LOOK FOR DROP-OFFS
Small tarns of up to a couple of acres or so aren’t too intimidating, even for beginners. There’s a sense here that a reasonable portion of the water can be covered relatively easily. However, larger tarns appear more daunting, particularly when little stirs at the surface. Natural tarns tend to be depressions in the hills, with gentle sloping banks and a definite drop off (diagram 3). Even where steep-sided banks occur a ledge is usually evident, but this will be closer to the shore (diagram 4). Drop-offs are key areas for us to target as trout like to feed on fly life that’s more apparent on the sloping banks (littoral zone) where light penetrates. They feel secure here as the safety of deeper water is nearby in case danger threatens. While deeper parts (sub littoral zone) might not support much life due to lack of light penetration, they provide ample sanctuary for trout. Polaroids not only offer important eye protection they allow us to determine where shallow water meets deep parts. Obviously, shallow areas appear paler in colour with deep water being much darker and almost black looking in some cases.
At first sight, larger tarns appear daunting.