Weedbed crit­ters

TF high­lights the trout food lurk­ing in the au­tumn weedbeds

Trout Fisherman (UK) - - Contents -

OUR reser­voirs have low wa­ter af­ter the sum­mer draw­down, leav­ing the bank­side weedbeds ex­posed. Lurk­ing within is an abun­dant menu of trout food that will help f ish main­tain con­di­tion into and over the win­ter. These pri­mar­ily in­clude corixa, snail and fr y. So, the good news is that with stealth, stout tackle and even a mod­est cast you can catch a sea­son’s-best trout!


Oth­er­wise known as the lesser wa­ter boat­man these tough lit­tle in­sects of­ten gather in huge num­bers around the weed. They’re quite unique in that they swim to the sur­face to gather an air bub­ble and then re­main sub­sur­face for as long as pos­si­ble be­fore re­plen­ish­ing their oxy­gen sup­ply once more. Ob­vi­ously, this move­ment up and down in the wa­ter col­umn leaves them vul­ner­a­ble to f ish pre­da­tion. And they’re a tasty pro­tein-packed morsel. An­glers can use close-copy im­i­ta­tions but any sug­ges­tive nymph such as a Hare’s Ear or Di­awl Bach will suff ice.


Fish feed­ing on fresh­wa­ter snails can lit­er­ally rat­tle when held by an­glers af­ter cap­ture. Fish hoover them up at this time of year be­cause they are full of pro­tein and ver y easy to hunt. Snails will mi­grate around a lake or cling to weed – ei­ther way there’s not much ef­fort in­volved to feed on them. See the next fea­ture at Eskragh Lough where Camp­bell Baird had a great day catch­ing snail feed­ers. Pat­terns in­clude Black & Pea­cock Spi­der, Russ Dyer’s Snail ‘em and Shut­tle­cock CDC.


We shall cover fr y in more de­tail in the next is­sue but an­glers of­ten use a Float­ing Fry pat­tern with nymphs suspended be­neath f ished close to weedbeds. This set-up cov­ers all the op­tions – fry, corixa and snail. Fr y gather close to any cover or struc­ture, which ob­vi­ously in­cludes weed.

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