It’s July and time for our fly fishing expert Bob Goble to tell us what we need to bear in mind this month.

I have said this before, but, July can get very warm and fishing can suffer, so if you intend to fish for trout, try to find a fishery with deep water.

One of my favourite haunts, Bewl Water near Lamberhurst, has deep water – although these areas are only accessible by boat. If you can get out to the main bowl at Bewl you can fish all your usual methods – be it fly, spinning or bait. The fish will be swimming and feeding around the bubble line as it brings cooling oxygenated water to the top, giving you every chance to connect with that prize.

If you are fly fishing (my preferred method) use a slow sinking or intermediate fly line with something bright – orange preferably – on your tippet. Don’t go below 8Ibs breaking strain, heavier if you can, as these fish can fight very hard.

Here are some more tips for you to ponder which also apply to coarse fish for carp, barbel etc.

  • When you do get that take and the fish is hooked remember to lift the rod up to the vertical swiftly. This will put a nice bend in the rod and it will be a buffer between you and the fish as it shakes its head and bears down trying to escape and throw the hook. Most trout will hook themselves if you’re pulling lures.
  • With the hook set (this will happen instantly) and your rod held high, the fish will RUN! You must let it do this or the fish will break off. Keeping a controlled amount of tension between you and the fish, and no slack line if the fish turns and comes back to you, you must retrieve the line back as fast as you can to maintain the tension.
  • If the fish starts to turn left and right, trying to find snags to wrap your line around in a bid to escape, try some side strain with the rod. As it turns, lower the rod down and pull in the opposite direction, this will bring it back out to open water. The fish will try this several times but remember to keep up the tension.
  • Make sure you have set the drag on the reel so it does not over-run, otherwise it could end in disaster! Trout reels are not like fixed spool reels, more like a centre pin, but again you have to set the drag accordingly. Trout reels are mainly for storage of your fly line but of course when that trout is running and taking line then turning back you will need to retrieve your line quickly back as mentioned above. Just be careful with all that line around your feet or wind it back on the reel. And don’t forget the tension.
  • With carp, once they have finished running, the fish will be quite close to you, moving left and right in front of you and staying deep for quite a while before coming to the surface. Once it is on its side bring to the net. But this can be a critical stage. You might think the fish is beaten, but it can suddenly find a burst of energy and pull away. Be ready!
  • Trout on the other hand will fight all the way to the net, pulling and jumping to escape the hook, especially when they see the net, so be warned!

So slap on a hat and lots of sunscreen and enjoy your fishing.

Until next month, have fun and keep safe

Bob