Are there any guidelines for the best day to go lake fishing?

kingf000

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Whether to fish dries (or referring to another heated thread, call it 'floating flies') or 'sinking flies' when fish aren't rising would probably make for yet another heated thread. If fish are not rising, I would always go for sinking flies at a first instance. Trout are opportunistic and will often rise to a floating fly just out of curiosity, or, if the water has little natural food, necessity. However, I'm afraid I've fished too many times with dry and caught very little in the absence of rising fish, just to switch to sinking flies and immediately start catching. I know some anglers who only fish dry, and sometimes they catch, sometimes they don't. I also know some who never fish dries, and they miss out on a lot of exciting sport. I try to catch on every visit and therefore use the method that seems to me to be targeting the majority of feeding fish.
 

ohanzee

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Whether to fish dries (or referring to another heated thread, call it 'floating flies') or 'sinking flies' when fish aren't rising would probably make for yet another heated thread. If fish are not rising, I would always go for sinking flies at a first instance.
I'm so far the opposite I no longer carry wet flies unless I know its going to be windy, the times when I have regretted that are surprisingly few hence the confidence to go mostly dry gradually grows.
 

kingf000

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I'm so far the opposite I no longer carry wet flies unless I know its going to be windy, the times when I have regretted that are surprisingly few hence the confidence to go mostly dry gradually grows.
I'm sure it depends on the river/lake you fish. On the freestone river I fish, I and many others have caught very little on floating flies before the mayfly appears, yet we catch lots of fish on nymphs. After the mayfly, the fish seem to re-learn that food does sometimes float!
 

ohanzee

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I'm sure it depends on the river/lake you fish. On the freestone river I fish, I and many others have caught very little on floating flies before the mayfly appears, yet we catch lots of fish on nymphs. After the mayfly, the fish seem to re-learn that food does sometimes float!
Its always dependent on the water, one of the problems with forum communication is people ask questions without mentioning what could be quite specific circumstances, and answers come from different places with a different set of needs, oddly sometimes this throws up something you might never have thought of though.
 

Scotty Mitchell

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I'm sure it depends on the river/lake you fish. On the freestone river I fish, I and many others have caught very little on floating flies before the mayfly appears, yet we catch lots of fish on nymphs. After the mayfly, the fish seem to re-learn that food does sometimes float!
I thought we were talking stillwater on this thread. On the river I fish mostly nymphs as its what I enjoy doing.
On stillwater I am exactly the same as Alan. Unless I'm on a water where I like to pull lures (of which there are only 2 possibly 3)I am fishing dries. I will have a corner of the box with spiders and 3 or 4 grhe or PTN type stuff with brass beads, but they are seldom required.
Sometimes I catch, sometimes not, but the anticipation of the dry fly take sucks me in to the extent that I am very, very reluctant to stop and change.
It is never a concern for me to catch on every outing though, I used to, and to achieve this I carried minimum 3 lines and several fly boxes, and would happily go through the lot to keep on the fish.
My drive takes me in a different direction these days. I think I have reached the destination of my angling journey.
 
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kingf000

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I thought we were talking stillwater on this thread. On the river I fish mostly nymphs as its what I enjoy doing.
On stillwater I am exactly the same as Alan. Unless I'm on a water where I like to pull lures (of which there are only 2 possibly 3)I am fishing dries. I will have a corner of the box with spiders and 3 or 4 grhe or PTN type stuff with brass beads, but they are seldom required.
Sometimes I catch, sometimes not, but the anticipation of the dry fly take sucks me in to the extent that I am very, very reluctant to stop and change.
It is never a concern for me to catch on every outing though, I used to, and to achieve this I carried minimum 3 lines and several fly boxes, and would happily go through the lot to keep on the fish.
My drive takes me in a different direction these days. I think I have reached the destination of my angling journey.
Apologies if I again chose an inappropriate river example, but it was just the one that sprung to mind. I could have exemplified it by choosing the lake I used to fish where again, if no fish were rising, the number of fish caught on floating flies was very few. However, the lake I have now started to fish is a renown dry fly water so things may be different there.
 

fingask

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Thank you for the comments and much food for thought. Regarding 'fishing' and 'catching', I'm afraid I don't enjoy 'fishing' all day and catching nothing. It seems to me a total waste of my time. I admit I like to 'catch', as deceiving a fish with a home made/designed fly, playing the fish and having the joy of seeing a fish close up and then seeing it swim off free is what it is all about for me. I don't fish to eat, as I don't like eating trout, so pretty much C&R, apart from the odd fish for the family. I prefer to fish rivers and, on the whole, on the freestone rivers I fish I average about 1 decent fish per hour, often much more. To achieve this I've learnt to avoid certain conditions and use the most appropriate tactics for the day. I would simply like to gain that knowledge for a small lake. For a couple of years I fished a syndicate lake and over that time the catch returns for most of July/August/September were virtually zero, and I'm sure the few fish that were caught never survived the experience, as the lake suffered an approximate 70% mortality rate throughout the year (I'm told about 10% is the norm for a well run fishery). As a consequence, I've switched to the commercial lake as it is spring fed, cooler water and has an aerating system that better preserves the fish. It has a mixture of brown, rainbow, tiger, blue, spartic and golden trout so a good variety. If I find the answers and it gets too easy, I'll probably get bored, give up there and try elsewhere. However, for now I'd like to crack this difficult time of year just for the challenge, as I usually do pretty well the rest of the year. Early in the day, some fish are rising so I would think they should be catchable on dry, and in the afternoon I'm told a damsel or daddy can be quite productive on the lake, but I may also have to consider slow, deep tactics if the majority of fish are down deep in the cooler water.

Once again, thank you all for your contributions.
no harm in keeping a diary conditions flies used etc always good to look back on tight lines
 
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