TF highlights the trout food lurking in the autumn weedbeds
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.