In a way, a lake offers a little more scope for experimenting with fly presentation. Here are 5 unique ways you can fish a still water & the flies to use.
The popper hopper is one of our most successful fly patterns. Designed for reservoirs where the wind whips up a ripple, the bright yellow foam post is visible in even the filthiest conditions. The foam post also keeps the fly afloat on even the most choppy days. The popper hopper is deadly when heather flies, hawthorns or daddies are on the water. It is also a fantastic searching pattern.The popper hopper can be fished either by letting the fly drift in the ripple or by pulling it over the surface where it will pop and gurgle and create a ripple to attract the trout. The popper hopper also make an ideal indicator fly, tie a foot of leader on to the bend of the hook and hang a small buzzer or nymph underneath.
Trout are predators, a fact that sometimes escapes the fly angler. Provided they are hungry and conditions are ok, trout will happily feed on small fish. At certain times of year this is more likely than others, particularly through late Summer & Autumn. Whilst you can use traditional fry patterns such as zonkers and lures. Imitating a distressed or injured fish on the surface can provoke an almighty take! Cast your floating fry out on a sinking line and strip back. Sometimes you can strip very quickly and they will chase, other times a gentle twitch produces more takes. Experiment with your retrieves and find which works best. Work your fly close to features such as reeds or structure where small fry are likely to be sheltereing.
Humi Snake Booby
This fly is a seriously deadly cold weather trout fly. It is tied with a stinger hook at the rear of the fly meaning you will hook anything that nips at the tail. For cold weather, fish on a heavy sinking line with a short leader no more than a foot in length. Retrieve very slowly so the fly pops up off the bottom allowing any lethargic early season fish to grab it as it swims passed. This fly can also be fished on a floating line where it will pop across the surface acting like an injured fish.
Blob & Spider Combo
An unusual way of fly fishing that can be very effective, especially when the fish are being fussy feeders. Tie a short length of leader of around 10 inches to the bend of the hook of the blob and attach your black and peacock spider. Either draft in the ripple or pull through the surface film. The orange blob acts as an attractor and draws the fish in. The trout then see the small spider which they take as a natural. I have had some great success using this method when there are lots of midges hatching as a way to make your fly stand out from the hundreds of thousands of naturals in the water.
Black Adult Buzzer
When the midges are hatching and the fish are sipping on the emerging midges this fly makes an excellent pattern. The adult black buzzer will sit in the surface film and then slowly sink. It can be slowly twitched and pulled or on breezy days allowed to drift in the ripple. The reason I like this fly is it offers the fish a fly in, or just under the surface film where they often take the emerging midge. With this pattern you can pull the fly to give movement which is difficult with more traditional emerging patterns such as cdc shuttlecocks