What’s Coming Up?
Given a normal year, we can expect low river levels throughout the month of August that in turn, sees fly hatches dry up. On some days, you’d swear there wasn’t a fish in the water. Yet, August is a month for flying ants and trout & grayling love them. Granted these juicy little terrestrials don’t sprout wings every day, but when they do, it’s often in spectacular fashion. So read on to get ready for some great fishing advice from our top anglers.
What to look for
Warm, sultry afternoons are by far the best conditions to experience ant falls. Perhaps the first you’ll know about it are gulls, house martins and swallows wheeling overhead as they cash in on thousands of airborne ants. You’ll probably see cobwebs along the river loaded with ant carcasses too.
When ants drop to the surface, fish go positively mad for them. In fact, so impressive is the activity, it can be confusing on deciding where to cast next. The same rings true on stillwaters too! With ants on the menu, it’s vital now you have an appropriate dressing with the classic “hour glass” figure. That said, patterns with their best part submerged, like Klinkhamers for example have worth too!
What to use
As you’re likely faced with shrunken rivers it’s worth considering dropping down a line rating, or two from the usual 5-weight outfit. A #4, or even #3 rated rod will provide the required finesse to deliver your fly without fuss, the Wychwood Drift 9’6” 3-weight, or Wychwood RS2 9’ 4-weight are excellent value for money. As with all dry fly fishing, a tapered helps present your fly accurately. We’re fans of the Wychwood camo mode nylon tapers with a 4lb tippet strength.