Fishing small stillwaters

paul100

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Sep 2, 2011
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Hi all

Just back from a couple of hours on my local spring fed still water and my 2nd blank in a week.

Can I please ask - how do you catch fish on such waters as I'm kind of stumped at the minute. Is it lures is it dry fly even now as I did see fish rising ? Also what pound leader just not sure what to use as i didnt have a touch this evening or last week.

Thanks in advance

Paul
 

morayfisher

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It took me six hours today to catch three rainbows. They fought very hard in the cool water. I did try a dry fly because that’s my favorite method but a couple of fish turned away, they were taking just below the surface. I then changed to nymphs/buzzers/crunchers/spiders. Take your pick but all on a floating line with a very slow/stop start retrieve. Preferably with a cross wind to blow the line around. Using 6lb tippet.
I don’t use a bung or pull lures simply because that’s not my bag although sometimes another angler may be doing well, especially with the lures.
 

paul100

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Thanks pal - but that's really my question what of the "take your pick' do I pick?

Paul
 

Mrtrout

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Hi all

Just back from a couple of hours on my local spring fed still water and my 2nd blank in a week.

Can I please ask - how do you catch fish on such waters as I'm kind of stumped at the minute. Is it lures is it dry fly even now as I did see fish rising ? Also what pound leader just not sure what to use as i didnt have a touch this evening or last week.

Thanks in advance

Paul

Did you try a suspended buzzer Paul? Often I find when fish are rising, or showing on the top they may just be cruising sub surface.
I stick a buzzer on and a bit of sheep’s wool a foot or two above, it often produces.
S.
 

taffy1

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Well within my comfort zone
Thanks pal - but that's really my question what of the "take your pick' do I pick?

Paul


Any fly life/activity? If, as suggested, taking just below the surface, a nymph or emerger of that particular fly could be the pattern to tie on. Sometimes, a bit of observation adds to being successful.
 

morayfisher

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Thanks pal - but that's really my question what of the "take your pick' do I pick?

Paul
No magic bullet here.
For me, I rarely fish buzzers so I very rarely catch with them, so I rarely fish them!
Spiders and crunchers simply look more ’buggy’ to me so I have more confidence in them, so fish them more, catch more etc..
A case of flies that catch the angler first, then hopefully the fish.
You can also put a tiny amount of floatant onto part of these and keep them just in the surface for a little while to see if that works on the day.
My most successful day out was a fishery I hadn’t been to before and it was busy being a bank holiday. Again I tried a dry fly first which bought fish up but they weren’t taking. I picked a buggy looking black wet fly out of the box and managed to gink it just right so that it just about held in the surface but was mostly submerged. Let it sit static in a nice wave, I couldn’t see it most of the time but it was almost a fish per cast for two or three hours.
 

bear

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I’d start with a 2” gold bead damsel lure with some flash in the tail. Initially with a floater and then a fast glass, 8lb line.

Then black / green or white / chartreuse lure (taddy or small snake).

If I’m struggling, then out with the bloodworm / buzzer / okey dokey with a sightbob.

I’d be on my toes looking for the fish and trying to suss the depth. Don’t be afraid to fishing into the wind and sacrifice some yardage 👍

When all else fails, I’ll ledger a booby on a Di7 😂
 

senegals

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Sep 13, 2016
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I fish a small Stillwater, tend to fish from first light to about 4 o'clock, what I have noticed is the fish actively rise first thing for about an hour and then it goes very quiet about lunchtime they start rising again. I much prefer dry fly but have found that I have to use small flies (size 16) to get any takes. Flies I have most success with is Griffiths Gnat and my version of F-Fly (black squirrel dubbing body and thorax with white pollypropolene wing floats like a cork and minimal maintenance when compared to CDC) only other dry I use is a shipmans.

Leader consists of 7ft furled leader to tippet ring I then add 9ft of 3lb maxima keep using mud to sink the tippet. If I get refusals then switch to 0.13 Reflo Power. Fly is Fished static an occasional short pull can induce a take

This setup worked Monday and Wednesday quite well yesterday had only one on the dry managed to pick up a couple on Apps Bloodworm.

