Escape to the hills, 7 top tips on wet fly fishing for Wild brown trout on upland lakes.
Whilst stocked lowland trout fisheries struggle during the warm summer months, our upland lakes, lochs, tarns, llyns and reservoirs are usually on song due to their cooler elevated setting.
In this blog post Fishtec’s Online Marketing Manager Ceri Thomas gives us 7 tips on how to fish his favourite venues – wild brown trout stillwaters in the hills.
1.Walk and cast. Wild Brown trout behave in a totally different way to stocked rainbows, so understanding this is key to catching them. They like to occupy a small territory and will usually stick to it. Therefore, you must go and look for the fish. Cast and side step your way along the bank so you cover as much water as possible. The more fish you cover, the better your chances.
2.Bring the right flies. Classic traditional wet flies have been around for a long time for a reason; they are very successful on wild waters. So make sure you carry a well stocked box! Fullling Mill produce some wonderfully well tied traditionals, including Black Pennel, blue and black Zulu’s, Bibio, Connemara black, Wickhams fancy, Black & peacock spider, Kate Mclaren and my all time favourite, the Ke-he. A selection in sizes 10, 12 and 14 will see you well for all conditions.
3.Big wave, big fly. When the wind blows up on the hills it’s time to add a big, heavily hackled bushy bob fly to your cast. Whether on the shore or boat, make sure you bounce and draw your top dropper across the waves at the end of your retrieve – expect some savage takes! A bushy bob bibio, Claret dabbler, Loch Ordie or the Goats toe (all in size 10) make for perfect ‘big wave’ dropper flies.
4. Ignore the nearer water at your peril. In upland lakes the fish are where the food is – that is very often in the margins. So never ignore the shallows, taking care to make short casts into the marginal areas before you even think about wading, and casting along the bank as you fish. If on a boat or float tube, always allow your drift to reach the shoreline fully – cast just inches away from the bank can produce.
5.Points point to fish. Points act as wind traps, funneling food into calm water on their lee sides. Look for points, and fish the calm patches they create. Invariably good fish will be found on the sheltered side of points, picking off terrestrial food. So maximise your chances and head for these areas.
6.Non-stretch is best. Native stillwater browns can be lightning quick on the take, so if you are not ready or have a stretchy fly line you might miss a few takes. Traditional core lines can sometimes allow fish just enough time to reject the fly before you can set the hook. Using fly lines with low or non-stretch cores vastly improves hook ups. The Airflo Lake Pro is a great line for presenting teams of wet flies on the boat, whilst the Xceed is brilliant for bank fishing with steep shores behind, due to its shorter compact head.
7.Bring some streamers. Wild browns are opportunists and will attack anything that offers protein. Streamers that represent small fish or leeches can work well, especially in low light conditions. Woolly buggers in particular are superb wild trout catchers. Sombre colours such as black, olive and brown will always outfish gaudy stuff. A great way to cover all of your bases is to try a streamer as your point fly with two traditional wet fly patterns above as part of a team.
7 Top Tips on Wet Fly Fishing 7 Top Tips on Wet Fly Fishing 7 Top Tips on Wet Fly Fishing 7 Top Tips on Wet Fly Fishing 7 Top Tips on Wet Fly Fishing