I think it's Autumn

I think it's Autumn

Tracy&James | Thursday, 1 September 2016

Today’s walk to work was in bright morning sunshine, however it was noticeable that the heat of recent weeks was missing. Now this may just be a daily weather ‘blip’ but to me it felt like the onset of autumn. Currently the water temperature in our local trout lakes is very high, above 21 degrees C, and as a result the fishing is poor (in fact our favourite nearby reservoir is closed to fishing as it is C&R only and it’s felt the high water temp is not conducive to good survival rates). Once these temperatures start to fall back towards 16 – 17 degrees C, after some chilly mornings or some heavy rainfalls, then the fishing should be excellent. The fish should move back towards the margins to feed heavily on fry, so streamer type patterns will be effective. Seeing trout bow-waving after a fast-stripped fly is a lot of fun.

As the trout fishing picks up the carp fishing tends to tail off.  Things have been getting slightly harder already, but this I think is due to familiarity (on the part of the fish) rather than the weather at this point.  On our last trip we found lots of carp basking in the heat of the afternoon sun, this would normally result in us catching lots of them (they find a deer hair fly cast close to their noses hard to resist).  This time, however, we caught two before the fish completely disappeared.  We then moved to another part of the lake and repeated this, a couple of fish then nothing.  This set the pattern for the sessionI suspect that after a summer of being chased by the two of us (I believe we’re the only fly-anglers who fish there) the carp are wising up to our tactics.  We still ended up with ten between us though whilst the bait fisherman present slept undisturbed by their bite alarms.

At the weekend Tracy and I were also fortunate enough to be invited to fish on board a friend of ours boat out of Southampton.  We met John through casting, he’s currently working towards an instructor’s certificate.  John’s boat is perfect for fly fishing; it has a central console with two flat areas either side for casting from.  It’s also very stable with a shallow draft - we were comfortably drifting in 3 feet of water at one point.  John knows the waters around Southampton extremely well (I get the impression he’s a meticulous note-taker, as are we when we’re flat’s fishing), and he put us on to bass straight away.  After catching a quite a few each on Clousers (‘if in doubt, chuck a Clouser’ should be the moto for saltwater fly fishers) and surf candies an un-forecast breeze built that meant we were being pushed off the most productive mark too quickly.  However with John’sknowledge of the area he managed to find us fish elsewhere, so we continued to catch albeit not at the frenetic rate at which the day started.  Bass and mackerel on fly tackle are great fun and well worth trying if you get the opportunity.

Have a great weekend, James.