Fishing for Schools fly fishing expert Bob Goble is keen to get out on the water this month. Here are his top tips for great fishing in June.
It’s June and day light hours are much extended, giving us more time to fish. Early morning is a favourite time of mine to be on the water. I love the stillness and quietness. Dew covers all around underfoot, then as you approach the water you can see and hear fish swirling and sucking, with the occasional plop as fish rise, on the hunt for food. Insects are emerging, lying still in the viscus and trapped unable to take to the air. The trout are having a ball.
I know I harp on about preparation and the importance of organisation of your tackle but it is important for the fly fisher. Make sure all is well the night before, have a good selection of flies to cover all eventualities (especially dry flies for this time of year), check your line, ensure the knots and your leader material are OK and you are ready to go.
Once by the water, keep back a little so as not to disturb fish feeding close in and set up your tackle. My guess is they will be feeding on midge (chironomidae), so try using a Shuttlecock CDC (cul-de-canard) – the preen gland feather from a duck – with hook size 12.
Employ the usual tactics – 9ft rod in 6 or 5 weight and fly line, tapered leader of 9ft, to 6 or 7Ibs breaking strain. Tie on your fly, add a tiny smear of floatant (I use Gehrke’s Gink) and let it dry. Degrease 18ins of tippet from the fly with Walkers sinkant, or similar. This helps in two ways. It takes the glare from line, and it helps it sink to just under the surface. Cast out and get ready, the shuttle cock should sit upright on the water, with the CDC on top and the body just under.
Fishing the fly could not be simpler, just let it sit and keep the slack line to a minimum.
You will get interest in your fly. They will inspect it and maybe splash at it with their tail as they turn away, but curiosity will be their downfall.
It’s quite interesting to see them take the fly, sometimes their head comes above the surface and they slowly open their mouth and suck the fly in and at other times it will be so quick and take you by surprise as the line screams off. Let it have line but under slight tension (it is important to keep the tension on all the time with running fish).
Once the fish is hooked the fight begins. Trout will fight hard but try to subdue your quarry as quickly as possible. If you’re taking for the table, just dispatch it quickly.
Get the net ready but be mindful, as the fish nears it might catch a glimpse of the net, you might think it’s ready, but the trout will have other ideas. Be warned!
Try to keep the fish in the net when trying to unhook. Please de-barb your hooks by using flat nosed pliers or use barbless hooks. Less handling of the fish will help and much of the time the fly will fall out into the net. And please do not place the fish on a warm platform – do I have to say more?
Larger fish can take a while to subdue unfortunately, so you will have to be patient and take your time. Keeping the fish upright in the net in the water, make sure the gills are working. Move the fish backwards and forwards, and if it starts to kick it may then be time to release. I have spent as long as 20 minutes recovering a fish for release. If unfortunately the fish does not respond I’m afraid it’s one for the table.
All the usual suspects will work, as well as the ones illustrated, ie; lures or attractor patterns, nymphs and don’t forget the mayfly nymph and dry.
Be safe and have fun, best Bob G.