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Fly fishing techniques for lakes

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Lake fly fishing techniques are similar to those of any other types of
water except you don't have to deal with currents. In lakes fish have
to aggressively search for food and are more likely to be tempted by
anything that looks edible than their fussier river cousins.

Often lake fish will gather in schools and cruise around looking for
food, but often it is the small fish that rise to take surface insects
while the bigger ones feed in deeper water.

Where the fish are.

Fish in lakes aren't much different than fish in rivers. Their
concerns are still protection from predators and finding food. Lake
fly fishing techniques involved finding the areas where both these
concerns are met.

Remember that lake water is generally deeper than rivers water, so
bottom structures may not be visible. Try fishing where a stream
enters the lake. Insects are often carried into the lake here and
the fish will be waiting for them.

Structure in lakes includes piers and boat ramps, weeded areas
and deadfalls. Fish are likely to be hanging around man-made structures
that have been sunken into the waters. Lake fish like to hang around
drop off areas. Here they can munch on food that has fallen into the
water and dart back into the depths when spooked. Warm water fish
gather around natural springs and weeds also.

Dry flies and lake fishing

Lake fly fishing techniques usually involved fishing deep. It takes
energy for a fish to take insects from the surface and there has to
be a darned good reason for a bigger fish to do so. A big hatch
might entice a large fish from the depths to feed, but you are more
likely to catch smaller fish when using dry flies on lakes.

Wet flies and lake fishing

If a fish expends more energy than he receives in searching for food,
he will not survive long. Lake fishing techniques include knowing
how an aggressively feeding fish will behave. He will check out
the feeding zones, feed, then return to safe water to rest until
it is feeding time again. If you are looking for large lake fish,
you need to get your hook down where they are holding.

The larger the fish, the more energy it takes for him to feed,
therefore the offering needs to be worthwhile. A big juicy-looking
streamer hanging right in front of his nose will often tempt a fish.

The advantage of fishing wets over dries in lakes is that you can
vary the depth and the retrieve until you find the combination
that the fish cannot resist. Keep a close eye on your line because
often the take is subtle. Using a strike indicator is helpful here.

Often a sinking line or sink tip can give you a big advantage when
fly fishing a lake. You have a much greater chance for success if
you can get your fly to the fish.

About the Author

Dale East is a long time outdoorsman and fly fisher and publisher of
Fly Fishing Wyoming


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