I.M.H.O. when it comes to Fly-Fishing Stillwaters (or any water for that matter) other than having large bass or trout crush top water Flies it is pretty hard to beat fishing streamers in stillwaters ,why ? The same predatory rules apply to lake fishing as they do to flowing water , big fly = big fish . Yes fishing nymphs under an indicator is very effective especially with beginners as it is a great way to put fish in the boat BUT I find it is like watching paint dry , other than finding the depth the fish are feeding in there is not a whole bunch to it .More angler involvement is what I like about fishing streamers, as you are constantly casting ,retrieving ,working structure and sighting cruising fish.
Sight fishing is the highlight of Stillwater Fly-Fishing as both bass and trout will cruise the shoreline looking for food to eat.A well placed streamer cast well in front will often result in a chase and eat and you are seeing the whole episode unravel .Something else to watch for are boils caused by baitfish being chased by bass or trout …especially Bass . I see this a lot on the Bass Lakes I fish here in Arizona , It ‘s gets the heart pumping as usually there are several fish working a baitfish school and generally they are big .Stillwater Streamer experts use a vareity of lines ,intermediate sinking ,full sinking , sink tips and floating all have their applications . Because my stillwater fishing is limited to the spring time I get by with 10ft sink tips and floating lines ,the same setup that I am using for rivers.
Flies are basically the same also.Impressionistic patterns that imitate a wide variety of insects , leaches and baitfish get the job done for me.Slumpbusters or small buggers look like Damsel and Dragon Fly Nymphs ,they are also great Leach imitations .For baitfish patterns I stick with Clousers tied in a variety of colors , and of course the Kreelex Streamer is never far away .
The rods I use depend on what species and flies I am fishing. For Bass I like a 9ft 7 or 8 weight , they have the backbone to cast large wind resistant flies and turn fish .For trout ,I generally use a 6 weight , however when fishing small streamers (#8-#10) I can get by with a 5 wt.
Next time you are out on your favorite lake , mess around with some streamer tactics and patterns , change up your depth , change the size of your fly ,vary you retrieves and see how the fish respond . Most importantly have a good time .