Fish the weedbeds

Catch trout feed­ing up on snails, corixa and stick­le­backs around the weed

Trout Fisherman (UK) - - Contents -

Catch trout feed­ing on snails, corixa and stick­le­backs

RESER­VOIRS will be on ma­jor draw down now, es­pe­cially af­ter the dry sum­mer. That means ex­posed weedbeds close in, full of trout fod­der – the main cul­prits be­ing corixa, snails and stick­le­backs. These crit­ters are packed full of pro­tein and, as trout sense win­ter ap­proach­ing, they turn their at­ten­tion to these larger food forms to help main­tain their con­di­tion through the leaner colder months.


Oth­er­wise known as the lesser wa­ter boat­man, these bee­tle-like crea­tures rise and fall in the wa­ter col­umn with the help of an air bub­ble. They pro­pel them­selves with pad­dle-like legs and ap­pear in huge num­bers in and around weed. Trout feed on them with gusto through­out the wa­ter lev­els, and an­glers some­times tar­get corixa feed­ers with dries, if trout are tak­ing them near the sur­face. There are many pat­terns avail­able, some are close copies while oth­ers are more sug­ges­tive. Fish them all on a float­ing line as you’ll be over very shal­low wa­ter close in. Sug­gested set-ups in­clude a buoy­ant pat­tern such as a Float­ing Fry with a small Corixa pat­tern po­si­tioned New Zealand-style on a drop­per so that it hangs be­neath – a deadly combo at this time of year. Leave static and twitch oc­ca­sion­ally.


There are a few dif­fer­ent species but it’s the three-spined one that fea­tures highly in our wa­ters. The male builds a small nest and de­fends it to the hilt – you may have felt the males hit­ting your an­kles while pad­dling as a child in a stream. These small fish can fill a mar­rowspoon at this time of year. There are many close copy pat­terns that ac­cu­rately re­sem­ble the fish, but in truth any fry im­i­ta­tion will at­tract in­ter­est.


Thou­sands of snails hug reed stems or float about our reser­voirs now, and the trout pick them off to the ex­tent that some fish ac­tu­ally rat­tle be­cause they’re so full! There are des­ig­nated snail im­i­ta­tions such as Russ Dyer’s buoy­ant Snail ‘Em pat­tern, but fail­ing that, try any black dry fly or brown foam pat­tern such as the Sugar Cube and you’ll get in­ter­est.

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