How To Fish Stillwaters
July 11th, 2005

Stillwaters, lakes, ponds and reservoirs are the most underutilized fisheries in the North America. Why? Because the average fly fisher doesn't know how to fish them, or where to start. Stay tuned, you too can master stillwaters! ~ LadyFisher

Wet Flies for Stillwater Fly Fishing

By Gary LaFontaine


The egg-laying stages of the midge and the caddisfly cannot be imitated by ordinary patterns because these insects carry a cluster of air bubbles with them when they go underwater. The best material for reproducing that effect is Antron; and both the Diving Caddis and the Diving Egg-Laying Midge are tied with dubbed Antron yarn for the body and clear Antron for the wing.

Diving Egg-Laying Midge

    HOOK: 16-18; TMC 9300 - standard wet fly hook.

    BODY: Antron dubbing (touch dubbed)

    WING: clear Antron (tied in a loop over the body)

    HACKLE: hen hackle (one turn as a sparse collar.

My favorite tactic is to tie three of these flies together (tying the monofilament from the bend of one hook to the eye of another), cast them and let them sink a few feet, and then draw them to the surface smoothly.

Diving Caddis

    HOOK: 8-20; TMC 9300—standard wet fly hook.

    BODY: Antron dubbing (touch dubbed).

    UNDERWING: soft hackle fibers.

    OVERWING: clear Antron.

    HACKLE: rooster hackle (one turn of low quality hackle; fibers are forced back around the fly).

If no fish are rising, the first thing to look for on a lake are the wind lanes. These flat ribbons of water amidst the chop gather drowned insects and attract trout. They are the places to fish "loch-style." With a float tube or kick boat, line up along side the scum line and drift with the wind from top to bottom. Put three wet flies (and at least one of them should be the Diving Caddis) on a leader, leaving extensions off the blood knot as droppers. Lift and drop a long fly rod, making the patterns dance and touch the water. ~ GL

To be continued, next time: Nymphs

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