As temperatures begin to rise, catching Trout can be a bit of a challenge. As the water temperature increases, the amount of oxygen decreases, and Trout can stop feeding until the water cools down again. A common scenario is when you arrive at your chosen Stillwater or reservoir, conditions are very bright, it's very warm, and there is a flat calm with just one or two rises. So how do you adapt? What tactics should you adopt?
It's important to know how heat affects the water temperature in the first place. The sun heats the surface layer but deeper down, the water is cooler and this is where you will find most Trout, in the cooler, significantly more oxygen-rich water. However, what can make matters more confusing is that wind can mix things up and push the warmer layer to one end of the lake. When this happens, fish will keep on the move to stay cool.
So you might be asking if it's too hot, is it worth fishing at all? Yes, but it can be a bit more challenging. The best time would be early morning and late evening when things are a bit cooler. During this time, the fish will have enough energy to move around and feed. It is very common for fish to feed aggressively at this time and sometimes the water looks as if it is 'boiling' due to the number of rises. However, in the heat of the day, it is the deeper, colder water you want to target. If you are fishing a reservoir, look for dam walls or where the water slopes away into deeper holes or channels. Here you will find fish congregating.
|Maybe I Should Be Moving to Deeper Water?|
Regarding what fly lines to use in hot conditions, if, for example, you have chosen to fish a reservoir, your first port of call should be the dam wall or deepest part of the lake. As discussed, the fish will lie deeper in the cooler, oxygen-rich water, so using a fast sinking line offers a significant advantage. In contrast, if you were to use a floating line, it is very difficult to reach the target feeding zone if the depth is significant. The floating line wants to sit on the surface, so the only way to get to the target depth, if reachable, is using a longer leader and a heavy point fly. You can catch fish on this setup, but waiting for the fly to sink takes longer due to the floating line's resistance. Ideally, you want to be using a fast sinking line.
|Fast Sinking Line Techniques|
|Fly Line Sink Rates|
|Fishing with a Fast Sinking Line|
|Airflo Forty Plus Di7|
|Greys Platinum Extreme Fly Line|
|Greys GR40 Fly Rod|
Regarding leaders for fast sinking lines, if you are using the washing line technique, a leader length of at least 15ft is not unusual. And because you are using a heavier fly line and heavier flies, you are looking at 8lb to 10lb fluorocarbon tippet material. One of the most popular is Fulling Mill Masterclass Fluorocarbon Leader which is highly supple but dense, giving it the quickest sink rate out there. Because you are fishing deep, cooler, oxygenated water where fish congregate, it is not uncommon to get double hook-ups. So using a stronger leader with well-tied droppers is essential.
|Fulling Mill Masterclass Fluorocarbon|
|Greys QRS Cassette Fly Reel|
If you would like more information or advice about how to fish in very warm conditions, what flies to use, the best fly lines to buy etc, visit us in store at Glasgow Angling Centre, where we have some of the UK's best competition fly anglers on hand, and a highly experienced team of fly anglers who have fished all over the UK and beyond. Or if you are in the Edinburgh area, don't forget we have a great team of guys in Edinburgh Angling Centre who would be happy to help you.
This article was brought to you in association with Trout Fisherman Magazine.