I was out at Calaveras this morning and noticed a lot of reds seemed to be chasing stuff at the surface/ hitting bugs and different things at the top. It got me wondering how successful fly fishing for reds actually is and how cumbersome or feasible it is to actually fly fish out of a kayak. Also, if i do end up trying it, what kind of flies would yall recommend using somewhere like Calaveras Lake or Braunig Lake?
Having fished those lakes for decades, a lot of the surface action you are seeing are not redfish although possible, it's more than likely the abundant talapia and those dreaded Plecostomas or Plecos as they are called which are an aquarium fish from South America that have taken over the lake.
They come up to the surface and sip air, or roll on the surface when they do it.
There was a fellow who fished with a fly rod out there a few years back that caught catfish, and a few reds along the dam, so it can be done, and using something that resembles a small baitfish would be my guess as to the fly.
Calaveras redfish don't act the same as redfish on the coast. They don't tail in shallow water, and most are caught trolling fairly deep in the hottest part of the summer, or in the spring they move into shallower water 4 to 8 feet as they patrol the banks in schools.