I’ve been fishing predators on the fly for many years but I never focused on perch. I was always wondering why I don’t catch them when fishing for pike or zander. This year is different – I’ve caught a few good ones already. So what has changed? Why suddenly perch become so easy to catch?

The first June trip to Rutland Reservoir was dedicated to zander but I didn’t catch a single one. Instead I had a few nice pike and a few good perch. All previous seasons it was zander that dominated my catches. So I started to think what was different this time. I figured out 3 major factors that made the change:

  1. Fly color – it seems that it’s the most important one. I played with many flies and colors and I observed that if I find the right one I start catching perch immediately. If I switch to a different one there are no more bites. I’ve tested it multiple times and I can confirm that perch are extremely picky in this matter.
  2. Depth – the perch I caught at Rutland were active in the middle of 5-6m water. So I had to keep the fly much higher than for zander.
  3. Stripping – short and aggressive

I decided to test these observations when I visited another venue – Grafham Reservoir. It turned out that the same patterns work for Grafham perch. I caught not only good numbers but also very good size perch. All fish were between 45 and 49 cm.

I still haven’t figured out when to use a particular color but hopefully I’ll find the right pattern soon. For now I just change flies very often until I find the right one that day.