Originally Posted by harryc
Hopefully this is the correct forum to post questions like this. If not, my apologies!
My wife and I just started fly fishing -- we have yet to catch our first fish. Yesterday we went out to a lake that is renowned for rainbow trout (McLeod Lake, Alberta) and fished for about 10 hours from our kayaks. Despite trout jumping around us the entire day we didn't get a single bite.
We tried lots of different types of flies, both dry and wet. Locals were telling us to use something dark green, which we did. Others said that leeches were a popular food for the trout in this lake so we tried some leech patterns. Lastly we looked at what was on the water that the trout were jumping for hoping to mimic that, but it wasn't a single type of bug, so we tried lots of different dry flies too. Nothing.
What kind of newbie mistakes could we have been making? I think we have our casting technique down pretty well, but what to do with the fly once we've cast it out there isn't so obvious to us. Any advice/tips would be most appreciated!
What flies are you using,
What lines are you using,
How are the other fishers fishing the lake,
Did you ask anyone what they're using,
How deep is the lake
Floating line- dry's and sub surface nymphing (with indicator or not)
Surface to 30' deep nymphing
Sinking lines- intermediate, type II, III down to 10' using streamers, buggers, certain nymphs.
Type IV, V 10' to 25'
Type VII 15' and down deep.
Sinking lines- determine the depth of the lake, water temp, and choosing the
right sinking line, next is using the same flies the local shops sell- just as a starting point.
Usually black, brown, olive, olive and orange, black and brown, black and orange colors are also a good way to start.
Next tie on a color or color combination you think will slay them, (6' straight leader out of 6 lb. or 8 lb. flouro) and add a second color/colors fly on an 18"-24" dropper line you'll tie to the bend of the hook of your first fly. Have your wife do the same but with different colors than yours.
Cast your line out and count down from 10. Don't strip or anything.
At the end of 10, start to strip it in. Vary your strips- strip, strip, pause. Strip, strip, pause. Keep doing this until your fly is close enough to pick up and recast. Often on the pause, the fly drops and the fish hit it. I usually cast 70' out and strip in and get a hit within 15' of my kickboat. I've tried the short 30' casts but, withi the longer casts, my fly is covering more water. That's my opinion only. Like I mentioned before, I've had fish follow and hit within 15' of my boat, but I've caught loads 50,60' out too.
Do the 10 second count a few times and if nothing- count down 15, then 20, etc. until you're at the correct depth where the fish are.
Piece of cake, right?
Oh, and change flies often. One week they may be keying in on brown and orange wooly buggers the next week, brown. One week brown mohair leeches (skinny) the next black and purple Gartside soft hackles. Also vary the sizes. When we fish Strawberry here in Utah, we use big flies. Henrys Lake in Idaho, we use 10's 12's on streamer hooks. Different trout eat different food. Different strains of cutts, 'bows eat different food to. Or prefer different food I should say.
And again watch others closely. Especially if they're catching fish. Watch the cast, the count down, the retreive.