Late Summer Fishing On Stillwaters

Wednesday, 18 August 2021  |  Sarah

What's happening on stillwaters?

 

With days beginning to shorten the consequent cooler conditions kick start fly hatches once more.  Although not aquatic insects, craneflies (daddy long legs) abound in late summer. 
These unmistakable bugs aren’t the best of fliers, when even the slightest breeze ushers them onto water.  On more breezy days they skip across the surface like tumbleweed when trout can go positively mad for them, it’s almost as if they enjoy the chase and launch themselves out of the water to seize a tangled mouthful.

Buzzers too, will be back on the menu, when we can expect daytime activity to resume. Often they will be darker in colour now, with black and dark brown being dominate shades.  
 
It’s wise not to venture out in late Summer without a handful of daddy patterns
 

What do you look for?

 

Due to their sheer size, it’s fairly obvious when daddy long legs are about.  Often, you’ll see them skipping about in long grass, or meadows close to water.  However, in more blustery weather they’re whisked away quite quickly and can be easily missed by us. 
The give away on water is heaving great rise forms that are often visible hundreds of yards away.  Obviously, you should keep an eye out for spider’s webs too in hedgerows, as these often carry the remnants of unfortunate daddy long legs!  
 
 

What gear is appropriate to use?

As naturals are blown onto water, all that’s required is a floating line.  One of a weight forward (WF) profile to deal with niggling breezes and of course, achieve distance where it is needed.  A tapered leader helps with turn over to deliver your fly accurately with a degree of delicacy.  The Wychwood 12ft ghost mode tapers with a 8lb tippet are perfect. A 8lb tippet might sound heavy by normal standards, however, a slightly more stout connection stops large, bushy cranefly imitations from spinning during casting that often result in unwanted twists in your leader. 
Don’t worry about trout being able to detect monofilament either, as it’s more about presentation.
If bank fishing, a single fly is best. Given blustery conditions, you’re best off with the wind on your back (sheltered shoreline) as not only does this help when casting, any natural daddies will be instantly blown onto the water here.  Blessed with zephyr like breeze, daddies often fly a fair way out before tumbling to water.  Now, it’s wise to search the windward (exposed) bank.  For those going afloat, it can be worth attaching two flies when prospecting and in really breezy conditions, oftensunked patterns will tempt trout.  Finally, we have several cranefly species here in the UK, many of which aren’t huge.  Given this, don’t ignore slightly smaller hopper patterns!  
A lopping wave is just the job for fishing daddies with the wind on your back
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