2016 has been the primary yr by which I’ve managed to fish persistently and infrequently. There have been some highlights and lowlights however usually its been a way more profitable fishing yr, when it comes to variety of fish caught. I do know that for a lot of anglers, me included, numbers are usually not the be all and finish all however they’re a helpful indicator of whether or not I get higher and studying from experiences.
This has additionally been the primary yr that I’ve managed to fish one place (Farmoor Reservoir) persistently and hold a file of every fishing journey. I recognize that each water is totally different however trying by my notes there are some clear traits which I assumed price highlighting.
Discover the fish!
Okay, I do know it sounds apparent however this has, I consider, made the most important distinction to my success this yr. Reasonably than merely go to the closest spot to the automotive or the simplest place and keep there all day attempting totally different flies (sure, I used to do that), I’ve intentionally stored on the transfer this yr, each when it comes to place and depth.
This has been by far the most important figuring out issue this yr in catch charges. These days the place I’ve discovered the depth of fish have been very profitable. My strategy has been quite simple; I’ve three strains (floater, intermediate and sluggish sinker), a mix of weighted and unweighted flies and I depend, rather a lot. As soon as I’ve discovered the depth of the fish, I can then hit them persistently. Clearly, fish feeding depth adjustments by the day, so I’ve discovered I want to begin once more if I finished catching.
My common observations about depth are nothing new, and are repeated considerably under, however price noting:
Spring – that is in all probability the season the place the fish feeding depth has ranged essentially the most, from deep down early on, when the climate continues to be chilly, to only a few toes under the floor on balmy spring days. I’ve discovered success fishing an intermediate with a weighted lure on the purpose and a lighter nymph or blob on a dropper early on. As buzzers begin to hatch, I’ll swap to a floating line with a staff of three flies: giant, heavy buzzer on level, lighter buzzer on center dropper and a diawl bach on the highest dropper. I had a memorable day at Eyebrook in Could with Beardy Paul the place we had no success with a washing line strategy (anticipating the fish to be greater up) however finally had 20 to the boat all on giant, black buzzers fished static and deep, round 10-15 toes down. Equally, I had a great day at Farmoor in April on a heat sunny day catching on the above talked about floating set-up, on every fly because the fish moved up the water column.
Summer time – that is usually the simplest season from a depth perspective as you may usually see the place the fish are. Usually, the fish are greater within the water and/or feeding off the highest except it will get too shiny and scorching. A washing line strategy, to maintain nymphs greater within the water, or particular dries have been the most effective for me this yr. 2016 was a superb yr for dry fly fishing; there have been some events the place the trout at Farmoor simply wouldn’t take something except it was sitting on, or in, the floor. Usually, on highly regarded or sunny days, fish deeper in the course of the day and transfer up because the solar goes down. I say usually as its not all the time the case. I had one session at farmoor which was shiny solar and about 28 levels, the place I caught half a dozen in a short time a few foot under the floor!
Autumn – in lots of respects, Autumn is much like spring when it comes to fish feeding a really totally different depths. Nonetheless, the Autumn fry feeding presents a great alternative for sport; discover the fry, discover the fish.
Winter – usually, fish will go deeper because the climate will get colder however once more that is solely a rule of thumb so the countdown methodology continues to pay dividends.
I’ve heard and browse a lot of theories about the place the fish will maintain given sure wind instructions. Via 2016 the next held true for me:
Spring – the financial institution with the wind blowing into it usually supplied the most effective fishing, significantly on buzzers/nymphs. Presumably, that is as a result of wind pushing the meals supply downwind. Now, fishing into the wind will not be all the time simple however keeping track of the climate report will pay dividends. I had a couple of days the place the wind was westerly for a number of days after which southerly on the day, permitting me to fish throughout the wind however right into a fish holding space.
Late spring – wind appeared to matter much less however I usually discovered fishing with the wind throughout was finest, permitting the road to float when fishing nymphs.
Summer time – 2016 is perhaps an odd yr given the quantity of dry fly fishing however I usually discovered fish holding the place the wind was at your again. This can be as a result of main meals supply blowing off the financial institution.
Autumn/winter – early autumn I nonetheless usually discovered fish with the wind at my again however I may discern no apparent sample by the winter months.
Apparently, I discovered no apparent variations between wind instructions from a compass perspective. I caught equally properly in easterly and northern winds as southerly or westerly.
Carry on the transfer
I’ve been responsible in earlier years of sticking to the identical place and simply attempting a lot of totally different flies. Nonetheless, this yr I used to be decided to maintain on the transfer till I discovered fish. More often than not this labored properly and helped me to extend catch charges and see the patterns famous above. Nonetheless, I’ve additionally discovered that somewhat transfer simply 10-15 yards down the identical financial institution could be profitable; no thought whether or not this simply places you in entrance of contemporary fish who haven’t seen your flies or simply luck but it surely appears to have labored this yr.
I recognize that flies are an emotive topic, fisherman have their very own favourites, and that many venues have explicit flies that work properly. So the next is what I’ve discovered labored properly for me all year long at farmoor:
March/April – Black and inexperienced lures, orange blob, giant black buzzers fished deep.
Could/June – black buzzers, black diawl bachs, emergers
July/August – Sedge, emergers (CDC and sugar dice), gentle buzzers, claret diawl bach, pin fry imitations (small floating fry, pearly pheasant tail).
Sept/Oct – Claret diawl bach, fry imitation (white minkie, popper minkie, white humungous), orange blob.
Nov/Dec – fry imitations and again to black/inexperienced lures.
Tying my very own
This yr I’ve predominantly tied my very own flies. It’s tough to say for sure however I’ve the impression that tying my very own has contributed to higher catch charges. I doubt this is because of high quality, as I’m nonetheless studying. Nonetheless, I feel it might be that I’ve been tying all through the season, particularly for what could also be catching on the present situations. This implies I’m considering rather a lot tougher about what may work, the way it ought to look, the way it ought to be fished and, crucially, I’m much more focussed once I get to the water. Both approach, its nice enjoyable and really satisfying to catch by yourself flies!
Right here’s to a pleasurable and profitable (nevertheless you measure that) 2017! Tight strains.