02/22/11
Insects and other foods the trout may be eating:
1.    Blue-winged Olives
2  .  Sculpin, baitfish and small crayfish (Imitate with streamers)
3.    Little Brown Stoneflies
4.    Quill Gordons
5.    Blue Quills
6.    Little Black Caddis

I didn't die without any coffee yesterday morning, but I sure felt like i was. They
wouldn't put me on the treadmill, rather used chemicals to do the test. I'll do my own
test today and get out on the streams to determine the current status of the Blue
Quill and Quill Gordon nymph development. I have an idea they are very close to
emerging.

Quill Gordon Duns - Part 2
The Quill Gordon hatch is one of the easiest hatches there is to imitate, however,
we always feel the closer the fly matches any insect, the better the odds of fooling
the trout. Most of the time the Quill Gordon duns are caught in the current seams
between the slow water of the pockets and fast water on the outside of the pockets.
The fast water tends to grab the mayflies and/or your imitation of it, and send it
downstream rather fast. When feeding on the duns, the trout tend to hold in the fast
to moderate current a short ways downstream of the actual point they hatch.

The middle to the ends of long runs and riffles are normally where the most takes
occur. The trout usually only have a very short time to get a look at the natural or
your fly and consequently, even poor imitations will sometimes snag a trout. This
can give one the impression the fly isn't important but I will assure you, the better it
matches the real ones, the more takes you will get.

The wings of the Quill Gordons are a slate color with a brown tint to them but they
change depending on how long they have been out of the water. When they first
appear on the surface, they are a very dark slate color. At that point they are still
very wet because they emerged below the surface. The one I posted a picture of
yesterday, was captured before its wings were dry. One wing hadn't even
straightened out.







As they dry, they change from the dark slate to a lighter version of slate by the time
they are ready to change into spinners. The abdomen and thorax are a reddish
brown color. It's almost a mahogany color. The segmentation on the abdomen is
very obvious on the naturals.








Turkey and Goose boits make good imitations of the bodies because they highlight
this segmentation. The old patterns use quills to show this segmentation, hence the
name "Quill" Gordon part of the name. Their legs are a light tan with the heart
shaped marking on them that easily identify them as
Eperous species. We use tan
roster hackle for this. We use two split hen feathers slanted back like the real ones
for the wings and dubbing for the thorax for our
Perfect Fly Dun. We use a brownish
tinted slate color for the wings that looks like the wings at the point they depart the
water - not the very dark slate when they first emerge or the light grayish slate like
they look just prior to changing into a spinner. The wing color is of far less
importance than getting the body the right shade of color. They are a reddish
brown, almost mahogany color, as mentioned above.

























As I mentioned yesterday, when the water is still cold and the hatch is underway, the
trout tend to ignore the duns and only eat the emerging nymphs and duns that are
hatching below the surface. In this case, the duns usually ride the surface of the
water a relative long time trying to dry their wings enough to be able to fly. As the
water becomes warmer, and when the mayflies reach the surface to expose their
wings to warmer air, they will depart the water much quicker. When the water is
warmer, ranging from the low fifties to the high fifties, the trout will usually feed on
the duns more often. Under these conditions, catching trout on the dry fly is about
as easy as you will ever see it get. You can often see and hear the trout taking the
duns from the surface. You can also usually catch plenty of trout in a short time
under those conditions. Relatively short, up and across stream presentations
usually work fine. The water is a little low now and you will probably need to use a
little more than a normal amount of caution approaching the areas they hatch from.

Down and Dirty  (some are clean) Tips and Recommendations for Fly
Fishing Destinations - Part 25
Just keep in mind that it is strictly one opinion that happens to be mine. The intent is to hopefully
give those interested a general idea of what to expect. Most likely every guide, affiliated business
entity and local angler will have a different opinion. These streams also have full coverage on our
Perfect Fly Stream Section.

Ruby River Montana
The Ruby River, which probably only a few anglers have heard of, is only 97 miles
long. There are trout from one end of it to the other and plenty of them. The only
problem with it is much of it flows through private property. It doesn't exactly present
a friendly atmosphere and that's easy to determine from the way they make sure
you can't get to the water at the bridges very easily. It's legal to wade through
private property in Montana, as long as you stay in the streambed, but doing so
above the Ruby Reservoir and below the Forest Land in the headwaters
surrounded by private ranch property isn't exactly a pleasant undertaking. I suggest
you fish the tailwater section or in the headwaters on public land. I doubt you will
have much competition in the headwaters because of the long drive over unpaved
roads to get there; however, in my opinion, It's well worth the effort to do so. The
tailwater is an excellent brown trout fishery even though it's short on access. You
can wade up and down the stream in the tailwater section without having to worry
about being shot.

Another reason this stream isn't talked and written about much as a destination is
the fact there are several other very fine trout streams in the same general area of
Montana.  For example, over one mountain range a short ways is the Madison
River. I will go ahead and give the river an "A" minus but I'm doing that for its
headwaters and tailwater sections only, not miles of the river that flows through the
ranches.

Copyright 2011 James Marsh
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