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