Day Time Fly Fishing Tips!
Paul Procter's Tips On Fishing During The Day This Summer!
Paul Procter answers your questions!
"My job involves evening work, so I only get chance to fish during the day. I know that evening fishing is probably best at this time of year, but can you please tell me the best tactics for daytime fishing."
Paul answers -
As you rightly point out, fishing during summer is perhaps best done in the evenings. However all is not lost as certain flies and bugs are active during the daytime throughout Summer. Firstly, August is the prime month for heather flies, daddy long legs (craneflies) and of course corixa. This provides us with lots of opportunities, especially with dry fly tactics. There will be coarse fry to consider too, when trout turn their attention to them so they can gain weight for winter
A close relation of the hawthorn fly, heather flies emerge in upland areas during August. A weak flyer they are easily blown onto water, providing something of a feast for trout. Being a terrestrial, heather flies rely on warmth to get them mobile, so obviously the afternoons are best times. On hot days mind, you can expect to see them on the wing from the late morning onwards. Obviously, when they drop to water, trout will be seen picking them off. Now a black hopper pattern works well, as will a hawthorn pattern we use in spring. Don’t be afraid to work the dry fly either by tweaking it, as the naturals often kick frantically in a vain bid to become airborne again.
All anglers are pretty much familiar with daddy long legs (craneflies) and it’s no secret that trout love ‘em! The main reason is that large craneflies represent a tasty mouthful for fish. Very much like heatherflies, they’re a terrestrial too and given blustery days throughout August, or September, often plenty of daddies will be blown onto the water. A large, buoyant dry fly usually does the trick now though in really breezy weather, daddies quickly become drowned, so a swamped dry fly, or wet daddy stripped back has value now.
August is a prime month for the corixa migration. Firstly, often referred to as the ‘lesser water boatman’, corixa are entirely aquatic by nature. Yet, in a bid to populated new aeras they swim to the surface before flying to other waters. Usually, they are weak and therefore tired when they land at a new lake, tarn, or reservoir, and therefore struggle to break through the surface to swim to be lake bottom. Now a small corixa imitation presented close to the surface can be lethal.
Coarse fry that hatched in early summer usually gather in large schools for protection as the grow. With shorter days and cooler night in August, trout sense a change in the seasons and prepare for winter by attempting to gain weight. Fry and other baitfish like minnows or sticklebacks are a protein packed meal for trout.
Often you’ll see trout charging into shoals of coarse fry that frantically explode to escape the attack. Obviously, if you see this then knot on a fry pattern and aim to get your fly into the centre of any commotion. Equally, it can be worth patrolling a likely shoreline with a fry pattern as trout frequently dash into the margins to nab any unsuspecting baitfish, which gather in the shallows for safely. It’s worth wearing polariods now as they help determine when fry or baitfish gather, which will give themselves away with a glint, or flash and even a black mass when thousands of fry congregate in a tight ball.
The dark mass on the right of this image, are fry gathering in the margins during August
One thing to remember when using fry patterns is to step up in tippet material. Not only do we expect specimen fish now, but trout are aggressive when seizing a fly, so heavy tippet guards against smash takes. Fluorocarbon is an extremely robust and abrasion resistant monofilament, which is perfect when using lures, or fry patterns. I’m happiest with breaking strains of 8-10lb, but even 12lb isn’t unheard of, especially where dense weed and snags occur.