Part 2 of 4: Stillwater Presentation Tactics
I have observed that anglers who employ particular presentation tactics on lakes consistently outfish those who don’t. In Part 2 of this series, I share with you these presentation tips and tactics that will increase your productivity when fishing stillwater.
I. Continually move on the water
The more fish see your fly, the greater your potential for hookups. If you are not getting hit after a few casts, move to another location. When you do start getting strikes and/or hook ups, cast in a 360-degree pattern around you before moving. Don’t cast repeatedly into the same spot as that will scatter trout because of the surface disturbance. Move to another location once the strikes begin to diminish.
II. Master the skill of casting long distances
Long casts are essential when:
1. The water is flat, and the sun is overhead
2. Fish are feeding on or near the surface
3. Water is gin clear
4. Fish are feeding in shallow areas
Casting 60 feet will avoid spooking fish and increases the time the fly will be presented to prospective trout thereby increasing the number of trout that may see your fly. When there is surface ripple, low light conditions, or when the water is tinted with algae, a 40-foot cast is adequate.
III. Target the feeding zone based on the time of day and time of year
1. In early June, when the water warms up mid-morning and triggers hatches, I present the pupae stage of the aquatic insects just below the surface.
2. During summer, cast from the water to the shallow shoreline areas at first light and late in the day. During midday when trout show on the surface, target shallow areas of 2-6 feet since trout move away from shoreline edges once the sun is on the water.
3. During hot summer months, try fishing drop-offs into deeper oxygen-rich areas which offer refuge from warmer shallow waters which have lower oxygen levels.
4. In fall, I fish streamers at first light and at dusk along the shallow shoreline areas where large brown trout and rainbows cruise.
5. During the cooler winter and spring months, I wait to fish midday, allowing the sun to warm the water temperature. I then fish chironomids vertically up through the top 6 feet of water.
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