STILLWATER AND RESERVOIR
STILLWATER FLY FISHING - RODS AND REELS - FLY LINES – FLY PATTERNS
Not only in streams and rivers can fish be caught very successfully with the fly, but also in Stillwater you can practise fly fishing very successfully. It doesn't matter whether it's an idyllic mountain lake, an impressive reservoir, a well-visited quarry pond, a commercial fishing pond, or whether you try your luck on a natural lake. All these different types of water can be used to catch fish with artificial flies.
These waters have several advantages: they can usually be reached quickly, they are easily accessible and the permits are cheap. The different waters are also home to many different species of fish, such as trout and char, but also perch, pike, pikeperch, carp and many other species of fishing interest, so that lakes and ponds are actually in season all year round. This makes lakes and reservoirs the ideal alternative for fly fishing during the closed season or in winter.
The right fly rod - fly reel - fly line for Stillwater and reservoir fly fishing
For your first casts from the shore of a lake or reservoir, your standard equipment will be sufficient. Soon you will notice, however, that even on smaller lakes and trout ponds long casts are necessary to reach and catch the fish at all. Even from a boat or belly boat, casting is much easier with special fly rods designed specifically for Stillwater fly fishing.
The ideal fly rod for lakes and reservoirs
The ideal fly rod for fly fishing in Stillwater, both from the shore and from a boat, has a slightly longer lever with a length of about 10 feet, and thus offers you several advantages at once, as you can:
- cast further,
- handle better the longer rigs with multiple flies,
- easier keep your fly line away from vegetation and flotsam on the bank.
In addition, the right fly rod is designed for line class #7/8, as you will find it easier to make further casts with these somewhat heavier fly lines. It is important that your new fly rod for Stillwater fishing has a strong backbone. On the one hand, so that it can handle the long and heavy fly lines, and on the other hand, for playing larger fish, as higher average sizes of fish are to be expected in natural lakes as well as in commercial fishing ponds and Put&Take lakes.
The proper fly reel for Stillwater
If you are looking for a fly reel specifically for fly fishing in lakes and ponds, then you should primarily pay attention to two decisive features:
- The fly reel must have a large line capacity. Many fly lines that are specifically designed for long casts often have extended heads with a correspondingly increased line diameter, so that these fly lines need more space on your fly reel. You should also provide your fly reel with sufficient backing, as there is a high probability that a larger fish will take your fly, especially at lakes and in fishing ponds.
- The brake of the fly reel must work reliably and start smoothly. You should be able to rely on your fly reel drag, especially with the larger fish mentioned, which you always have to expect in Stillwater. It must work reliably and smoothly and, above all, start easily and without jerking so that you do not lose the fish in the fight due to a blocked reel drag.
Furthermore, so-called cassette fly reels or fly reels with interchangeable spools are very practical, as fly lines with different characteristics are used on still waters - depending on the situation.
Fly lines for long casts
To be able to present your fly at long distances on lakes and ponds, you need special fly lines. These fly lines for use in Stillwater are without exception WF (weight forward) lines, where the majority of the line weight is concentrated in a so-called belly in the front area of the fly line. In addition, these fly lines are generally somewhat longer and can measure 40 metres and more.
In order to cast really far, the fly line must be matched to the fly rod used and harmonise with it so that it can be optimally charged without overloading the fly rod. This appropriate balance of the equipment also depends on the casting technique when fly fishing in Stillwater. If you fish mainly from a boat or belly boat, or on waters from the shore where you have a lot of space behind you, you can use the classic overhead cast. In many cases, however, the space on the bank is limited by obstacles and structures, so a special cast called the Froller or Froll cast is used. With this cast you can easily reach distances of 20 to 25 metres in a short time without having much space in the back. In our blog post we explain the Froller very clearly and step by step. In order to be relaxed and successful with the froller cast, we recommend fly lines with special line profiles and characteristics that have been specially developed for this purpose.
And last but not least, when choosing the right fly lines you should also consider the water depth in which you want to offer your flies in lakes and or reservoirs. In shallow waters and in the shore area, a floating fly line or a so-called intermediate fly line that sinks only very slowly is usually sufficient. However, if the water gets deeper and the fish are rather close to the bottom, sinking fly lines are used.
