It may be wet, but it's warm, so why not try a beetle pattern to tempt those trout? Bob Goble gives us his best tips for angling this month
As I write this article , I’m sure like me you’re wondering what happened to the weather in June and July - it seems we had monsoon June followed by a very wet July.
Yes, the rain will have been welcome at a lot of fisheries, to freshen and top them up, but despite these deluges the temperature has been high here in the South, with a local trout water recording 20°+.
At my local fishery - Bewl Water - bank fishing has been difficult of late. The trout seem to have disappeared to the depths or far out in the cooler water, trying to survive the heat that is upon us.
Boat fishing is on the cards now, using intermediate or full sunk fly lines to get to the depths where you will find the fish. I recommend using boobies, blobs, minkie or even snake lures. In conditions like this I have caught fish as far down as 30 feet!.
If you plan to fish from the bank you will need to go very early in the morning (first light) and try to find a bank with a good drop off or a steep shelf. You may be lucky. Failing this, a late evening session can also prove successful.
Another favourite water of mine is Springhill Trout Waters at Pembury near Tunbridge Wells. Some fisheries will close in early August and re-open at the end of the month or early September, but it all depends on the weather and water temperature.
I have pictured some little critters for you to look at, that can work very well early or late in the day.
Beetles: There are a plethora of aquatic and terrestrial beetles but not all are on the menu for trout. If going on holiday and some fishing is involved, the beetle can come into its own. When fishing hill lochs in Scotland or Wales, try imitating terrestrial beetles like the Coch-y-Bonddu, the Welsh chafer and the summer chafer, with a brown shell-like body, forewings and black head and thoraces. On a windy day these beetles can be blown onto the lochs in large numbers and cause a stir amongst the trout, but they are also worth a cast at home on your fishery.
Corixa: This species of “lesser water boatman” is abundant in most British still waters and is confined to about a couple of metres deep because it needs to surface to take in air. My picture shows its appearance. The Corixa uses its paddle like legs for swimming and its underside has a silvery sheen.
When fishing the Corixa, which ideally should be weighted, use a leader of 9-10 feet, 6-7Ibs.
Cast out amongst plant debris or weed beds, let it sink to the bottom of the lake or pond, and retrieve the fly (or rather beetle) with a sink and draw action, behaving like the real thing which tends to bob up and down. The take usually comes as the fly is sinking.
These two beetle patterns are a useful extra edition to your fly box, but of course you can also try all the usual suspects, damsels, sedges, not forgetting the stick fly etc… we fishermen are born opportunists!
Also don’t overlook carp this month. We can always have a go for these if the trout won’t play ball. Apart from using the usual dog biscuits and artificials, try using natural imitations. Look at what is on the water insect wise and copy that. They will eat most of what a trout eats but the biscuit is most probably the easiest way to catch these greedy creatures.
Hopefully August will be a little more forgiving with the heat, but as I mentioned, if you try your luck early or late in the day or you can fish from a boat, you may be successful.
The two flies I have mentioned can be obtained from good fly-fishing stores or online. As always, I recommend the Friendly Fisherman, Camden Road, Tunbridge Wells, Kent or Bewl Water fishing lodge.
Don’t forget your hat, glasses and sunscreen. Have fun and be safe, Bob G.