish swarms & sea lion famine

Image source: Monterey Bay Aquarium
Shoals of anchovies and sardines will disappear.

Where the deep ocean collides with Peru’s sharp continental shelf, an upwelling of cold, nutrient-rich water provides food for spectacular shoals of anchovies and sardines. In turn, local fishermen depend on the resource for their income. The Peruvian anchovy fishery is worth billions of dollars each year, and the ground fish meal produced by factories along the coast supplies one third of the world’s demand for the product.

But when El Nino strikes, the cold water is replaced by warm currents, and the shoals of fish upon which so many families depend, disappear, literally overnight. Leave aside the ethics of turning edible, nutritious food into pellets to feed farmed salmon, this is a disaster for sea fishing families.

Coral bleaching disaster

Coral Bleaching Hell Nino: Red tides, jelly fish swarms & sea lion famine

Image source: Wikipedia
Normal coral behind bleached coral.

The coral triangle is often described as an “underwater Amazon”. It’s an area of incredible biodiversity spanning nearly six million square kilometers under the seas of Southeast Asia. El Nino is bad news for coral because warmer than average sea temperatures interfere with the coral’s ability to photosynthesize. As the thermometer rises, the coral fades to white and dies, a process called coral bleaching.

Already under pressure from global warming, the 1997/98 El Nino caused widespread coral bleaching in the region. And as environmental pressures stack up, it gets harder and harder for the delicate fauna and flora of the reefs to bounce back. Since the 1980s, experts say up to half the coral in the coral triangle has been lost and if there is an El Nino this year, some scientists predict a die off from which the reefs may never recover.

Alan Yates Filming the TF Gear/Sea Angler DVD

 

DSC2972 Alan Yates Filming the TF Gear/Sea Angler DVD

Alan Yates with a Pollack from the TF Gear DVD

I‘m just back from making a DVD for TF Gear and Sea Angler magazine with Chris Ogborne, Paul Fenech, Tim Hughes and on the camera Lloyd Rogers. We spent three days in the Camel estuary in Cornwall both boat and shore fishing. Sad to say that the shore fishing was not that good, although having selected the tides for the boat, it’s a case of not having your fish and eating them. Anyway the boat more than made up for the lack of shore bites with 13 species taken on a range of lures and bait from Optimus Prime, skippered by Rodney Keatley out of Rock.

We used a mix of light sea fishing tackle including virtual LRF and a decent pollack on the Blue Strike spinning outfit and 15lb braid tested the clutch finger during a drift close to Puffin Island. I persevered with live lance and joey mackerel, whilst the others used a mix of lures and bait with some surprising results – look out for the DVD on the front cover of a future issue of SA because it has loads of boat and shore tips and is free!

Tight lines,

Alan Yates

 

Airflo Pro Priests and Marrow Spoons

accessories Airflo Pro Priests and Marrow SpoonsAirflo have increased their range of brightly coloured fishing accessories to include the Pro priest and marrow spoon, two invaluable tools for the fly fisher.

The Airflo Pro priest measures 10 inches long, and is shaped like a mini baseball bat. Made from alloy it has an EVA foam grip and black cord wrist lanyard. For me the most important feature of a priest is that it has enough weight to humanly despatch a trout with just a couple if strikes. This one weighs 155gr (5.5oz) and has more than enough clout to do the job efficiently. It is comfortable and easy to grip, even when your hands are wet, cold and slimy.

The matching Airflo marrow spoon weighs just 68g (2.4oz) and is beautifully tooled froma solid but lightweight alloy – there are no sharp edges and it is very tactile. The ridged handle is inset with five silicone rubber rings to help with grip.

The spoon is a full  9inches long, just the right length for the task in hand, and three inches of that holds the trout’s stomach contents so you can easily see what it has been feeding on. There is also a cord lanyard so you can attach the spoon to your wrist or a D-ring on your waistcoat or jacket.

Both the Airflo priest and marrow spoon come in three colours: Aluminium, Blue and Red. (see pictures above)

The review can be found in issue 462 of Trout Fisherman.

Filming the new Airflo Fly Fishing DVD

camera Filming the new Airflo Fly Fishing DVD

When it comes to fishing, there’s nothing better than breaking out your rods and reels, stringing your desired fly line through the eyes of your favourite rod and casting out into the unknown… But, for many anglers that are stuck for time, they turn to the Internet, or in our case, fly fishing DVDs.

