Reservoir fishing is an interesting practice not only as an alternative during the first category closure but also as such. Very technical, it offers the opportunity to confront beautiful fish that are rarer in our rivers and to learn or improve many fishing techniques.
You will need well-adapted equipment even if the standard river equipment is quite usable for beginners and can be supplemented gradually as your practice progresses.
Choice of rods
Reservoir fishing is practiced frequently or even mainly from the shore. The fish can be caught on the edges but also most often at medium or long distance, local conditions and frequentation can quickly move the fish away from the banks.
Therefore equipment allowing long distance casting is desirable, of course adapted to your tastes and your mastery of casting. In most cases, rods of fast and powerful action without excess (line from #5 to #7 or even #8) are well suited. A length of 9 feet may be fine, but using 9'6 or 10' rods provides additional power and facilitates better rear casting clearance from vegetation. When the tank offers very large fish, a #7 power rod will be more likely to help you bridle them quickly than your #5 river rod. The greater fineness of a #5 line can nevertheless remain useful for finer edge fishing. A combat heel will be useful for you to fight the best holds.
Choice of bristles
Reservoir fishing is characterized by the need to find out which layer of water the fish is in based on temperature, wind, time of day, and tank traffic.
It is therefore essential not only to have floating lines but also sinking lines to search for fish in all layers of water down to the bottom.
These lines are characterized by an immersion speed between S1 (slow) and S7 (very fast). The speeds of S3 and S6 already provide a good range of exploration.
There are also intermediate bristles which sink slowly but can also be greased to stay on the surface. They are less essential and can be replaced to a certain extent by a diving polyleader of about 1m50 which will be fixed between the floating silk and the leader.
These sinking lines are quite heavy and require powerful rods (in each weight category) and rather fast action for effective casting without too much fatigue.
Some profiles such as the Wulff TriangleTaper lines are particularly well suited to casting
Choice of reel
The reel should provide sufficient capacity for large lines and sufficient backing (especially if large fish are present). As the casts are very numerous in the tank, the progressiveness of the brake must be good for a pleasant adjustment facilitating casting without racing the spool or excessive effort. The drag can also be useful for fighting the most beautiful fish: here too its progressiveness counts more than its intrinsic power for an adjustment preserving your leader tip.
Possible equipment levels
We can offer different levels of possible equipment, knowing that some experts and competitors do not hesitate to equip themselves with an even greater number of rods to quickly cover all situations.
Minimum equipment : a 9' or 9'6 #5 rod used in the river and equipped with a reel with 2 spools is for me the minimum reservoir equipment. One spool will be rigged with a #5 floating WF line and the other with a #5 sinking line of medium S3 speed. The possible use of a polyleader at the end of floating silk can complete this equipment at a lower cost for shallow depth fishing. The main downside to this level of gear is the changeover time between reels which can cause you to miss a few opportunities to hit a fish. Some beautiful fish can also put the #5 rod and the angler to the test...
Standard equipment : a powerful and fast 9' or 10' #6 or #7 line rod complemented by a 10' #7 line rod with 2 identical reels and 4 spools will allow you to tackle all the usual circumstances effectively. The spools will be set up with a #6 floating line, a #6 intermediate line, a #7 S3 sinking line and a #7 S6 sinking line. Having identical reels allows you to use the 4 spools on the 2 rods by playing on the tolerance of +/- 1 number of the rod's silk, depending on the fishing distance, so as to have the 2 arrangements most suited to the current situation. The main drawback remains a bit of wasted time juggling between spools and line/rod adaptations that are not always perfect.
Expert equipment : from 3 to… many more rods each rigged with their own reel, fly line and specific leader assembly (or even ready-made fly trains…) to cover all fishing conditions. I have no more advice to give you...
Note that as soon as you have more than one rod, a rod holder is essential to store your equipment and keep it available without damaging it. Various models are available on the market, but many prefer handcrafted products that are perfectly suited to their own needs.
Rigs and nylons
The tank leader rigs are very rich and could be the subject of an article in itself. Long rat tails not too thin in point (16 to 20/100) are the basis for surface fishing. Leaders for nymphs or streamers are often made of a single strand of nylon. The assembly of stems is often necessary for yoyo assemblies (a float and a nymph in suspension) or trains of chironomids for example.
In all cases the use of resistant nylons is necessary to avoid breakage on large fish and to shorten the fights: the return to the water of fish in good condition is a must in the tank. To avoid having to use very large diameters, not very discreet and limiting the movement of flies, the use of very good quality nylons is therefore necessary. The use of very resistant fine braids is an interesting alternative to nylons of small diameters. Tying these braids is not a problem on streamers but is difficult on small flies like chironomids: tying at home on braid strands will make it easier for you to change from fly to tank.
Waders and Landing Nets
A wader or waders as well as a nice size landing net with a long handle are essential to retrieve the fish and release them in good conditions.
The range of tank flies is wide and without going as far as the fly cases of some competitors, it is necessary to have a sufficient variety of models and colors to adapt to changing conditions. We can cite without any claim to exhaustiveness some very classic and fishing models, to be declined in size, ballast and colors:
Chironomids : in weighted nymphs, emergent or even winged adults, these imitations of the bloodworm and its fly, the source of food for trout in most reservoirs often reserve some nice surprises!
Gammarus : are another important food source for trout and find their place in the color adapted to your lake or reservoir
Large roe deer sedges of the Tabanas type : these very visible flies can be used both as a 'stopper' to suspend a chironomid or a 'blob' but also trigger the attack of a beautiful fish tempted by this beautiful bite. Fearsome in the evening in the wavelets.
Nymphs : Black and orange/yellow or green Montana type or more discreet pheasant tail or possibly an orange spot, these great classics remain a safe bet.
Streamers : to explore all layers of water. many types exist such as the undulating rabbit Zonkers or the Wooly Bugger
The boobies : equipped with foam eyes, they rise to the surface naturally and can be animated vertically by pulling/releasing the silk.
Blobs : very popular with competitors and especially with fish, this large colorful cluster is supposed to imitate daphnia
The candy : is supposed to imitate a cluster of eggs… or simply incite an attack. Who knows ? anyway very engaging!
The MOP fly : this very basic fly (initially made with the recovery of pieces of microfiber car wash gloves) has become very fashionable and has now gained in sophistication with special caterpillars offering a wide variety of colors.
Fishing from a boat or float tube
Another view of the reservoir is offered to you if you consider fishing from a boat or a float tube which will allow you to explore the entire surface of the reservoir. This fishing reduces the need for long-distance casting capacity but also requires selecting the really useful equipment because it is difficult to go on a float tube with 5 rods...
Shorter rods of 9 feet or less but still powerful can be well suited.