IYes, these summer months offer a great chance to target every species that we can realistically expect to catch on the fly rod throughout the British Isles (and beyond, with the weeks ahead representing absolutely prime time in Iceland, Russia and Norway etc.) Whether it's bass, mullet, sea-trout, carp or any of the more regular suspects that you're after - now is the time!
All Options Open!!
Talking of timing - in my last email I talked about the recent rainfall and urged you to take advantage of the limited time opportunity that this presented, especially for the salmon fishers. Well, for once I took my own advice and headed north for two days on the Tyne system with a great Newcastle based friend and fisherman. The outcome? 5 fish between the two of us from 3 different beats, all fresh and all 10-12 lbs.
In a fast, narrow run on the South Tyne, Andy saw this fish take his fly!
The importance of a Plan BAlthough it's wonderful to be in the right place at the right time that's something that happens all too rarely for most of us. That's why I was intrigued to hear from another great friend of an exciting alternative when the salmon rivers of the north eastern tip of Scotland are seriously out of order. Here's what Martin (not me, a different one!) had to say
"With no water and no realistic prospect of a salmon from the Halladale I turned my attention to the Forsinard Lochs and was just amazed by the quality of the wild brown trout fishing. A lot of work has clearly gone into developing these lochs over the past few years and there can be little doubt that they will become a major destination for visiting trout fishermen going forward. It was a privilege to be able to catch quality trout in such a wild and beautiful environment. I'll be back!"
Forsinard Flyfishers is a recently formed not-for-profit group which offers excellent and affordable wild brown trout fishing in the magnificent unspoilt scenery of the 'flow country' in the Far North of Scotland. There are no day tickets, but annual membership costs only £30 (Family membership £40, Seniors £15 and under 18's free), providing great value for both local and visiting anglers.
The 41 lochs provide fantastic variety. For novice anglers and specimen hunters alike, the quality of fishing on offer is amazing, with some lochs regularly producing 50+ trout in a day, while others have boasted fish to nearly 7lb. Some of the lochs have boats, which can be booked at a modest extra charge. This truly is a trout fishers' paradise! https://forsinardflyfishers.co.uk/.
A perfect setting for tempting a wild brownie
The quality of the wild brown trout fishing from the Scourie Hotel on the west coast is well known - now it sounds like there is something to match it in Caithness! (not forgetting lochs Watten, Calder etc. of course)
Although spells of settled hot weather can be bad news when fishing for our traditional game species these conditions can be perfect for catching carp on the fly and for the saltwater fly fisherman targeting mullet or bass. As well as making wading and casting rather easier, calm seas allow shoals of bait to gather in sheltered bays and when that happens mackerel and bass will rarely be far away! Here at Selectafly we have some great selections of flies for anyone who wants to ensure that they're equipped with the most productive patterns yet devised for each of these species. Find them here - Carp, Bass and Mullet. Choosing which flies go into these selections is simple - no 'passengers', all of them are top fish catchers, proven in action time after time.
Thinking about fishing in saltwater reminds me that the third UK Saltwater Fly Fishing Festival will take place in St Mawes, Cornwall between 21st and 24th September. The Selectafly Pro team will be well represented with Marina Gibson coming along this time and mullet guru Colin Macleod on hand to explain how to catch these widely distributed but immensely challenging fish on the fly. There will also be lots more advice, both via talks and more informally, about fly fishing in the sea from other hugely experienced experts. As always each participant receives a goody bag including a selection of saltwater Selectaflies. Although there are lots of great prizes, competition is friendly rather than fierce and everyone enjoys a great couple of days in a beautiful part of the world. Have a look at the festival website or call me on 01753 883366 if you want any more information.
Come and learn how to catch a fish like this!
ProspectsThe short term outlook is very good. Recent rain has given many salmon rivers another very welcome lift and with it - hopefully! - good numbers of newly arrived fish. As water levels drop back and a more subtle approach is called for try a longer, lighter leader, a small fly and a stealthy approach. We have lots of great salmon flies in the small to tiny size range - essential for a trip to Iceland and now being used increasingly often and successfully here at home. Flies like the Micro Executioner, this tiny Silver Stoat and a baby Sunray Shadow, probably hitched are well worth a look. The cooler weather will also help trout fishing, although at this time of year the early morning and especially the evening sessions can be very important. Many times a tough summer day has ended with a hectic last hour or two as light levels fade and fish start looking hard for things like a nice juicy sedge! Try a Balloon Caddis, a Stimulator - or our Super Sedge Selection.
Super Sedge Selection of 15 flies for just £12.95.
Incidentally, the heavyweight Peeping Caddis (which is included) will get down to where the fish are on a bright, sunny day and often deliver results when all else fails. Slow your casting stroke down and give one a swim!
Tight Lines from us both when you do,
P.S. OK - it's not fly fishing but watching your float slide away on a lily covered pond isn't a bad alternative on a summer morning!
Martin and Jessica
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