For those of you who struggle to get out on a regular basis we’ve been filming the new Airflo/Trout Fisherman DVD on the prestigious Bristol Water fisheries, Blagdon and Chew Water – The birth place of fly fishing some would say.

Iain Barr, Chris Ogborne and Airflo’s director Gareth Jones get together to film the new Airflo fly fishing DVD which will be available Spring 2015 FREE with Trout Fisherman. With Chris’s knowledge, Iain’s competition pedigree and Gareth’s enthusiasm for fly fishing, this DVD will be one to look out for.

Gar fish Filming the new Airflo Fly Fishing DVD

Both Gareth and Chris go through the ins and outs of bank fishing while Iain gives you the lowdown on reservoir fishing from the boat.

All three anglers talk about their experiences when bank fishing, giving you confidence in their ability and showing you exactly how they would approach the bank:

– Where to start at the lake
– What fly lines and fly fishing tackle to use for best presentation and distance
– Technical fishing clothing and luggage

Iain and Gareth are both extremely good, confident lake anglers, both competing at World level with Iain a previous World Champion, and Gareth lucky enough to get 3rd. Boat fishing is their THING:

– Where to start when boat fishing
– What fly lines to use for covering fish quickly and methods
– Technical fishing clothing and accessories

iain fish Filming the new Airflo Fly Fishing DVD

This new Airflo DVD is packed full of great techniques which you could put into practice on any lake in the country… and be successful.

Iain, Gareth and Chris give their top 10 lake fishing tips, with tips ranging from what colour flies to use when the fish go off to what knot to use to get the best movement and gain attraction.

The DVD isn’t just about fishing either, it features a whole selection of the new Airflo fly fishing tackle, featuring the new FlyDri luggage range, a new range of fly rods and a massive selection of accessories – More about that when the DVD comes out.

Barbel success, with the new Fishing Rod!

Cliff Barbel Barbel success, with the new Fishing Rod!

At the beginning of this year I wrote of my enthusiasm for the TF Gear Classic Nan-Tec Barbel rods I’d bought for the coming season, would I “…christen them with a double?” I asked. Well, as it happened, I was unable to get out in June and July as much as I’d have liked but early August saw me doing regular after-work sessions on my local stretch of river. As a rule I use the finer, very sensitive top section for my barbel fishing despite the disconcerting bend it adopts on hurling 4oz of bait-packed feeder to the far bank; but I’ve taken to using the standard tops which are sufficiently tactile to show me when a fish is interested.

And so it was a couple of Mondays ago. Fishing alongside His Wyeness, Geoffrey Maynard of Hay, and sharing a recently acquired Korum Rod River Tripod, my unblinking attention to my rod-tip was rewarded by two or three slow pulls; there was nothing rhythmic about them so I discarded any suspicion that my rig had merely rolled in the current or had picked up a twig or something. My right talon poised for action, I watched the rod-tip bow a fourth time and on this occasion it went over just a fraction further and stayed there! The classic barbel fishing rod was swept back with some enthusiasm, (I assure you!) taking on a pleasing bend just past the perpendicular. At this stage the fish might have been of any size but only a few seconds passed before I was able to state – and I did – that “This is a good fish, Geoff – a big one”

His Wyeness – it must be said – was a little nonchalant and reluctant to look up from his PVA activities. “Tell me if you need the net” he said; his head down in concentration, apparently uninterested in my increasingly lively barbel-battle.

“Well…I’m pretty sure this is a double” I replied as the fish yanked-down the rod and tore ten yards of 8lb mono off the Shimano, but Geoff had seen too many five and six pound ‘doubles’ to stir his complacency.

“Ok…give us a moment”

Normally I would net the fish myself but the bank at this point necessitated the assistance of an extra pair of hands. Not before time, His Wyeness stood and took in the scene: 2lb test curve barbel fishing rod arced and repeatedly stabbing at the water, Shimano issuing short, staccato bursts of complaint, great patches of flattened water and one very excited angler…the penny dropped and he was soon in serious mode, net poised for the job.

Before long, a bulging, glistening net was placed on the grass and parted to reveal what was clearly the best fish of the season from this stretch. On the scales the needle settled at just 2oz short of 12lb – a fine fish indeed.

 

Still Water Fly Fishing

Air Born Still Water Fly Fishing

The noticeable quiet of a late summer morning on still water is unlikely to become a routine experience for many who devote the majority of their fishing time to the rivers of Henry’s Fork country. However, most will submit to a welcome change of pace as the season begins its transition into autumn.

