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Old 08-29-2011, 10:23 AM
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Default New to fly fishing, could use some advice

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!
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Old 08-29-2011, 11:06 AM
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Default Re: New to fly fishing, could use some advice

Hello, Harry
Welcome aboard,
How are you eh? I used to live in British Colombia and love Canada except rain during the winter.
Anyway, I am not sure what I should tell you about your situation. It could be so many things. Like you said, casting is one thing but presenting in a right way is another issue. There is also depth issue as well. For example, emerger flies remain just under the film of the water while some wet flies sinks and flows to the surface. And reading the water is another aspect. I never fished the Lake but I guess steam fishing is easier because there are some obvious places you can find fish such as a seam of the water where fast current and slow current meets. So if you have some streams you can fish, why do not you give it a shot to them first?

I recommend for you to watch Grey Borger's trout fishing videos in You tube, if they are there still. And reading several books about Lake trout fishing will help you. Another way to do is hire a guide who know the area very well. I can tell you with confidence that if you meet the right guides they will teach you so many things in one day trip. I met several Jedi Masters and am happy to be their Padawan.

But one thing you did very well is that you start fishing with your wife. That's catch of the day.
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Old 08-29-2011, 01:14 PM
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Default Re: New to fly fishing, could use some advice

Dave Hughes has a good, basic book on fly fishing lakes.

Randy
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Old 08-29-2011, 03:18 PM
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Default Re: New to fly fishing, could use some advice

Harry

Denny Rickards has a book out called "Stillwater Presentation" that is an excellent read. www.flyfishstillwaters.com - Fly Fish Stillwaters

Here are some videos on Denny: denny rickards - YouTube

Here is an episode on Fly Fishing Internet Radio by Denny Rickards that is very interesting: Denny Rickards | Fly Fishing

Here are a couple of episodes by Brian Chan on fishing stillwaters, also very interesting.
Brian Chan | Fly Fishing

Larry
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Old 08-29-2011, 04:08 PM
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Default Re: New to fly fishing, could use some advice

Harry

You have received good advice from some experienced anglers here and thought perhaps a different perspective might be warranted. You could hire a local guide whom is a seasoned veteran of fishing that particular lake.

Can you figure it out on your own, absolutely. But if my wife were interested in fly fishing then $350.00 would be a cheap investment to keep her or perhaps yourself from loosing patience. Consider it a quick booster shot of B12 in the arm. Either way, you should look into some of the books mentioned. Everybody learns differently and ultimately you have to decide what will work best.

LOL...Just read the last paragraph of texastroutbum's post...nuff said.

Dave
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Old 08-29-2011, 07:12 PM
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Default Re: New to fly fishing, could use some advice

Welcome Harry.

I agree with the advice of hiring a guide. A good guide will not only put you on fish and make your trip a memorable one, he will help you with your presentations , learning to read the water and choosing the right bug. It is a very small price to pay to get that much info and advice, put into action catching fish. You will learn things that will help you the rest of your fly fishing days.
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Old 08-29-2011, 07:17 PM
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Default Re: New to fly fishing, could use some advice

Welcome to the forum! A guide is a good way or a trip to your local fly shop or well known fishing establishment can also give you a wealth of information. Try a google search for lake fishing there as well. Never know what you might find. That's a great way to spend time together in the outdoors!
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Old 08-29-2011, 07:51 PM
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Default Re: New to fly fishing, could use some advice

Quote:
Originally Posted by harryc View Post
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.
Next question?
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Old 08-29-2011, 08:26 PM
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Default Re: New to fly fishing, could use some advice

Mojo,
what a treasure trove the information you just share.

David,
Your suggestion is more enhanced version than mine. I never think about hiring a guide for investment for wife. And I strongly agree with it. My wife’s first fishing trip about 20 years ago was a disaster. And it took me about 20 years to give a try.
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Old 08-30-2011, 09:53 AM
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Default Re: New to fly fishing, could use some advice

Thanks all for the great advice. We're heading back out this weekend and I'll try to line up a guide if at all possible. I'll be ordering that book recommended as well, since a lot of our fishing will be lake fishing.
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