Summer time reservoir fishing can be seriously hit and miss. High daytime temperatures can completely put the fish off feeding, and almost any method could draw a blank. But there are a number of fly fishing tactics you can try to tempt a take. Recently, Kieron Jenkins spent the day at Farmoor Reservoir putting these top tips to the test…
- Fish early or late in the day, if you can… Not all of us can, but if you can concentrate your efforts on fishing when the temperatures are at their coolest, you will certainly have more chance of takes. In the morning, trout will tend to be feeding in or around the margins, at dusk, they will tend to come on and feed heavily for a short period on midge, buzzer or sedge.
- If you can’t make it early, fish deep… Trout will more than often drop deep in bright sunlight and high temperatures in search of cooler water. Locate the deepest areas of the lake and fish heavy sinking lines such as the Airflo Sixth Sense Di7 with a single Cat Booby. Cast out as far as you can and let the flies and line sink right to the bottom then slowly retrieve with a figure of eight. Fish don’t have any eyelids – clear water and sunlight don’t mix.
- Get on the boils… Most large reservoirs have aerators or boils where oxygen-rich water is pumped in to help raise oxygen levels to deter Blue-Green Algae – along with many other things. The water here is much richer in oxygen, fish will tend to congregate in such areas and be a great first port of call. Other areas such as inlets will be worth a go too. In these oxygen-rich areas, large Snake Flies will work well. Trout will be more aggressive and respond well to lures.
- Use a fluorocarbon leader… This works in two ways, fluorocarbon is heavier than mono, so it helps your flies get deeper if the fish have dropped. The new Fulling Mill Masterclass Fluorocarbon is the densest fluoro on the market, meaning it’s the heaviest out there at the moment. Fluorocarbon is almost invisible in water, and when takes are few and far between, you want to be doing everything in your power to get the most takes possible. More takes = more fish!
- Don’t be afraid to nymph… Nymph or buzzer fishing can often be a great way or picking out the more resident fish in the lake. They would be more used to soaring water temperatures and continue to feed (although slower) compared to recently stocked fish. Nymph and buzzer flies fished static on a midge tip can often be the best way to target these older fish – if fished correctly, great depths can be achieved if you’re fishing through the middle of the day. Nymphing is also your best bet at dawn.
If you try out these simple tips, summer time reservoir fishing may be more than you expect! Note* Please check with the fishery if they are still allowing catch & release at this time of the year when the water gets above a certain temperature many venues will stop C&R due to fish welfare. Summer time reservoir fishing