Fishing the margins from a drifting boat is a superb strategy for the early season. Hungry trout cruise the shallow fringes foraging for aquatic insects and ambushing mountain minnows. Until the arrival of warmer weather and the abundant terrestrial insect hatches, it is the shallow water close to the shore line and islands are where the majority of feeding trout can be found.
Stocks lends itself very well to both drifting boat anglers and wandering bank anglers. The abundant terrestrial insect life produces excellent top of the water sport throughout the summer months. Large numbers of windblown beetles, ants and daddies cause spectacular rises and fantastic dry-fly action. Large sedge and buzzer hatches can also dominate the trout's menu. The trout are well distributed all over the reservoir with most of the features providing hotspots.
During the warm weather of summer when fisheries all over country are struggling with high water temperatures and excessive algae. Stocks can produce superb sport on the dry fly. The aerators 95 feet down at the Dam continually recycle cool water from the depths and prevent stratification and the warm layer of water that would otherwise cover the whole reservoir and drive the trout down is not allowed to form. Also the annual draw down is just enough to leave any troublesome algae high and dry.
The best line of attack in the height of summer is from a boat drifting down the centre of the reservoir with Bob;s Bits, G&H Sedge and Black Hoppers as must have patterns. Frequently casting a team of dries on a short line can produce some of the most exciting sport of the season. So when your instincts are telling you to reach for your sinking line and drag the depths, the best method of catching is often on the dry fly.
If you are ever unsure about tactics, patterns or where to fish on the reservoir then remember there is always a member of the stocks team in the lodge with all the latest information and willing to offer friendly advice.
Paul Bebb on dry fly fishing
Insects trout and other animals
Interview with Stocks regular Nick Halstead
Paul Bebb on buzzers