Search our blog

Fishing Low Water Conditions

Published: 8th September 2021 | Author: Phillippa Hake

There are only a few weeks left of the 2021 trout season here in the UK! At this time of year we can often be presented with low rivers that make for challenging fishing. However, there are some tips and tricks that you put to practice for fishing low water. Next time you come across these tricky conditions they will help you find more consistent success.

Slow and Steady Wins the Race

If you are dry fly fishing or prospecting, slow your movements in the water down! The fish aren’t going anywhere and when the water is low and clear the last thing you’re going to want to do is disturb the whole pool. A nice slow and stealthy approach to your chosen spot will give you the upper hand in fooling the fish in target! They can hear you from a good distance, so put this stealth approach into practice as far away as you can.

Fishing low water is tricky, but it can pay off!

Reading the Water

Upon arrival, it pays to pause for a little while and watch the river when the rivers are low. Look for rising fish and structures in the river where the fish might find cover. It’s always worth finding the deeper runs of the river and fishing the heads of pools with the more oxygenated water, as they are often in these spots. Putting some nymphs through these bits of water would more than likely reward you with a fish or two!

Go Small and Light

If you’ve found some rising fish and you’re geared up for dry fly fishing it’s always a good idea to go small. Trout can be picky when the rivers are low and clear. They’ll be able to see everything that comes their way so presentation will also be key. The Fulling Mill tapered leaders and tippet material will aid you in that perfect presentation.

Especially in low water conditions there’s no doubt you’ll be greeted with some slow, glassy and gin clear waters. To increase your chances of catching its worth going lighter on your tippet material. Scaling down to a smaller diameter tippet and making your leader a little longer will make less disruption on the surface of the water. This will make your casts less suspicious to the trout. Don’t forget always degrease your leaders too!

Light leaders are key to fishing low water.

Putting It Into Practice

I recently enjoyed a day on the water with fellow angler and good friend Lisa Isles. We fished my local and were greeted to a river that was literally on its bones. I must admit I wasn’t quite expecting it to be so low. The key to having a good day’s fishing is adapting to the conditions! For the first hour or so I set out on a two-nymph set up and in some runs of the river, yes, the nymph set up was worth it in some bits of the river that still had good depth and flow. Lisa on the other hand set up with the Klink & Dink and successfully tempted trout and grayling to the net throughout the day.  I’d caught a hand full of fish on the nymphs but I knew I had to change my approach.

This Klinkhammer was very effective for Lisa!

 Further up the river I’d spotted a fish rising on the far bank. The cast had to be spot on with presentation and minimal drag. As the fly was going over where I’d spotted the fish it took my size 16 soft hackle olive dry. Not a huge fish by any means but a nice grayling to say the least! 

Putting the tips and tricks above into play and adapting to the conditions certainly paid off in fooling this fish! I hope you can take some information from this blog and take on your next day’s fishing if you find yourself fishing a low river!

Tight Lines.

To read more from Phillippa, have a look at her other articles on the blog!

This site uses cookies.
ConfigureHide Options
Read our privacy policy

This site uses cookies for marketing, personalisation, and analysis purposes. You can opt out of this at any time or view our full privacy policy for more information.