Fishing In A Drought | Tips To Keep Catching

Written by: Paul Procter

Fishing In A Drought

Rivers and streams directly reliant on rainwater are prone to shrinking when periods of drought strike. From nature’s perspective, such conditions might be considered the norm, as over millennia stream dwelling creatures have evolved to cope with these extremes. However, an angler’s point of view is a very different one. Low, gin clear water usually puts trout on high alert as they’re more vulnerable to predation now. Approaching twitchy fish is hard enough, but faced with pools lacking any appreciable flow makes us blindingly apparent to our quarry as we attempt to edge ever closer. Keep reading for tips to stop spooking  fish when you’re fishing in a drought.

Shrunken, clear streams in summer make trout flighty creatures.
Photo by Paul Procter

Change Your Fishing Posture

One of our biggest mistakes when fishing in a drought  is to remain bolt upright, when despite the faintest of footfalls, our prize has bolted for cover long before a fly is even unlatched from the keeper ring. The undoing of course, being our sinister human figure looming into the trout’s vision. We’d do well to remember that although a predator themselves, trout easily become the victims, especially when levels fall away.

Stooping over even a little can make all the difference, allowing us to get on the trout’s terms and stop spooking fish. Changing your fishing posture is an easy fix when fishing in a drought. Think too of using any available cover. Naturally, we’re better off hiding behind a screen of flimsy vegetation. However where a bank of trees exist, moving slowly and with purpose in front of foliage often works too. This is especially the case if you’re decked out in drab clothing. When wearing shirts that blend in, on numerous occasions I’ve been able to get within a rod’s length of trout whilst seemingly in full view. Using some natural camouflage for fishing can go a long way when drought fishing

So long as your choice of clothing is sensible and you move slowly, it’s possible to get within easy striking distance of fish where a towering backdrop of trees occur.
Photo by Paul Procter

The real problem occurs over more open ground, or when trout are stationed on shallow pools tails. Often here we have to adopt the Indian style of stalking by dropping to our hands and knees to stop spooking fish. Granted this isn’t to everyone’s liking for all sorts of reasons, but if you are nimble enough then I’d urge you to give this a go while fishing in a drought, as it puts you on terms with twitchy trout, and some big beggars at that!

 Using Knee Pads

Naturally, expensive, breathable waders easily become punctured when scrambling over rocks and other bankside obstacles  while attempting to find some camouflage for fishing. Furthermore, such antics can be absolute murder on the old joints too. In the interests of protecting both waders and knees, some form of padding becomes essential. Investing in a set of knees pads for drought fishing is by far the best solution. For as little as a couple of quid, a pair of gardener’s knee pads can be purchased. However, they’re often of poor design and tend to continually ride down your legs. Those with integral shin pads not only offer superior protection they generally stay in place once strapped on. These can be picked up for around £20, which is amazing value for money. Best of all, you’ll have a new lease of life and will readily drop to your knees without a second though next time you’re fishing in a drought!

I find the best knee pads are those which have shin guards incorporated as they are unable to ride downwards when walking or crouching.
Photo by Paul Procter

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