Daily Archives: November 16, 2013

match the hatch – late autumn (mid November)


Following on from yesterday ‘s blogpost about full circle, and the effectiveness of small flies, tonight I was fortunate enough to uncover a wealth of information! A flat calm in the evening made the feeding fish easy to spot and although several other fishermen assured me there was not much action around the lake, I set out to find the right pattern. When conditions are flat and tough, these are my initial thoughts:

Flat calms can be tricky unless you know how to exploit them!

Flat calms can be tricky unless you know how to exploit them!

* Keep out of sight – crouch down if possible
* Use a small fly that is not too garish
* Preferably a slightly heavy fly such as a tungsten bead head or one that has a weighted core – this helps extend your leader for maximum distance when casting
* Retrieve slowly, using tiny twitches or a figure of eight retrieve
* Search the surface constantly looking for signs of a fish, walk the bank until you spot movement
* Cast smoothly and let your line land onto the water softly
* Use a light tippet with a length of at least two metres (I use 4lb fluorocarbon)

Sure enough, it was not long before I cracked the code with a spirited rainbow – two and a half pounds of steamtrain challenging my 4lb, 5 weight tackle. As predicted, late autumn’s colder water has brought extra horsepower into the mix:

Read 'chemistry lessons: fluid dynamics and respiration' to find out my cold water formula!

Read ‘chemistry lessons: fluid dynamics and respiration’ to find out my cold water formula!

Whilst cleaning my catch, I spotted movement in the stomach contents, so I filmed the following 72 second video to show you exactly what my trout had eaten:

I identified at least four species of freshwater invertebrates:

Damselfly nymph
Water louse
Water boatman
Freshwater shrimp

some common freshwater invertebrates, courtesy of  wildpro.twycrosszoo.org

some common freshwater invertebrates, courtesy of wildpro.twycrosszoo.org

Importantly, all of these are significantly smaller than my size 16 beaded deer hair nymph… Just because a fly looks small does not mean it is not effective!

Remember that trout have to eat voraciously for most of their waking hours - it is up to the discerning angler to work out what's on their menu at any given time...

Remember that trout have to eat voraciously for most of their waking hours – it is up to the discerning angler to work out what’s on their menu at any given time…

As I was leaving the lake I met a father and son – Michael has fished since the age of two and he and his dad have recently begun fly fishing. Despite his impeccably well mannered reluctance at first, I gave Michael a ‘metiefly’ woven nymph exactly the same as the one in tonight’s blog and wished him a lifetime of fishing fun and shared adventures with his Dad. Let’s hope it brings him great fortune!

Thank you for reading as always.