GIVEN a reasonably cool summer, July can be an exciting month on our stillwaters. The water has yet to reach the harmful temperatures associated with August so things can still be fresh and those sailboat-like olives are hatching. Looking just like miniature mayflies and with a very similar lifecycle, these smaller upwings provide exciting sport on rivers and lakes. We’ve covered these insects over five pages and Peter Gathercole has given you a step-by-step to tying an olive dry fly - see p71. It’s always thrilling when a new water opens, particularly when it offers something unique. Hobby Lake – part of the Haywood’s Farm complex run by Sportfish at Theale, Berkshire – has an incredible stock of tigers, rainbows, browns, blues and golden trout – and is exclusive to bookings of four anglers at a time, see p6. It’s sure to be popular with anglers who love to fish with mates in a small group. TF contributor Jonathan Tomlinson caught a potential British record tiger of 11lb 8oz while producing our feature there – what a fish! Those who are new to our sport, hopefully feeling inspired by the features for newcomers over the last two issues, should read our ‘back to basics’ article on p40. In previous issues we provided tips about casting, buying the right tackle and using simple set-ups – everything you need to hook your first trout. The logical progression is to educate anglers to play fish correctly so that newcomers can land their prize. Everyday I’m chatting with experienced fishery managers and anglers about all the topics facing our sport and the subject of ‘any method’ fisheries crops up time and again. Read our investigation on p50 and see how the experts predict our fisheries will eventually be run – it all boils down to profit I’m afraid. Remember, somewhere to fish (even if you’re rubbing shoulders with bait and spining anglers) is better than nowhere to fish. Our reservoir maps are proving popular on the centre pages so you can remove them if necessary. The aim of these features isn’t to overpower readers with too many tips – it’s to narrow down the choice so that you know exactly where to go at a particular time of year. Eventually, we hope to have covered all the major waters over all four seasons so please collect them until you have the ‘full set’. Paul Procter knows his stuff, of course. I’m delighted with his feature regarding rise forms and the vital clues they give away about fish feeding behaviour. It’s a great read, see p66. And Matt Harris has yet again provided a ‘dream’ article – this time catching magnificent sailfish on fly, see p56. Okay, most of us will never actually do this...but we can still enjoy reading about it. Finally, if you like what you read why not subscribe? See our offers on p48. Enjoy the issue
July is a lovely month to be on your local stillwater (above).