Stillwater season, the most wonderful time of the year, has officially arrived. This week’s forecast is surely going to get some ice moving around and we should see plenty of fishing options start to open up in the next 10 days or so. Here’s 3 tips to help out with early season stillwater that can be very productive or very puzzling.
1) Move Often
Early season means cold water. Cold water means that fish aren’t going to be cruising the shoals at Mach speeds in search of food. Sometimes the first few weeks that a lake is ice-free involves doing some searching to find feeding fish. Don’t be afraid to move around a little bit more than often and you will be rewarded.
2) Indicators are Your Friend
Strike indicators (bobbers) allow you to specifically control your depth and keep your fly in the zone for long periods of time. This is a great tactic for fish that aren’t overly inclined to chase a moving presentation. As well as being able to control depth precisely, indicators allow you to see very subtle takes on your fly.
3) Turnover and Having a Plan B
Lake turnover can be a nuisance. Temporarily eliminating their source of quality oxygen can affect the way that fish will, or won’t, feed for a few days. When planning a day of fishing, make sure you have a backup lake you can visit if the one you’re intending to fish is in turnover. Signs of turnover are poor visibility and floating debris on the surface of the water.