Rising fish can be very localised so keep observing what is going on around the lake and roving the bank can pay dividends

Bob
 

paul100

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Sep 2, 2011
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Thanks for all the replies all - upon reflection I've continued to fish much the sane as I was earlier in the season which is probably to big lures and my leader is probably too large. I very rarely use mud and so did see my leader on the surface so I shall give the mud a go and drop down the leader poundage slightly. I'm also going to tie up some smaller flies and use a #6 weight - everydays a school day. !
Oh and Ive never used a bung or indicator but will give it a go too.

Paul
 

roger h 10

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Thanks for all the replies all - upon reflection I've continued to fish much the sane as I was earlier in the season which is probably to big lures and my leader is probably too large. I very rarely use mud and so did see my leader on the surface so I shall give the mud a go and drop down the leader poundage slightly. I'm also going to tie up some smaller flies and use a #6 weight - everydays a school day. !
Oh and Ive never used a bung or indicator but will give it a go too.

Paul
My first question would be as the lake is spring fed can you see the actual fish? If so try casting to individuals and watch their reaction to your fly. If you couldn't see any fish then they are probably lying deeper ,you say that you could see your leader which indicated hat your fly is not fishing very deep so maybe you need to go deeper by lengthening the leader,using a weighted fly or both. If the fish are showing on top they are probably taking very small midges so you need to go down to very small flies and a #3 or#4 weight rod,anything heavier will result in a lot of takes but few hook ups or lots of hook pulls.
If the fishery rules allow it go down to a 5x leader and degrease it every few casts.
 

Scotty Mitchell

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Don’t forget to fish the margins. I’d also take the imitative approach and would fish the leader exactly as Roger would. Fine and regularly degreased. I agree a lighter # rod would be ideal, but if you are careful, your 6 should be ok, just be on your game watching the line tip/leader/indicator for the slightest twitch and don’t strike with the rod, try and just gently lift into it, you’ll feel everything you’ll need to feel in your line hand.
Small, drab nymphs,spiders,buzzers will almost certainly get you a fish or 3.
Keep at it, keep watching. Stealth and presentation before distance. If you turn over a single fly better than a team, fish single fly.
 

Elwyman

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In my experience, unless they are getting regular stockings of fish, small Stillwaters can be hard going in the winter. Small nymphs or dries may work, but if not a stripped lure or a buzzer fished static on the bottom may get a fish.
I would aim to fish on milder days and then at the warmest part of the day.
 

GEK79

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Ireland
Did you try a suspended buzzer Paul? Often I find when fish are rising, or showing on the top they may just be cruising sub surface.
I stick a buzzer on and a bit of sheep’s wool a foot or two above, it often produces.
S.
Why the sheep wool MrT..?
 

GEK79

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Don’t forget to fish the margins. I’d also take the imitative approach and would fish the leader exactly as Roger would. Fine and regularly degreased. I agree a lighter # rod would be ideal, but if you are careful, your 6 should be ok, just be on your game watching the line tip/leader/indicator for the slightest twitch and don’t strike with the rod, try and just gently lift into it, you’ll feel everything you’ll need to feel in your line hand.
Small, drab nymphs,spiders,buzzers will almost certainly get you a fish or 3.
Keep at it, keep watching. Stealth and presentation before distance. If you turn over a single fly better than a team, fish single fly.
After reading alot about the margins here it's mostly all I fished on my last day.. Small black bibio.. 3 fish.. And that was after learning from here.. What is class's as a small still water not being pedantic just curious as to what is a small stillwater.. Please.
 

PaulD

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Feb 11, 2020
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Some of our more 'famous' ones are Avington - 3 lakes totaling 9 acres, Lechlade - 9acres. Dever - 6 acres, - Rockbourne - 6 lakes, 1/2 an acre to 1 acre.
 
D

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I've been struggling to catch on our stillwater of late. There have been plenty of fish rising but not willing to take anything I've offered them.

I did manage to catch one on a #20 Griffith's Gnat when I dropped it right on it's nose.

I took the opportunity to spoon the fish and it wasn't difficult to see why I couldn't catch.

It had been feeding on, what looked like, caddis pupa that were no bigger than 2mm!

Rather than go through mill just do what some of the 'fly fishermen' on our water do and fish a 'blob' under 'bung.'

It ain't 'fly' fishing, it's 'bung' fishing but it's effective.
 
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