Fishing for Schools fly fishing expert Bob Goble lets us into the secrets of good fishing for the month ahead.
September already! This year seems to be going so quickly. Trout fishing has been up and down as regards catching for me, especially here in the south east of England. This has been due to the hot weather and bright sunlight and lack of rain over the summer.
May, June and July were exceptionally hot with little rain, and August came and went with much the same story.
The best fishing has been in the last light of evening or very early morning, or, as I mentioned last month, if you have access to very deep water to fish, like Bewl Water. At Bewl a good place to fish has been around the valve tower or drifting over the bubble line with boobies, blobs and heavy glass buzzers.
Now September is here with shorter daylight hours and cooling temperatures trout will start to be more active and ready to eat. This is normally the time to think about fishing the crane fly (better known to you and me as the daddy-long-legs).
Crane fly larvae live in the soil of grassy areas around lakes, ponds and streams. They are also known as leather jackets and can be a pest to plant roots.
Damp weather encourages the adult to emerge from its long stay in the ground. The early morning dew helps the insect to break free and get airborne. But once on the wind, they are very cumbersome flyers, being blown from whatever direction the wind is coming from and if it’s onto water a feeding bonanza ensues as they struggle to break free from the water surface tension. Trout will tune into this very quickly so be ready.
As you can see from the pictures, crane flies are quite a large mouthful! I have illustrated several patterns for you here – some with foam, some natural ones the smaller hopper type and a gold headed one.
Fishing the daddy could not be easier, but as it is a large fly it’s prone to spinning on casting, so occasionally you will have to straighten the leader.
It’s best to use a 6 to 7 weight rod, floating fly line and a leader of between 7 and 8Ibs breaking strain 8-10 feet long and tapered to allow turnover. Don’t forget to degrease the leader near the tip to fly. Try not to let the fly drag too much but keep slack to a minimum. You could take a look at a real daddy-long-legs that has fallen into the water to see how they behave and try to mimic the movement, but just leaving it to drift around works very well.
Trout will splash around the fly and try to drown it. Don’t be too hasty to strike, wait for the line to move then lift into the fish. It’s exhilarating fun!
You can also try the gold headed version. Cast out as normal, let it sink and retrieve as if you were using a lure. It can be surprisingly successful.
Tight lines, be safe but most of all have fun,