Take a look at these winter fishing tips. Including top winter fly picks for river and stillwater fly fishing! These tips will keep you catching over the cold winter months!
Fly Fishing Advice
It’s safe to say we’ve had a lot of rain over the last few weeks! We’re all itching to get out and get our grayling season off to a strong start! With this in mind we want to give you the maximum chance of getting some grayling into your net when the rivers become safe and fishable again!
A drop in temperatures often puts an edge on the trout’s appetite as they prepare for winter. Obviously, trout will target fry and baitfish at this time of year as they represent a protein rich return for fish. That said, trout are extremely opportunistic and quick to take advantage of certain food sources available to them at anytime.
With the nights drawing in and the sun sinking ever lower, evening temperatures take a dip now, which often sees insects and trout revert back to day time feeding habits. Gone then are those warm evenings when we never made a cast until the light faded and these are replaced by more sociable ‘office hour’ activities for us.
There’s no question, lighter outfits protect finer tippets that in turn vastly improve presentation because they allow our flies a greater degree of freedom. As a rough guide, the tippet strength can be match to that of the rod line rating. For example, a 5-weight rod marries up to a 5lb tippet where as a 6-weight rod might use a 6lb tippet. Of course these rules aren’t chiseled in stone and we must remember trial and error is the route to success
When I was a youngster, wet fly fishing was all the rage. Then came the advent of mobile lures, typically incorporating marabou, or zonker strips. Our understanding of dry fly fishing developed too, when patterns like the Bristol hopper, or Leadbetter’s suspender buzzer took the stillwater scene storm. Obviously now, wet flies took a back seat.
A common fly that appears in our gardens and homes towards the backend, Daddy Long Legs (Craneflies) really need no introduction here, as they’re instantly recognizable by those six gangly legs. Gardeners know they larvae stage of daddies as leatherjacket, which are considered a pest as they eat the roots of various plants and vegetables. These larvae eventually pupate and what emerges from the soil is an adult cranefly, which makes them a terrestrial. Craneflies can be found far and wide, especially in undisturbed areas like bracken clad fells.
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
The long hot days of July and August will see the bulk of sedges (caddisflies) hatch off come evening time. Whether it’s on a stillwater, or river those prepared to hang around in the evening often get the best of the fishing during summer, especially when hot, bright conditions persist. Better still, anglers who are stuck in the office all day, can rest assured that they’ll get a slice of the action too by heading out after dinner.
Ok, firstly, when using wet flies, we’re usually retrieving the flies, so trout have to move that bit quicker to intercept the. Given this we often feel the take by way of a tug, or tightening of the line, followed by using firmly lifting the rod to hook the fish. However, our dry flies are presented static on the whole, so trout needn’t move quickly to seize our fly now. Ultimately then they generally just sip down our dry fly, which means there is no ‘tugging’ sensation for us. Instead, we now use the rise form as a visual prompt to tighten into a taking fish.
Your Guide To Catch and Release! Keep reading for The Essential Fly top tips on handling fish in hot weather!
It seems these days that the camera has replaced the priest, as more and more anglers look to return their catch rather than kill fish. In many respects this is a great trend as not only are more fish to go round, but in a world of ever increasing prices, generally speaking catch and release permits work out cheaper. And, where wild trout are concerned, it’s important to return our catch so they can go on and spawn future generations. Firstly, whether you plan to return, or kill a given fish, we should respect our quarry. Let’s look at some tips to help take care of your catch.
There are lots of sedge/caddis patterns we can choose from when it comes to imitating sedges on the warmer evenings, however perhaps one of the most versatile dressings is the ‘Elk Hair Caddis’. Developed by an American called Al Troth this pattern can be dressed with, or without a palmered hackle. Obviously, a fly with the body palmered hackle has superior floating properties, which comes in handy when fishing more animated water, like a tumbling pool on a stream, or a big, rolling wave on a reservoir. A hackle-less version naturally rides lower in the surface film, making it a favourite where smooth, flat water occurs and when trout are targeting stillborn, or spent caddis that lie almost flush in the film.
At TEF we pride ourselves on keeping our finger on the pulse with relevant information. So, given the current warm and sunny spell firmly parked over the UK, here’s a handful of pointers that should help you get back on terms with trout.
Accessories and kit you need to up your dry fly game this trout season!
When dry fly fishing it’s essential your fly is behaving and presented how it should be to maximise your chances of fooling a trout to take your dry fly! In this newsletter we’re going to take a look at what you need to help keep them flies where they should be!
Perhaps the most celebrated period for us fly fishers’ is the month of May when we prepare ourselves for the arrival of mayflies. Appearing from the middle of May and through to early June, Mayflies are our largest and most graceful upwing species. The sight of the first mayfly of the season never fails to excite and is something both trout and angler revere.
Paul Procter follows on form his previous newsletter and talks all things emerging and adult buzzers Including his top fly patterns and fishing tips!
In our last Newsletter we discussed the pupal (pupa) and larval (bloodworm) stage of buzzers. Here, we’ll look at the emerging buzzer and the winged adult. Granted, the pupa stage of buzzers is extremely susceptible to trout, but the emerging pupa is perhaps even more vulnerable.
Paul Procter's Top Tips About Tapered Leaders!
Including all the information you need about tapered leaders. River and lake recommended leader lengths.
Not so long ago, fly fishers’ used level lengths of monofilament as leaders, which were referred to as ‘casts’. These worked well enough when using three flies on short levels of mono, like a team of wets positioned some three feet apart, as the flies provided sufficient impetus to generate turn-over. However, when it came to delivering a single fly on leaders of more than 8ft there were definite problems, especially if the imitation in question was small and wispy.
Paul Procter brings you all you need to know for early season buzzer fishing Including Paul's top buzzer picks, leader lengths and how to fish them!
There’s no question buzzers (chironomids) form the cornerstone of our fishing on stillwaters. This is especially true during spring when daytime hatches of the humble buzzer are more prevalent and of course, trout are keen to pack on weight.
Fly In Focus - March Brown. Paul Procter talks all things March Browns, methods to fish them and fly choices to fool them fish! The fabled March Brown is considered by many as one of our most icon upwing flies. And whilst they don’t occur everywhere, they are one of the first upwings we experience during the opening weeks of a trout season. Naturally, as their common name implies they appear during the month of March. That said, some of the best hatches are often experienced throughout April.
The doors to the Trout season are mostly all open and we are all itching for some dry fly activity Whilst hatches can be sparse, if you find your self in a the midst of a hatch you could be in for a good session! It's worth mentioning that whilst we would all like some early season dry fly sport dont dismiss March Brown Nymphs in between hatches as these can bring some seriously good sport too!