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Keeping Your Cool

When summer river temperatures climb, the cool angler doesn't have to wait until the evening rise


Head for fast, well oxygenated water.
Head for fast, well oxygenated water.
Nice daytime trout on the small, silver-beaded Nymph.
Nice daytime trout on the small, silver-beaded Nymph.
And the dog will love it, too!
And the dog will love it, too!

The recent hot weather isn’t really what you might look for as an angler, but with a wee switch of tactics you can still find great sport.
For me, it’s all about heading to the fast bits of water with a selection of nymphs, working through the likely runs and picking out the best looking pockets.
Now all this might sound straightforward enough (and I’ll explain the do’s and don’ts better in a forthcoming wee article just on this in FF&FT) but there are a few unexpected, potential pitfalls.
First of all is the fact you can get a little bit addicted to this style of fishing, which is all well and good, but I’m a dry fly angler and this always leaves me feeling a ‘wee bit guilty’ when fishing with weighted flies. OK, maybe not that guilty and well... a change is as good as a rest, as the saying goes.
Next is the fact that you’re often in places you wouldn’t normally be so the wading can be a little different, through to pretty uncomfortable meaning that an unwanted ‘dunking’ is extremely likely. The easiest way to counteract this is a) wear a life-jacket; and b) to carry a change of clothes back in the car – something I never leave home without nowadays, following too many uncomfortable drives home.
Wading sticks are essential, but a real pain, due to the fact they always get in the way when you’re fishing, especially in fast water.
You never seem to cover anything like as much water as you do when you’re searching with dries, which is not really a bad thing, especially with the next thing I’ve observed.
All the best bits are in the wildest places both in terms of broken water, but they tend to come with overgrown banks, often in the steepest of valleys, and so it’s always worth letting someone know where you’re likely to be - jusy in case.
But wading through all this oxygenated water helps keep you cool, and if you fish with two mad Labradors – as I do – then at least all their splashing about doesn’t affect the fishing (not too much anyway).
So next time it’s hot, you don’t have to wait until the cool of evening. Grab a long, soft rod, some weighted nymphs and head out into the heat. If nothing else the dogs will love it.

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