Perch on the fly (outside large reservoirs)

T_James

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 3, 2011
Messages
404
Location
London
This winter I wanted to try something new and have been fishing canals/engineered rivers for specimen (1lb +) perch. I have to say that this is the most challenging freshwater fishing I've done.... and it's been noted on this forum and elsewhere that targeting large perch on the fly is a challenge..... outside of Blagdon/Chew etc.

The set up I've arrived at is a 9ft 4wt tip flex Helios 2 with a floating line with the recent addition of an Airflo sink tip poly leader. Flies are all heavily weighted with a single AAA shot - the depth of my current venue is around four feet. After ten or so sessions on a Hertfordshire river I've only caught two decent ones, one around a pound, the other around 2lbs! Most of what I catch are 'nuisance' but welcome pike so I now use Wolfram traces.

I've concluded that the biggest issue the fly angler has is the lack of sensitivity of our set ups compared with modern lure techniques. I am sure I am getting bites but just not detecting them.

Any experiences, advice, photos etc. would be appreciated.
 

ohanzee

Well-known member
Joined
May 7, 2010
Messages
39,901
My only experience is stalking perch on Loch Lubnaig, seeing something charging shoals of fry I thought it was trout, after much frustration discovered it was perch, the small ones work in large roaming shoals and are easier caught with a nymph hanging off a dry, the fry chargers are bigger and seem to work alone, makes them hard to target, a flat calm and being able to see signs of them hunting makes it more interesting but not sure its any easier, I'd totally concur that it needs a very sensitive approach, one I never quite cracked, a large fry pattern tweaked along near signs of fry bashing lets you keep a tight line and feel pulls, but not all pulls result in a hookup, you can get surprisingly big pulls then nothing.
 

T_James

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 3, 2011
Messages
404
Location
London
I've been bitten off twice by pike this year. Wolfram's are very fine, less than your average 8lb flouro, although still not ideal.
 

gordond

Member
Joined
Nov 26, 2014
Messages
18
If you are using a floating line then watch where it dips under water. You will see movement long before you feel anything.
When fishing nymphs on a still water if you feel the fish it is usually too late.
With a sinking line the small section between the rod tip and the water is used as a swing tip indicator.
Gordon

Sent from my SM-A705FN using Tapatalk
 

ejw

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 2, 2012
Messages
457
Location
Helsby, Cheshire
Used to have a couple of ponds on a shoot I had, with Perch and Rudd in it. When feeding the duck I used to take a telescopic fly rod ? Both species to a small gold nymph i.e. just gold string wrapped on a hook ! Worked well, normally the takes came on the lift. Just a dry line B175 kamasan hook size 14. I now have a syndicate lake (6 - 7 acres ) that has Perch and Pike along with stocked Rainbows. A small mini lure works well for all - B175 kamasan hook size 10, White marabou tail with 4 strands of pearl flash, body white UV straggle fritz , a flash back of Mirage tinsel and a red UV plastic bead head. Again only a dry line needed, takes are anything from a gentle pull away to smash takes that wrench the rod. Not had the need for a trace as all fish are hooked in the scissors. (best Perch 2lb, Pike 20lb Rainbow 10lb+) Hope this helps.
P.S. Have you tried eating Perch ? Sweet firm white meat. Just gut, wrap in foil and bake in the oven, skin just peals off and meat falls off the bones (just ribcage, no pin bones).
 

Vermontdrifter

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 27, 2009
Messages
4,025
Location
Luxembourg
Will take perch over any other fresh water fish. Best ones were those taken in the winter through the ice in the deep water lakes. Fillet them, dip the fillets in beer batter, fry and serve with chips and pints of your choice. Meal fit for a King!
 

Dingbat

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 2, 2008
Messages
5,053
Location
Switzerland
Will take perch over any other fresh water fish. Best ones were those taken in the winter through the ice in the deep water lakes. Fillet them, dip the fillets in beer batter, fry and serve with chips and pints of your choice. Meal fit for a King!

Unless they have eaten something unsavoury just before getting caught
 

bobnudd

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 12, 2017
Messages
504
Location
Redditch
I had these 2 out of Draycote some years back they took a gosling and I had no trouble detecting the take. I have some out of lough Conn on wet mayfly as well not as big as these 2 and they took positively
DSCN0028 (2).JPGP7120017 (2).JPG. My grandad rekond there was only 3 fresh water fish worth eating. Eels, Grayling and Perch
 
Last edited:

codyarrow

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 6, 2010
Messages
3,445
Used to fish a rainbow fishery with perch in. Inquisitive little fellows, quite often saw them a yard out looking at my waders with a confused expression. :) Some years they were an absolute nuisance, others years we would barely catch any. They were not much fun on a 7wt.
I seem to remember lures with a touch of red used to do well.
 

Dingbat

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 2, 2008
Messages
5,053
Location
Switzerland
Well not out of the lake in Zurich obviously! That has a strong bitter taste of avarice just like fish out of Luxembourg waters!!! 😏😏😏

I paid 22 chuffs for 6 pieces of battered perch at a lakeside beergarden, and I had to pay extra for the chips. That's 18 quid or about 19 euros. That was bitter
 

squimp

Well-known member
Joined
May 18, 2008
Messages
1,048
I catch small perch by accident on bright coloured blobs (on the rare occasions that I use them) on the Reservoirs. Small snakelets catch them too.

bigger ones (some very big) have been caught by design on small flies constructed from rubber jigs and also larger snakes.

good old Steve Parton used to recommend black and chartreuse girdle bugs for decent perch.
 

bakelit79

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 18, 2006
Messages
132
Hi James,

Depending on your venues there might not be a great perch population. Some of my waters have loads and some have hardly any. If you check out my very old posts (I do not frequent the forum, barely have time to fish nowadays ) or Skateboard Dave's you will see what we use for perch. I have a wiggle bait fish tie somewhere under the fltying section. That is ok for bigger perch. Note the tungsten hidden in the head. Nowadays I just tie jig style muskrat streamers in black and white. For the smaller (regular size, sub pounder) i either use squirmies or tadpole style jig patterns. I have just been to a small stream in Northamtonshire and caught 63 up to a pound plus 20 chub and 4 face, all on a size 16 jig style black tadpole. Not an every day occurrence but Dave and I often catch 20+ perch per head. I have not been to the Grand Union Canal for a while but that was down for some reason (south of Leicester zone). At least last time I fished it (about a year ago)
that was the case. My Peterborough waters seem to be okayish but not marvellous. But when you have them around they are p@ss easy on the right fly. We catch them even in the winter. Unlike most here, I usually target river coarse fish (face,chub,roaches,perch and some other small bits) with the added bonus game so I regard perch highly in my waters.

Cheers,

Pete
 

Gunmaker

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 26, 2008
Messages
76
Location
Bree
Does anyone use a switch rod and streamers for perch?
Toying with the idea of buying a maxcatch 3 weight switch rod and scandi line to fish the local canal where I can't make a back cast and to practice spey casting.
What size reel would a 3 weight switch rod need? A 7-8 or something else?
 

shropshire_lad

Well-known member
Joined
May 31, 2017
Messages
2,600
Location
Too far away from the wild places!
Will take perch over any other fresh water fish. Best ones were those taken in the winter through the ice in the deep water lakes. Fillet them, dip the fillets in beer batter, fry and serve with chips and pints of your choice. Meal fit for a King!

I have eaten perch and pike in the past from clean upland lakes - both bony but meat far superior to most stocked trout.

I watched a programme a while back which looked at evidence of diet from medieval? settlements in UK. Perch formed a major part.
 
Top