While certainly soothing in its own way, the murmur of moving water denotes a quicker pace in the rhythm of water influenced by gravity when applied to the behavior of trout and what is required in their capture on a fly rod. With constant motion attached to all that lives in this environment we can find ourselves motivated by a sense of urgency to make things happen rather quickly in the false sense that what is moving is actually leaving. On still water, it seems different.

Reflected on a liquid mirror, the dual image of land and sky and all else that lies on or close to an undisturbed surface brings a visual calm to the perception of water that seems only able to be moved by the wind. And it is in this morning calm that I begin to understand how those like my friend, Gareth Jones can become as strongly connected to the still water experience as I am to moving water.

From Gareth, I have learned that a lake possesses unseen currents beneath the surface and that underwater organisms such as insects and fish are by necessity, always moving. I know now that finding the correct zone with respect to the depth I am fishing subsurface patterns will improve my success rate. Also explained is that fishing 3 or 4 different flies on a long leader can make more sense than applying a single pattern when probing the depths of lake or pond. Also to be considered is a trout’s reluctance to pursue prey in the direction of a low angled sun. Not learned from Gareth, however, is the ability to repeatedly cast 90 feet of fly line while seated in an anchored boat – the guy is that strong – But his ability is only half of it. Using and casting with the correct fly fishing tackle is the other half, you try punching a 4wt out over 90feet in consecutive casts throughout the day and you’ll know about it!

While I do not necessarily find dry fly fishing on still water to be more satisfying than the sudden weight of an unseen, subsurface take, I do confess to appreciating the visual excitement of fishing to an ever moving surface feeder.
Callibaetis Still Water Fly Fishing
Late summer is prime time for hatches of Callibaetis and Trico mayflies on many of our local lakes and reservoirs. Damsel flies and meaty terrestrials like hoppers, beetles, and winged ants also become active and available in this time frame, and this combined menu can bring the eyes of hungry and opportunistic trout toward the surface.

In calm conditions, the location of a rising trout in still water is often determined by sound as much as sight. The audible gulp as an insect is taken from the surface is a still water feature that relates to quiet, although calm is not always part of the package.

Perhaps due to a sensitivity to overhead danger from predators, still water trout usually display a reluctance to linger near the surface following a rise to a floating food source. And because they quickly disappear from sight and normally obey no defined feeding path, much guesswork is involved with regard to where the next rise will appear. In this situation, relaxed, efficient casting can give way to frantic flailing as a target fish takes a natural only a foot from your offering or turns to feed in a direction different from your hopeful guess. The real chaos occurs when you become surrounded by un-patterned feeding and try to change the direction of the cast in mid-stroke. Maintaining discipline and composure may be the most difficult aspect of this type of lake fishing, and a take is nearly always hard earned.

Bank Cruiser Still Water Fly Fishing
Like river fish, still water trout will often cruise the shoreline in search of what is often a random assortment of aquatic and terrestrial food items. Because water is typically more shallow along the edges a longer cast is often needed to avoid spooking trout that are more comfortable in greater depth. A more linear feeding path helps to simplify the task of getting the fly in front of the always moving target but careful calculation must be applied to placing it at a point that matches the feeding pace. Efficiency is paramount when fishing to a traveling fish that may allow only one or two casts before moving out of range.
In the right light conditions, subsurface feeders can also be spotted as they prowl the edges for nymphs and other underwater life forms. Sight fishing on still water with weighted fly patterns is especially exciting when the size of the objective is known and the reward of a perfect cast is as visual as the rise to a dry fly.

Rich and Millie Still Water Fly Fishing
As one whose experience and expertise lies mainly in the details of fishing moving water, I have only respect and gratitude for those still water specialists like Gareth Jones who has taught me so much. This particularly applies to those times when their lessons result in a special catch that would not happen otherwise. Some of my most memorable trout in recent years have come while applying those shared techniques on local lakes like Henry’s and Sheridan. Hebgen Lake and Island Park Reservoir are also productive and enjoyable still waters as are numerous smaller lakes in the higher elevations of this region west of Yellowstone.

While the Henry’s Fork and, to a lesser extent, other rivers continue to own the majority of my heart, there will always be room for those quiet mornings on still water which, ultimately, are not so different after all.

Reward Still Water Fly Fishing