Fishing at The Lochs
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Fishing at The Lochs is great fun. A bit of advice from those who know the waters goes a long way to improving your odds of landing that elusive trout. The tips offered below come from the community and we hope to develop a body of advice specific to our waters. If you'd like to contribute to this page, please email your advice to email@example.com
General Comments on Fishing at The Lochs
According to Dean Riphagen (Stillwater Trout in South Africa), trout have three main requirements for survival in dams:
- water of suitable temperature and oxygen content;
- food; and
- protection from predators.
As these features vary significantly from dam to dam and from season to season, an understanding of where fish are likely to be feeding will help the angler to target the trout.
During Spring water temperature throughout the dams will be fairly uniform as will the oxygen content of the water. Insect activity peaks during this season and, as a result, trout will be found at various depths in the water column wherever they find food. They may feed in the shallows all day as water temperatures have not yet reached uncomfortable levels and floating lines with long leaders and dry flies to match the local insects may be successful.
However as fish are spread throughout the depth of the dams, intermediate and even sinking lines can be used to prospect the deeper areas of the dams with searching flies like Papa Roach, Woolly Buggers, Leeches, Damsel and Dragonfly Nymphs.
Fly fishing during Summer can be difficult as the water temperature rises – especially the upper layer of the dams. Although this layer of water usually has the best oxygen content, trout tend to avoid it because of the uncomfortably high temperature. The deepest water is the coolest but is almost devoid of oxygen and is high in carbon dioxide because of the decay of plant matter in the depths of the dam at this time of year and, as a result, trout generally steer clear of this area. By mid-summer most insect activity comes to and end and the fish are not as keyed into feeding on insects as at other times and tend to become lethargic. The feeding that does take place is mainly in the mid-levels of the water column and intermediate lines or floating lines with long leaders and weighted flies may get you to the right level and allow you to fish around and above the weedbeds.
Predawn and late evening fish may forage in the shallows and provide opportunities for dry fly fishing with floating lines.
Increased rainfall during this season may result in higher water levels in the dams and trout often hunt for food in newly flooded margins. These areas are worth investigating especially early morning and before last light.
Hot, clear and still days can be particularly difficult and a breeze can make fishing more productive as the wave action it creates mixes up the oxygen content, shakes food particles loose from weedbeds, cools the surface layer, reduces the intensity of light and to some extent reduces the trout’s view of the fisherman.
During this difficult period, smaller flies may prove to be more effective.
Like Spring, water levels in Autumn tend to mix and temperatures, oxygen content and nutrients are spread throughout the dams. Fish your favourite lines and favourite flies prospecting at different depths until you connect with the trout.
In deep water dams, levels in Winter will invert from the Summer months with the upper levels of water becoming the coldest. Shallower dams have a uniform temperature throughout and light winds will circulate the entire body of water so that fish may be found at various depths. There is generally little food for the trout but they tend to feed on larvae found in the deepest areas of the dams.
Winter fishing, therefore, generally consists of prospecting deeper channels with sinking lines for feeding fish or sight fishing to trout attempting to spawn at inlets and outlets of dams and along the dam walls where takes will be more as a result of aggression than for feeding purposes.