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Thread: Faced with new stillwater

  1. #1
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    Default Faced with new stillwater

    Hi guys,

    Been a while since I posted something - rock and surf has really taken up a lot of my time

    From next week Thursday, I will be going to a farm outside Stanford that has a 31 hectare dam in which they breed trout in cages. Trout has escaped into the dam due to otter activities, so fly fishing is allowed on the dam (just not in the cages )

    I cant find anything on the internet about this dam and the fishing there, so it seems to be "virgin waters" so to speak.

    As this dam is huge, how does a noob like me approach the fishing in such a stillwater?
    André

    Fly fishing noob

    It is curious - curious that physical courage should be so common in the world, and moral courage so rare ~ Mark Twain

  2. #2
    Join Date
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    Dynamite has always worked for me in the past.

    But in all seriousness. Look for inlets and outlots, drop offs and points, weedbeds are always full of life and the trout cruise up and down them searching for food.

    Not to point out the obvious, but spend sometime watching the water, looking for bow waves and rises in certain areas etc. I find that if I invest sometime watching the water while having some coffee I work out stillwaters much quicker than blindly casting away for hours. Wind direction also plays an important roles, wish fish patrolling the shorelines looking for food that has been disturbed and as gathering along the shore after being set adrift.

    Hope all this very general information helps!

    J
    Check out some of my FF pics - http://www.flickr.com/photos/30562135@N07/

  3. #3
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    Hi Andre,

    Another important thing on big water - try not to figure it all out at once. I always battle at new stillwaters, but what does seem to help me is to try and focus on small bits at a time otherwise you will probably end up diluting your efforts.

    Take a bay that looks the most likely (eg has an inlet or close to the cages so most likely to have fish) and spend the whole day figuring it out. This will give you the best chance at learning the most about that small area, and on your next visit to the dam you can try a different part of the dam, and slowly but surely you will work out the whole place and eventually find the best spots.
    "So here’s my point. Don’t go and get your ego all out of proportion because you can tie a fly and catch a fish that’s dumb enough to eat a car key.." - Louis Cahill - Gink and Gasoline

  4. #4
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    Fishing any Stillwater I believe it's important to look for three things :

    Cover (grass beds, trees, lilies, reed beds etc) as they are most often also sources of food.

    Structure (dropoffs, ledges, points, old river beds, inlets, trees, submerged rocky points, etc) as they are invariably patrolled and most frequently en-route to nearby cover (read : food)

    Food (signs of predation, chases, rises, etc)

    In my experience you will invariably find fish in or near cover and structure even when there are no obvious signs of predation, then lob flies to imitate the type of invertebrates you would expect to find occupying that cover. For example it would make much more sense to fish a bed of grass with dragons, damsels & baitfish patterns (when fishing imitatively) or buggers and the like (when fishing attractors) than it would to pitch a dry fly when you can't see fish cruising or actively rising.
    "Hierdie drol het baie vlieë" - Ago 2014.

  5. #5

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    Or you could ignore all this good advice and go and cast something that makes a nice plop next to the trout cages :-)
    “Apparently people don't like the truth, but I do like it; I like it because it upsets a lot of people. If you show them enough times that their arguments are bullshit, then maybe just once, one of them will say, 'Oh! Wait a minute - I was wrong.' I live for that happening. Rare, I assure you” ― Lemmy Kilmister

    Reap the Whirlwind - WM

    Paradise = A 3wt Rod & a fist full of someone else's #32 parachutes

  6. #6
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    Well the obvious start would be fishing around the cages! Escapees will find comfort in sticking with their captive mates and will feed on any pellets that make their way through the cage uneaten. The trout will sit underneath the cages so just go round them few times with a sinking line.

    Next Id look for any inlets. The sound of running water will attract any breeding fish to the area. Gravel bars will have the same effect.

    Once Id covered these areas Id go and find weed beds and other types of structure. If weed beds are not obvious, look for coots and duck etc, they will generally feed near these areas.

    If all else fails, start doing drifts along all the edges. If that doesnt work, do a couple of drifts through the deeper water. The more likely water that you cover, the more chance you will have of finding wish.
    Around the steel no tortur'd worm shall twine, No blood of living insect stain my line;
    Let me, less cruel, cast feather'd hook, With pliant rod athwart the pebbled brook,
    Silent along the mazy margin stray, And with fur-wrought fly delude the prey

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by dlampert View Post
    Or you could ignore all this good advice and go and cast something that makes a nice plop next to the trout cages :-)

    Hahahahaha. that thought DID cross my mind - some other form of pellet

    But here's the layout of the dam out of interest:



    Seems that from the shore I will mostly be limited to the side with the Jetty (at the bottom) I am thinking of taking an inflatable boat with however (madness??)
    André

    Fly fishing noob

    It is curious - curious that physical courage should be so common in the world, and moral courage so rare ~ Mark Twain

  8. #8
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    Thanks for all the advice so far guys
    André

    Fly fishing noob

    It is curious - curious that physical courage should be so common in the world, and moral courage so rare ~ Mark Twain

  9. #9
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    Well the cages look to be at the dam wall so the 'inlet' you circled is more likely to be an outlet? There looks to be a little river coming in on the bottom left bay which would be a good bet. The dam wall signifies the deeper water - this will be a good call especially if the weather is a little hotter or colder than usual.

    Id still scour the area around the cages and then paddle down to that bottom left bay. Bottom right bay after that. It looks like the left bank has the most foliage so Id do that drift first -that being said, I cant make out weedbeds etc.

    Let us know how it goes!
    Around the steel no tortur'd worm shall twine, No blood of living insect stain my line;
    Let me, less cruel, cast feather'd hook, With pliant rod athwart the pebbled brook,
    Silent along the mazy margin stray, And with fur-wrought fly delude the prey

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Stellenberg / Western Cape
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    Default

    Thanks FishWhisperer,

    I will definitely report back. Hopefully the weather is not too foul (they're predicting rain beginning of next week) but rain or shine I will give it a bash and see if I can get a troot hooked. The accommodation is nice and cheap, so I will definitely go back if it looks promising.
    André

    Fly fishing noob

    It is curious - curious that physical courage should be so common in the world, and moral courage so rare ~ Mark Twain

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