It’s still early spring, and the weather is very changeable, but follow our trout fishing expert Jonathan Tomlinson’s advice in this latest video guide, and you could be enjoying your best stillwater Easter trout sport yet.
Easter means we may all have a bit of extra leisure time to spend fishing and at this time of year, with the days lengthening and the clocks going forward, there is the opportunity to get out for an hour or two after work when the holidays are over too!
Weather is always one of the key factors at this time of year and it really does pay to monitor the forecast carefully and to pick your weather window accordingly. Early April can be a cruel month in the UK and we can see anything thrown at us from blizzards and hard frosts to gales and driving rain; yet there are also those glorious days of sunshine and gentle warmth when every trout in the lake seems to be rising to hatches of buzzers and small gnats.
NEW VIDEO GUIDE: “JT”, trout angling specialist at Sportfish Reading, presents this practical video guide offering you his top tips and advice to help you have a fantastic Easter’s fishing!
In the event of an overnight frost it can pay to have a bit of a lie in, enjoy a leisurely breakfast, and head to your water later in the day. This is when the water will be at its warmest and any time from late morning onwards should see your chances of a fish increase dramatically, with prime time often late in the afternoon. If you can only snatch an hour or two at the end of the day don’t despair, a nymph or lure pulled through the margins at dusk accounts for a lot of fish at this time of year.
This is still the time of year to keep on the move though, taking root and flogging away at the same piece of water in front of you is unlikely to bring rewards. Search your way through the water column by using the countdown method to work your fly at increasing depths, and vary your pattern and retrieve too, but if there are no signs of fish after 30 minutes or so it’s definitely time to move.
As far as the patterns to use at this time of year are concerned much of your work will still revolve around nymphs and mini lures with the Viva, Zonker, Cat’s Whisker or blob all essentials in your box. But scan the water at all times and if it warms up and the odd fish begins to move don’t be scared to try a dry fly such as a shuttlecock. Make sure you speak to the fishery bailiffs too, they know the fishery better than anyone and will always advise on what is likely to work best on any given day.
One of the best techniques to try at the moment, if you can get your timing right and be on the water when there is a gentle breeze, is to fish a floating line and allow a buzzer or nymph to swing around on the breeze. It’s an almost totally natural movement through the water and a very slow figure of eight retrieve – just enough to keep up with the slack line – will ensure you get it right. Watch the end of your line for the take, you will always see it move before you feel it! If you don’t get your weather timing right, or the wind picks up, then small stillwaters usually call for an intermediate line.
If you are short on time have a couple of fly rods set up to cover both scenarios: go for a floating line with a buzzer or nymph on one rod and an intermediate line with, if your fishery rules allow multiple flies, a nymph on the dropper and a mini lure on the point on the other.
If you are heading to the bigger stillwaters a boat will always give you an advantage simply because of the amount of water it opens up to you but at this time of year a lot of the fish will be feeding close to the shoreline so bank prospects can be excellent too. A set up offering a large bushy pattern on the top dropper, a winged wet on the middle and a weighted nymph as the anchor is likely to bring reward.