I like to use Brown and Red Flash Epoxy Midge Buzzer nymphs as part of a team of flies to catch most of my wild native brown trout or long term resident stock fish from within 3 to 6 foot of the lake or reservoirs margins.
EPOXY BUZZER FLY PATTERNS. Hook size 12 14 16 18 20 24 - $US each
At close range in clear water you can often see the fish you are casting too even if they are not rising. If the water is cloudy or no fish are visible I start by searching the bankside pockets, under overhanging branches, along weed beds and current streams.
Water inlet areas are always good locations as they introduce freshly oxygenated food rich water to the large body of still water. Water outlet areas have the effect of concentrating the amount of food available to prowling trout and are favoured by hungry fish.
Attractive fish holding sites are not confined to the water margins, but they tend to be more concentrated along the waters edge. Look at the nearby trees and bushes. Try to work out which way the prevailing wind blows. Are they leaning in one particular direction. This would indicate where the windward lake bankside or shallows were located. I start in these areas first as the wind tends to blow any surface insect life that way so there tends to be more food available to trout than on the far side of the lake.
This close contact style of fly fishing requires a very different approach to boat fishing. Stealth is the prime importance. You do not want to spook the fish. They will swim away fast in a darting motion, find a place to hide or go deep into the depths in the centre of the lake. Here they will sulk for half an hour, upset that they have had to move away from their favourite eating place.
You are a hunter stalking your prey so should dress accordingly. Hawaiian shirts are out. Dress in light blue or grey to match the sky in big open waters. Wear olive green or brown clothing if you are surrounded by trees, meadows and bushes. Try to match the colors of the landscape you are fishing within. If it is rocky dress in gray.
Try to make the most of any cover. Fish from behind a rock or large bush. You want to avoid being silhouetted against a bright sky. Kneeling to cast or wading into the river to lower your profile are tactics you can consider. Move very slowly and try to avoid using false casts as much as possible as the trout are very sensitive to visible movement and unnatural vibrations.
Over millions of years fish have adapted to be on the lookout for threats from the sky. Sea eagles, king fishers and water birds like cormorants have always been a threat. They constantly look up. If they see anything moving in the sky or unnatural they disappear very quickly.