Fly fishing is far more rewarding if (like a natural hunter would) you comprehend your surroundings as well as part you play within it. Having pride in your ability and sport will allow you to focus on observing your environment, the manner in which animals interact, how the insects and plants change and in what ways water flows from streams to lakes. Your sport will allow you to see meaning in becoming alive; study great anglers of the past and the geography, geology and topography for each area you go to.When fly fishing, take time to study the nature of the stream or lake that you are approaching. Rushing headlong to fish will finally mean you will miss out on something that might well have changed your day.
Clarity associated with the water is an important factor in deciding how, when and where you’re going to fish. As it will decide the level at which the fish lie and the distance they’re able to see a lure. Transparency of the water may also be impacted by the wind simply because this will slow down the light penetration. You can test for transparency by simply lowering anything bright in to the water and observe at what depth it clouds from view. This is the depth the fish will lie at typically during the main part of the day. A cloudy lake you’ll have the fish resting at about 2M and will only see the lure from about .5M. When the lake is sat on limestone they will generally be very clear. The fish may be resting at 10M if not more but have the ability to see a lure with ease from a much greater distance.
Vegetation in the water will indicate it’s feasibility. Healthy and balanced well developed vegetation of the right species is essential to the flourishing fishery. Try to find underwater plants. Many huge leaved underwater plants is an excellent sign that the water is alkaline. Small plants suggest acidity. The bigger plants like Potamogeton praelongus doesn’t just provide cover but additionally food and oxygen. Look for streams of bubbles rising towards the surface out of dense mats of plants. The clearer the stream the higher the depth oxygen is going to be found. Therefore the fish will have an increased range. Trout for example prefer concentrations of oxygen of 8ppm however at levels of 5ppm the fish will be struggling and will look for areas of high concentrations like riffles in streams in which the water is oxygenated by the air, in the lake some may head to an inlet or shallow water where there are oxygenating plants. Too much oxygen and the fish will become very active. Another indicator of the fish location in lakes is where the plankton is. This tends to move up and down dependant upon the time and the available light. The fish follows its movement, moving down in the intense mid-day sun and assend towards evening.
Another thing to keep in mind is where on the lake the water will settle into layers. They are referred to as Epilimnon (at the top of the lake) Thermocline (in the centre) and the lowest layer is called the Hypolimnion. Each of them have their own temperature range, the coldest towards the bottom to the warmest at the very top with most of the oxygen within the top layer. This means the fish could well be limited to the top layer in a very deep lake like Windermere. A strong wind in the summertime can tip up these layers to the lee shore taking the fish closer to the surface. Local knowledge is critical when fishing and will mean the real difference between failure or success.