Are there any guidelines for the best day to go lake fishing?

kingf000

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A few weeks ago I posted a thread about whether it was good to go early in the morning in the summer to fish the local lake and the general concensus was - yes. So I've been 2 times, getting there for 5.50-6.00am on a 4h ticket. The first time there had been a warmish night and lots of fish were rising but they were only interested in one fly, what I believe was a yellow mayfly dun, for which I didn't have a decent fly with me to use! Second time it had been a relatively cold night ~ 9oC by the time I got fishing and a cool day in prospect. Few fish rising and no flies hatching. It was only a couple of days after the weed had been cut and the water was still cloudy, and I suspect the fish may have either gorged themselves whilst the cutting was taking place or still not feeding after the disturbance. I caught nothing on dry fly and finally caught one fish on a suspender buzzer. No one else was catching much either. So, are there some good guidelines for the best days to go fishing? Is a cold night bad news? or than better in the day/evening? Is a warm night with the promise of a warm day better for fly hatches and catching early on? It costs me £30 each time I go so I want to make sure I stand a decent chance of catching.
 

JohnH

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K - how hard does the lake get fished ? If it been hammered the day before, it might take 2 or 3 days for the uncaught, or released, fish to recover from their collective nervous breakdown. This is not an infrequent experience on hard-fished commercial small stillwater fisheries in the South, where can pay to keep an eye on the fishery calendar posted online and avoid fishing for 2 or 3 days after busy club or society days.
 

doobrysnatcher

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every day poses its own unique challenge thats why its called fishing and not called catching lol

but on a serious note i read its best to go during settled conditions after a day or so ,preferably with a southerly or westerly breeze ,bright flat calm sunny days can be very difficult so to maxamise your chances try fishing under the cover of cloud when possible , for me i believe the evening just going into darkness is easiest as the fish usually tend to rise to the surface feeding at these times ,im not saying they dont feed at other times but if you can see them rising and they cant see you surely thats a step closer to catching,some of my best fishing during the day was in a stiff breeze during before or after rain so dull cloudy days can only help you
thats only my 2 pence worth
 

kingf000

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every day poses its own unique challenge thats why its called fishing and not called catching lol

but on a serious note i read its best to go during settled conditions after a day or so ,preferably with a southerly or westerly breeze ,bright flat calm sunny days can be very difficult so to maxamise your chances try fishing under the cover of cloud when possible , for me i believe the evening just going into darkness is easiest as the fish usually tend to rise to the surface feeding at these times ,im not saying they dont feed at other times but if you can see them rising and they cant see you surely thats a step closer to catching,some of my best fishing during the day was in a stiff breeze during before or after rain so dull cloudy days can only help you
thats only my 2 pence worth
Many thanks. I'm mainly wanting to catch on dries, but pulling buzzers slowly or pulling a lure is OK, but after doing that all winter I like something different in the summer months. Unfortunately, evenings are out for me, so it is either early morning or in the daytime. I do like a bit of a breeze as I get bored very quickly watching a stationary bung or dry, and the breeze provides a bit of movement, similar to my beloved river fishing!.
 

Paul_B

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Yesterday I could do no wrong with black gnats, today same spot, same time nothing. I moved along to a shallower section, nothing on the black gnat but fish were moving subsurface, I tried weighted gnats the ones that sit subsurface and again a brilliant day (y)

I don't think the fish wanted to get sunburned :unsure:
 

wobbly face

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The place and water can be a contributing factor to success or failure. Depth of water, feeder streams or inlets. Does it get a good wind blow, surrounded by trees? Air temp colder than water temp can effect insects hatching. Warm water will effect both insects and fish as will cold water, especially after some serious rain.
A breeze can be good or bad, using it to good effect is the key. If you don't like watching a stationary dry, only leave it on the after for a short time then recast. Don't keep casting to same spot. Try a little movement on occasion. Change fly to see if the fish want it sat up, on or just below the surface.
If the wind is behind you, put a few wiggles or loops into the line after casting out to allow everything to drift away from you (you can do this down to the backing and beyond to get a long way out). If wind is from the side, just mend the line into the wind or reach with the rod on releasing line , again into the wind. This is especially useful if the wind is blowing say 45 degrees from one side yet the water infront of you is moving for several rod lengths out directly along the bank.
I was out at the club res yesterday and the wind came from 3 different directions. The day started cloudy and wet, by lunch it had warmed up and became sunny. I started on a bushy winged cdc dry, no takers (though the fly caught last week), changed to a flat winged cdc dry and managed 2 (I couldn't see the dry afterwards due to the light and wind). Changed to a shuttlecock buzzer and had 4 more. I also used a standard buzzer on a dropper which also caught 1 (it usually does better).
One fish I knocked was stuffed, it had small black buzzers, soldier beetle, ladybird, leaf hopper, some black terrestrial fly that was chewed, small feathers (have Canada geese), grass seeds and flying ants.
 

unclealec

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The Club where I fish spent a considerable time a few years ago collating every scrap of information from the Fishing Log, that every member has to complete on leaving the water.
They collated flies used, area of the reservoir, date, time of day, weather conditions, cross-referenced with stocking figures and fly life observed.
The intention was to advise members of the two best taking times at various points in the season.
The data provided strong evidence, published in the quarterly newsletter, that there were two peak times:

Before you get there; and after you have gone.
 

speytime

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Like the best days for fishing were yesterday and tommorrow 😂

Al
The Club where I fish spent a considerable time a few years ago collating every scrap of information from the Fishing Log, that every member has to complete on leaving the water.
They collated flies used, area of the reservoir, date, time of day, weather conditions, cross-referenced with stocking figures and fly life observed.
The intention was to advise members of the two best taking times at various points in the season.
The data provided strong evidence, published in the quarterly newsletter, that there were two peak times:

Before you get there; and after you have gone.
 

