The First Second Line For Lakes

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The First Second Line For Lakes

Most of the avid lake anglers that we know have two rods rigged up when they are fishing from a floating device. In most lake fly fishing venues your primary fly line is a weight forward floater. The second fly line for most natural lakes (and many farm ponds) is one that sinks your fly at 1.5 to 2-inches per second. That is because in 10-seconds an unweighted fly will be from 15-inches to 20-inches deep and and if your retrieve it at "insect-speed" it is likely to stay pretty much at that depth. If your fly is a Bead Head, you can double your sink rate. Many natural lakes have a high percentage of shallower shoal water and an extensive amount of littoral zone where sunlight penetrates to the lake bed producing extensive weed beds. During many times of the year trout will patrol the tops of weed beds and especially edges of weed beds. Having a line with the right sink rate to fish a fly slowly, but not get hung up in the weeds is essential. Weed growth starts in the spring, peaks during the summer and often dies in the early winter.

Things can change when you are fishing in reservoirs. Many man made lakes are often the result of dams being erected in steep-sided river canyons. Some reservoirs are shallow and wide, but many are narrow and deep. The water-level in many reservoirs goes through tremendous annual fluctuations. In these kinds of lakes weed beds can be nearly nonexistent. Instead, in many such lakes here in Oregon the bottom is littered with large stumps from the logging that occurred before the reservoir was filled with water. These stumps are havens for crayfish and many aquatic invertebrates. Here trout cruise the drop-offs but often at deeper levels than in shallower lakes. Faster sinking lines are often required, especially during the brightest parts of the day. Here the second line is often one that sinks at 2 full inches a second, or one that sinks at 3, 5, 6, even 7 inches per second.Within certain bounds, the wrong fly in the right place (depth) will often out fish the right fly in the wrong place (depth). The line you use may be more important than the fly.

To find the lines that you need,consult our Lake Lines page. 

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