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Lake: Loch Lomond Lake

Help me catch my first fish on a fly

Post By: FPF      Posted: 7/17/2015 9:38:38 AM     Points: 313    
I have at least 30 hours logged trying to learn how to fly fish and have yet to catch a fish. I dont really have anyone to show me what I am doing wrong. Guys from work just keep telling me i must be using the wrong flies. On my last trip i found a massive spider web that had dozens of flies and bugs trapped in it. I picked out a fly that looked just like one of the mosquitoes but still had no luck, all while everyone else on the lake seemed to by slaying them. I tried 15 flies at that lake and didnt even get a bite. Fish were jumping everywhere.....

I am headed to loch lomond this weekend to try and land my first fish on the fly rod and would love some tips from some of you local guys on what flies to bring. I realize conditions are constantly changing and effect which fly to use but I assume most of you would have a good idea on what the most common 5 or 10 flies would be at that lake this time of the year. I would seriously appreciate some insight. Please help!
 Reply by: tracks      Posted: 7/17/2015 10:22:46 AM     Points: 267    
If the fish where jumping everywhere they're eating good and your presentation will be hard pressed to compete with mother nature.
On a lake if they're jumping it's because there's nothing under the water to eat like nymph's. It take a lot of energy to jump out of the water so taking a nymph underwater is easier for the fish, the way I see it, give him something easier to eat. A hopper dropper or indicator with a nymph a foot or two under the water might be just the thing. Just a thought. I hunt warm water critters mostly and when the dragonfly's are out, it's the same thing. That's when I put on something that looks tasty under the water and usually do well.
Just some thoughts on matching the hatch.
 Reply by: gsn1574      Posted: 7/17/2015 10:23:49 AM     Points: 963    
I'm nothing of an expert with a flail stick, but its getting to be a good time to learn because we are moving into terristrial time: ants, grasshoppers, ect. I've always found I find more fish when using terristrials and it gives you a confidance boost!

On high mountain lakes, I start with a adams and a black wooly worm. I branch out from there depending on my luck. Depending on if the carpenter ants (big ants) are out, you may try a ant imitation too.

Probably get trounced by more experience fly fishers, but there is my 2 cents.

I wish you luck this weekend.
 Reply by: anglerwannabe      Posted: 7/17/2015 10:24:46 AM     Points: 62561    
here are some replies to a similar thread on the plus side.. HTH

I always go with a small 18-20 parachute Adams sometimes you need to change colors from red, brown, green, Grey and black. From there I always use a pheasant tail. It looks like many bugs.

That's my best .02 for ya. Hope that's helpful. Oh and 7X tippet

My tactic has always been to tie a few patterns to cover the color/size spectrum. So hare's ears natural, black, olive, a cream pattern, gray, orange, yellow soft hackles, pheasant tails, ap series, and a few zug bugs. And I do have a basic collection on midges.

My first option is typically a pheasant tail and black AP. size 16 or 14.

I find on high mountain waters fish are as picky as you might think. The waters are typically clear and clean, which means they are low on nutrients, insect life relative to lower waters. Consequently, they eat whatever they can find.

Oh, ants are a good option too.

I would use a thin tippet. 5X or even 6X until I catch a few fish. The brook trout I recently caught in there were quite small, seven inches, so a light leader tippet should not be a problem. I am looking forward to getting back up there soon and will do so in the evening.

Yea, generally woolies with me all the time, but I have been playing with some odd flies lately- a kind of yellow sally with a parachute in red has done pretty well. there's also a moth imitation that does pretty well. but I generally don't do too much lake fishing on the fly rod, I'm just now starting to do more so..

I'd be looking for Callibaetis, damsels, caddis, midges and terrestrials right now.

I'd start by throwing a #6 black Beadhead woolly bugger with a #14 beadhead hares ear behind it. This is my go to searching setup, and most of the time, the fish crush it.

I would also carry a good supply of para addams from a #14 down to a #20, along with the same for griffiths gnats, cdc callibaetis, and elk hair caddis. Also keep some terestrial patterns like ants, beetles, and hoppers with you.

As for nymphs, like I said above, the hares ear is my go to, followed by a prince. I'd say keep a few pheasant tails stillwater nymphs with you as well.

I'd also keep a few chironocones, rojos, black beauties, and poision tungs with you in case you stumble onto some midges or chironomids.