Scotty90

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On hard summer days on small waters I find a couple of small (size 16) black buzzers fished on a washing line with a fab, muddler or a suitable dry (assuming boobies are banned) works well fished near static. Under a bung works well also but not everyone like to fish that way.
 

codyarrow

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Many thanks. I'm mainly wanting to catch on dries, but pulling buzzers slowly or pulling a lure is OK,
You are probably looking for a period of rising pressure on the barometer. But I would agree if the air temp is in the high 20's and water temp is up morning should find the fish more active - you may just have been un lucky.
 

kingf000

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Thank you all for your replies but I'm still puzzled. In my limited experience of commercial stillwater fisheries it seems to me that if you hit on a day when the fish are feeding, most times one can catch fish on almost anything. If the fish aren't feeding, then no matter what you do, you are unlikely to catch much. This may be right or wrong, but a working hypothesis. So how can I choose the days when fish are feeding? I avoid Mondays as I assume after a busy weekend the fish are wary. But what else can I use to decide whther it is worth going, with only the weather forecast to go by? My feeling is that if the weather forecast is hot, then an early morning trip should see flies hatching from first light to around 8-9am. Too strong a wind could stop the hatch but sub-surface methods may still work early on? If the forecast is cool but sunny with little wind - may not be great at all and to be avoided. If a bit of wind, may still be worth trying? If the forecast is for cool and cloudy, then an all day fishing trip may be on the cards?
 

eddleston123

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I'm by far no expert on anything to do with Stillwater's, but I'll still give my sixpence worth anyway - based mainly on wild brownie reservoirs. This is not what you are really looking for, but here goes anyway!

A day with plenty cloud cover,

A moderate to a good breeze - preferably from the west.

Sometimes a dark, drizzly, rainy day can produce the goods.

A rising temperature.

Settled conditions for the past few days.


On the down side ----

A bright blue sky.

A still calm with no wind.

High temperatures.

And above all (in the case of reservoir brownies) --Swirling winds changing direction by the minute - The kiss of death were I fish - don't know if this is significant to bows.

A negative attitude!!


The above is probably a pile of pish, but I welcome any comments or corrections anyway!.




Douglas
 

taffy1

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Any day is a good day to go fishing, unfortunately, weather conditions are way beyond our control. What are you generally targeting, rainbow trout or brownies. Different water temperatures affect these in differing ways.
 

fisher

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well it would be good to get some kind of response from AL ( Speytime ) re my recent e mail and text to him rgds. Ronnie
 

JohnH

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Thank you all for your replies but I'm still puzzled. In my limited experience of commercial stillwater fisheries...
You are on to something with recognising that the aftermath of busy days on the fishery is best avoided, as I briefly outlined upthread.

Don't fixate on dry fly. It's a wonderful way to catch fish on lakes, but being honest it's a change method. The fish get most of their food subsurface and so that's where you should be fishing most of the time.

Don't fixate on specific weather conditions. In other than extreme heat or extreme cold, you should be able to winkle out a brace....

Suggest you break out the debit card and invest in a copy of this Charles Jardine book. While it dates from the 1990s, it is still on the money as regards English small stillwater fishing. I refer to my copy often.... https://www.amazon.co.uk/Small-Water-Fishing-Charles-Jardine/dp/0713469420/ref=sr_1_3?crid=35E9CRNT5EOMQ&dchild=1&keywords=charles+jardine&qid=1596263073&s=books&sprefix=charles+jardine,aps,162&sr=1-3
 

PaulD

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In my limited experience of commercial stillwater fisheries it seems to me that if you hit on a day when the fish are feeding, most times one can catch fish on almost anything. If the fish aren't feeding, then no matter what you do, you are unlikely to catch much.
What you need to be aware of is that fish are opportunistic, they will feed whenever they can, wherever and however it is safest and easiest. The major current problem is that we have entered the most difficult part of the season - not for us but for the trout. Trout are cold water fish, small commercial trout fisheries are not a 'natural' environment for them. Many fisheries are relatively shallow and at this time of year, water temperatures increase rapidly and to a level where trout struggle to cope with living let alone eating. Hence the reason a number of fisheries, particularly those that stock with larger fish, close at this time of year.

The extremely high temperatures of current days (and nights!) give the fish little respite and some of the fish you see moving at the surface will be in distress and will not respond to a dry fly. Fishing in open water will be very difficult. Fishing a fly, in deeper water, under the shade of a tree would be a better option.

For fishing to improve there needs to be a considerable drop in temperature, a thunderstorm and downpour will have little lasting effect. A few days of cloud cover and rain, cooler nights and a cooler breeze are what is needed.
 
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