Perfectly matched kit - fly rod - fly reel - fly line
As a beginner, it is easy to get overwhelmed when trying to choose the right fishing tackle that actually fits together from the wide range available on the market. In order to save you trouble and expensive wrong purchases, we have put together a perfectly matched kit of fly rod, fly reel and fly line, with which you are ideally equipped for fly fishing both in trout ponds and on natural lakes. Fly line and backing are already pre-assembled, so that the complete kit comes ready-to-fish to your home.
Polyleader, leaders, tippets
Especially for Stillwater fly fishing we recommend the use of suitable polyleaders. These are special leaders with a strong monofilament core and a tapered polymer sheath. They provide a smooth transition between the fly line and the rest of the leader and thus ensure a better transmission of the casting impulse to the tippet. In Stillwater fly fishing it is not uncommon to fish more than one fly. They are best rigged on monofilament leaders made of fluorocarbon, as:
- It is more inconspicuous in the water due to a similar light refraction index. Especially in clear Stillwater, the fish have enough time to check the fly and the rest of the rig.
- It sinks faster due to its higher specific weight compared to nylon monofilament. By the way, this is also desirable for floating assemblies with several flies, as the flies are offered so just below the water surface.
- The leader and tippet stretch better due to the higher stiffness and the side arms stand out better.
You can also find out what such Stillwater rigs look like, and which combinations of flies are used for lakes and trout ponds in our detailed blog post.
Successful fly patterns
As a general rule, the fly patterns offered in natural lakes and artificial fishing ponds should also mimic the fish's diet, which, even in Stillwater, is predominantly made up of insects, fry and smaller fish as well as other prey such as leeches, snails, etc. Therefore, in lakes and ponds, the usual dry flies, wet flies, nymphs and streamers can also be used. Due to their great importance in stagnant waters, we explicitly mention here the so-called buzzers, which imitate larvae and pupae of chironomids, i.e. twitch flies.
Special fly patterns for Stillwater and reservoir
In addition to the various realistic fly imitations, a number of special fly patterns have proven their worth, especially on Stillwater with high fishing pressure such as commercial Put&Take fishing ponds. They are striking visually and through their movement in order to also attract suspicious and lethargic fish, so that they entice them to take the fly. These special Stillwater fly patterns can be divided into the following groups:
- Boobies: have a foam buoyancy body tied in behind the hook eye, which looks like an oversized pair of eyes and makes the fly wiggle nicely when retrieved slowly.
- Blob: a compact and bushy fly pattern that attracts a lot of attention due to the bright colours as well as the tying materials used and is a classic stimulus fly.
- FAB: variation of a blob with buoyancy body tied in at the rear end of the fly pattern.
- Fish Eggs & Paste: made of special tying material that takes on a gelatinous consistency when wet, perfectly imitating trout paste or fish eggs.
- Streamers: special patterns for lakes and ponds are less weighted and use very flexible tying materials in more striking or contrasting colours and colour combinations.
Fly kits for lakes and trout ponds
With all these different fly patterns with their different characteristics and their special purpose of use, it is very easy to lose track of them all. That is why we have put together a range of fly assortments especially for use on lakes and ponds, which beginners in particular will find easy to cope with. You will find beginner's kits as well as fly assortments for certain fly rigs or specific presentation techniques.
Useful accessories for fly fishing in Stillwater
A spacious bag with a comfortable shoulder strap makes it easy for you to transport all your equipment comfortably to the lake or pond when fly fishing in Stillwater, regardless of whether you fish from the shore or from a boat. The bag should be water-repellent, at least in the lower part, so that you can easily place it on the ground, in the grass or in the boat and keep your equipment dry and clean.
A landing net with a telescopic handle and a large landing net opening shortens the drill, prevents the fish from coming off the hook in the shallow shore area and makes it easier to land the caught fish. Especially when fishing with several flies, you will quickly learn to appreciate the advantages of a rubberised landing net.