Charlie Craven's Slump Busters pattern is my go to high mountain lake fly! Leach and Scud imitations work well too! And if you have some, use sinking tip fly line, the flies just swim different maybe the difference you need to get some bites!
Tight lines
 Reply by: Mr. Fly Fisherman      Posted: 7/17/2015 11:47:22 AM     Points: 154    
In my opinion you always need to have some Royal Wolves 10-16, some Adams 14-18, a few different grasshopper patterns 10-14, wooly buggers in the color black, and a few different ant patterns. Then to double your chances put on a Royal Wolf and the tie on a 2 to 2 1/2 foot trailer and then tie on an Adams or an ant pattern behind the Wolf or the attractor pattern. Those are my favorite lake flies to use and I hope they work for you.
 Reply by: Budha      Posted: 7/17/2015 11:50:10 AM     Points: 166    
Meet me at spinney saturday evening and I will get you hooked up...landing is on you.
 Reply by: FPF      Posted: 7/17/2015 12:08:17 PM     Points: 313    
Thanks guys! Im gonna have to head to the store to pick up some of these. Man, the names of these flies sounds like something out of lord of the rings or something lol. Budha, thanks for the offer but my uncle has property near loch lomond that he wants to check out so thats why we are going there.
 Reply by: NativeCuttie      Posted: 7/17/2015 12:18:28 PM     Points: 380    
So when you say double your changes are you using 2 or 3 flies? Wouldn't you put the dry Royal Wolf at the end of leader and then add some tippet onto that fly for a dropper? Is that what you are referring to as a "trailer" or "behind"? Are you using two dry flies in this case without a dropper? I usually do a dry and then add some tippet and use a nymph, scud or san juan worm but I'm just trying to learn the terminology here.
 Reply by: skunkmaster      Posted: 7/17/2015 12:39:55 PM     Points: 1030    
Another thing to try with high lakes and dry flies is to cast out and then just let it sit there, about like bait fishing, for 5 to 10 minutes. I used to think I had to constantly by repositioning the fly if I didn't get a fish to take it within the first minute (probably more like 15 seconds if I were to keep track . . .), to get the fly over a "willing fish", but learned that cruisers coming by, as in "eventually", would come up and eat a fly that had been just sitting there on the surface for a fairly long time. Have heard others on here or one of the other forums say the same thing. Trude patterns, Royal Wullfs, small hoppers (e.g., Charlie Boy, or baby Charlie Boy), caddis, all have worked for me doing this.
 Reply by: FPF      Posted: 7/17/2015 1:15:01 PM     Points: 313    
haha ya ive been really impatient then because if a fish doesn't strike in 15 seconds I'm reeling it in or recasting. BTW do you guys have luck reeling in a fly slow once you decide to reposition it just to try and draw a strike as a last ditch effort?
 Reply by: Mr. Fly Fisherman      Posted: 7/17/2015 1:17:03 PM     Points: 154    
NativeCuttie, you can use three flies but what I have found by doing that is you will catch every tree and your line will tangle really easy so I stick with just two using the two dry flies. I have tried the nymph under a dry fly in lakes with no success so I put on a second dry fly and started to much better. And yes a trailer is the same thing as a dropper.
 Reply by: Budha      Posted: 7/17/2015 2:17:13 PM     Points: 166    
In that case, I like using a #16 parachute adams trailing a #18 grey hackle peacock on mountain lakes like loch lomond. I have not been back to loch lomond in 8 yrs but those flies worked. I agree with letting the flies sit for a longer amount of time.
 Reply by: Ajax5240      Posted: 7/17/2015 2:50:55 PM     Points: 31581    
I'm not sure if it has been said already or not, but one of the things that may be keeping you from catching a fish is your "presentation" if your line is smacking down on the water, or your fly crashing down like a thrown rock, that will spook fish away. That is the nice part for 'hack' fly casters like myself in the rivers, you may butcher the presentation upstream, but as it floats downstream those fish were less effected.

If you just want to catch your first fish on a fly rod, go to a local bass/gill pond with some small ants, hoppers, beetles, etc and have some fun catching gills all day with the chance of a bass.
 Reply by: phisherman      Posted: 7/17/2015 4:45:37 PM     Points: 35    
Go to the small lakes above loch lomond. It's a little bit of a hike, but last time I was there they hit any dry fly (caddis, small mayflies, etc.) that I put on the water. 8" brookies is what I remember catching.
 Reply by: Luke the Dog      Posted: 7/19/2015 6:45:08 PM     Points: 37    
 Reply by: FPF      Posted: 7/19/2015 10:07:30 PM     Points: 313    
Update: went to loch lomond along with the 10 billion other people, probably mostly californians....but i digress. When we arrived at the lake we had 15mph winds with stronger gusts, rain that felt more like sleet to me, and we could see our breath. It was miserable. After about 20 casts with my spinning rod we decided to head down to m uncles property in alice and check things out. We hung out down there until the weather broke and decided to head to fall river reservoir. Got there about an hour before sundown. Fish were jumping everywhere. I finally got one fish but it was only about 3" long. I missed another strike by a fish about the same size. Im not sure if that lake has anything bigger than that but I still had fun. Thanks for the help guys!

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