The best fishing weather isn’t necessarily the best weather, as such. I say that knowing fully well that there are many opinions regarding the best weather. Personally I can’t stand too much heat and I actually enjoy rain. Up to a certain point, of course. I think most will also agree on that the best fishing weather often involves maybe a little rain, some wind and preferably from the right (north-east is hopeless where I fish), some clouds and generally, changing conditions are preferable. Both during the day, but a change after a longer period will often stir things up a little.
There are notable exceptions and even I enjoy a day fishing in good weather (as long as it’s not too hot). A day on the sea in my pontoon boat, casting a fast sinking line into a calm ocean for mackerel is great fishing. These mini-tunas put up a good fight on light tackle and if one is so inclined, taking a few home to the smoker or the grill is a delicacy.
Another exception is perch. Morten Valeur, head predator guru here at Ahrex, was a pioneer in fly fishing for predator in Denmark and Scandinavia, both for pike and perch. Perch are a great sportfish and of course very popular on spinning tackle. But they are excellent sport in fly fishing tackle as wel. If you ever use smaller flies for pike, you can use them for perch as well. They willingly take quite large flies and the larger flies are good at sorting out the smaller specimens.
Perch are very active when the weather is good, calm, hot and sunny. I’ve been told since I was a kid that it’s because their swim bladder compresses in the high pressure conditions, but I’m not sure of that’s not an urban myth? Well, it doesn’t change the fact the they are active on good weather, much more so than most other fish.
Maybe it also has to do with their own prey? Pund for pound, perch eat a lot. They are incredibly effective for cleaning up lakes that have too many corse fish, much more effective than pike. Simply because they also take much smaller prey, swim more and hence eat more. They often travel in shoals, so when you get one, intensify your fishing a little, because there are usually more. In fact, fishing with others using spinning gear (preferably a spinner) can keep the shoal around for longer.
“Krapylet”, a Danish term for, I don’t know, the beast, the creature – something. It doesn’t really translate well. Let’s call it The Beast, is one of Morten’s early patterns, which quickly proved effective on perch. It is and has been around in several versions. Morten shows how he ties one of them here:
The soft materials and the heavy dumbbell at the front ensures a very mobile fly that hops and jigs along. If you tie one fly for perch, this could be it. But pike like small(er) bait fish, so there are plenty of choices.
This one from Paul Monaghan is very effective and a good imitation of a roach, which perch eat a lot of.
Another friend of ours, Nacho Heredero, is also known for beautiful and effective bai fish imitations.
Pump up the float tube or launch the boat, get some sun on your nose and hopefully catch a perch or two, maybe a mackerel. In fact, do remember sun protection – you’ll quick get a burn on the water and don’t forget all the other personal protection either.