Just Chill & Prepare for the evening rises
As I'm sure you are well aware, it's been pretty hot over the last few days - in this weather it is recommended to leave the fish in both rivers and stillwaters alone. Water temperature has a massive effect on the ability of a fish to recover once it has been caught - it is generally accepted that once the water temperature is above 18°C, fish will start to become stressed (the warmer the water, the less oxygen is dissolved in it).
For the above reasons, it's probably just best to give the fishing a miss and sit in the garden with a cold drink for the next few days - enjoy it while it lasts!
When you do venture out, it will increase your success massively if you time it right. Either fish very early in the morning (use caddis imitations) or late in the evening - one hour either side of dusk (to catch the evening rise).
Small flies are king throughout the summer months, which is why we've included some great fish handling and small fly tips at the end of this email.
Of course, you also need the right type of flies, so:
How's Your Eyesight?
Do you struggle to see small flies?
We've all been there - you're fishing on an evening in low light and you need something which you can see, but more importantly, will still catch! One of the great difficulties in fishing smaller dry flies is the ability to quickly spot where your fly actually is, with our updated "Easy To See" selection of flies you will have no problem seeing them (even though they are only small).
You will not miss a take with these - The new "Easy To See" Selection saves your eyesight!
All of these flies have been chosen for both their blank saving and high visibility.
You will not miss a take with these - A selection of 16 flies to save your eyesight! All of these flies have been chosen for both their blank saving and high visibility. We've all been there; you're fishing on an evening in low light and you need something which will still catch, but importantly - you need to be able to see it! One of the great difficulties in fishing smaller flies is the ability to quickly spot where your fly actually is, with this selection you will have no problem seeing them (even though they are only small).
The Cahill flies in this selection were invented in the 1880's by a New York railway worker called Daniel Cahill and became famous all over America. They are a great general imitation of the smaller spring and summer mayflies.
Here's a rundown of the flies included in our "Easy To See" Selection:
Olive Cahill - A great imitation when small Olives are hatching, best used in warm still conditions on rivers with a low flow, spooky fish and low levels. Our selection contains 2 each of sizes 14 and 18.
Light Cahill - A great imitation of midges & gnats, best used in warm still conditions on rivers with a low flow, spooky fish and low levels. This selection contains 2 each of sizes 14 and 18.
Greased Lightening - A flashy version of the popular klinkhamer style fly. These have been tied with a tinsel flash body and a bright pink post. Our selection contains 2 each of sizes 14 & 18.
Black Magic - This fly is ideal for low light conditions, the fluorescent post really stands out well against all water conditions when fishing late into any evening rise. Selection contains 2 each of sizes 14 & 18.
Don't take our word for it, here's a customers review on our "Easy To See" Selection:
Ok, you've sold me on them, "What's the price?" I hear you ask - we are making this "Easy To See" Selection of flies available to you for only £20, including free delivery.
(for more detailed images please visit our website by clicking on any images or buttons above)
Go on ... you know you want to!
You may have seen from our email signature that we are an advocate for 'Keep Fish Wet'. The majority of river fishing is Catch & Release - which is the reason for the popularity of barbless flies - the hooks just fall out of the fish once they are in the net, an added advantage of barbless flies is that they are easily removed from clothing and the back of your head!
With this warm weather and associated water temperatures it is important to adhere to the ‘Keep Fish Wet’ principles:
Minimise Air Exposure - Just like humans, fish need oxygen to support essential bodily functions and keep them alive. What’s different is that fish get their oxygen from the water (it is dissolved), not the air. Fish respiration (“breathing”) involves moving water into their mouth and over their gills, whether by pumping it or when swimming with their mouths open.
Eliminate Contact With Dry Surfaces - Fish have a layer of protective mucus (slime) and scales that protects them from disease. Contact with dry, hard, or rough surfaces (such as hands, rocks, sand, and boat bottoms) can remove slime and scales making fish more susceptible to diseases, especially fungal infections. Keeping fish in or over the water, and holding them with clean, wet hands or a soft rubber net will help keep their slime layer and scales intact and the fish disease free.
Reduce Handling Time - Fish are wild animals and handling is stressful for them, whether they are in your hands or in a net. Most fish that are brought to hand are still amped up based on the release of glucose to fuel their ‘fight or flight’ response to being caught. It can take hours for a fish to physiologically return to normal once it is released.
The longer you handle a fish, the more stressful it is for them, which compounds the stress associated with capture.
You can read more about the ‘Keep Fish Wet’ principles here: www.keepfishwet.org
It's ok having small flies, but do you know how (and more importantly where) to use them? Small flies require thin tippet, thin tippet also requires a rod which will protect it, so a rod with a soft tip is ideal. Low summer rivers generally mean low flows, and in these it's important when using small flies and thin tippet to de-grease at least the last 1ft of tippet.
How to use them:
- Practice the Davy Knot to tie small flies onto tippet. This knot leaves less bulk at the head of the fly, especially important when using small flies.
- Don't worry if you cannot see your fly once you have cast it, so long as you have a rough idea where it is just lift the rod tip if you think the rise was close to your fly. Alternatively, you can always go for the "Double Dry" and fish a more visible fly with your small fly tied as a dropper, or you could buy our "Easy To See" Selection.
TOP TIP: If you struggle to thread small flies, make up some pre-tied at home, just tie each fly to an 18" length of tippet, then you can just water knot the tippet to your leader and you're ready to go again.
Where to use them:
- Look for cover. During the day fish will always head for cover, that means you will need to fish tight to the far bank and under trees, bushes etc. Practise your Bow and Arrow casting (see below) before you get to the river, this cast will come in really handy at this time of year.
- Trout will generally sip small flies from the surface fairly regularly, so watch the water and time the rises. It's thought that trout will take quite a few small flies and then retreat to the river bed.
- Try to cast the fly to as close a point as possible to the rising trout, the more accurate the better. The more your fly has chance to drift, the more chance of drag.
- Go Small or go home. If there is hardly any flow on the river and it's really low. I would always start with something "small and black", a size 18 Griffith's Gnat is as good a fly as any to start with. Start with a 9ft tapered leader and add 2ft or 3ft of tippet then your fly.
Tight lines & keep cool.