August Boat Fishing

Without a doubt boats can offer the only real opportunity to get at the fish during August. This does not necessarily mean that the fish are going to be suckers. Usually it is far from the case. However contrary to popular opinion, the fishing can be rather good. Especially if the winds are gentle and the skies are cloudy, with perhaps just a hint of rain.

That's just a hint, mind you, heavy downpours can put the fish off completely. Assuming the weather is favourable expect sport to either small dries or wets / muddler.

For dries I tend to use patterns; Shipman's, suspender buzzers, sedge, floating fry, hoverfly and of course ants.

The muddler can be more interesting. Often I find a particularly good week with the fish demanding mini-muddlers. My set up is thus; mini-muddler grenadier #10/12 (top dropper), soldier palmer #12/14, and a sparse black spider #14/16 (on the point). Fish slowly, methodically and short line. Great fun.

The real bitch weather in August is strong winds and bright skies. I usually expect fish somewhere within the top five feet and anchor upwind. Often it's a hard slog with the muddler, but intermediate and fry patterns or, perhaps, the booby trick can be the order of the day.

Generally the answer is to work hard. Move around and keep thinking. Failing that, do nothing and hope the wind drops last thing and madly fish the last half hour before dark like there is no tomorrow. If the wind fails it drops by very much the answer is a large muddler trick (try a black muddler). If it drops completely then get ready with the dries, but it could even be a time for the black lure.

Surprisingly perhaps, I used to enjoy August more than any other month. I guess it was the challenge thing. That and you never really know what line you will be using let alone which flies.

Warm wet days are the best ones and the quantity of trout moving near the surface can sometimes be quite extraordinary. It's often small fly work. The best news is that the trout can be in super condition.

But I guess all we are really doing is preparing ourselves for the finality of the season, working out where the trout are likely to be, trying to stay in tune with them and imagining what great things we will do in the last three or four weeks.


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