Overcome tough choppy conditions

Q: I’ve just been fishing on my local reservoir and during the day the wind picked up and it was quite choppy. I found the fishing difficult and despite trying all manner of flies did not get a touch. In these conditions is there anything I can do or should I just head for the pub?

John Irving


Heading to the pub sounds a fantastic idea on those tough days. But sticking it out while others give up can give you great fishing with no other anglers on the banks.

The most important thing is to be mobile and cover as much water as you can. Sometimes the fish are at the worst end of the lake in the roughest water, and other times they are in the calmer water.

My plan of attack would be a fast intermediate line that would cut through the waves and would make sure that I stayed in contact with the flies. If you use a floating line it will be blown all over the place and not allow you to fish the flies properly.

On the intermediate set-up I would have a two-fly cast of a lure on the point and a nymph on the dropper. Then use a countdown method so that you cover the depths as well as the water. Keep changing the colour of the lure regularly until you get a response.

Another tip is to go to the sheltered end and fish just on the edge of the calm and windy water as fish often cruise this area feeding on any insects that have been blown on. In this area either fish dries or fish with a couple of nymphs. If this doesn’t work then go to the pub!

Squirmy Worm tactics

Q: What is the best way to fish the Squirmy Worm?

Jim Wyllie


Most anglers will fish the Squirmy suspended under a bung and, yes, during the colder months it can be very effective.

However, I have used it very successfully as my point fly when straight-line nymphing. The material is fantastic and creates great movement when you retrieve the line.

I have even had fish chase and attack the fly when pulled very fast so to answer your question just keep changing your retrieve until you get a response from the fish.

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