Spring has been amazing up at my local lake. It came early and the fish were on it. Pretty much every week I’d hit or get near to the 10 fish limit within a few hours. I’ve had great sport on all sorts of flies such as FAB’s, crunchers, buzzers and dries. Then, suddenly, summer arrived and the fishing changed.
I had a few sessions late May where the fish were feeding on and under the surface and tricky to catch. Fishing just below the surface with crunchers and nymphs picked out a few fish but nothing like the previous few months. Last night I went down again and fish were everywhere. They were close in, cruising around 15 yards out, taking off the top and feeding just below the surface. What looked like an ideal evening turned out to be very tricky again. I had an early fish on a F-fly and then nothing. I could see fish on every cast coming to inspect my flies but then turning away. I tried a LOT of different flies. Normally this time of year the fish go mad for damsels but I had no interest. They were clearly feeding on something but none of the usual suspects seemed to work.
I decided to go small and put a tiny size 16 Black Knat on the point. Just when I was about to change flies again I got a huge tug and an even bigger fish left out of the water. A lovely 7lb rainbow on the tiniest of hooks that I very carefully managed to get into the net. The fish seemed to take an age to recover and whilst I held it in the water coaxing it back to full health I couldn’t help but notice how warm the water was.
With all the hot weather we’ve had over the past month has summer come early and the fish gone off the feed? They were there, swimming around, but not really interested it taking much. Has the year started so early that we’re now into the summer season when fishing slows down. Surely not yet? Or are the fish just fixated on a specific food type at the moment? There was a lot of fly life around; lots of upwings, lots of small buzzers and some damsels. I even found a very small greyish buzzer in the water.
I’d be interested to hear any thoughts or advise on this situation. I feel like the right fly might be out there but working out what they’re feeding on is proving tricky. Any ideas?