Insects and other foods the trout may be eating:
1. Blue-winged Olives (Little BWOs)
2. Mahogany Duns
3. Little Yellow Quills (Heptagenia Group)
4. Little Yellow Stoneflies
5. Needle Stoneflies
6. Slate Drakes
7. Sculpin, Minnows (Streamers)
9. Ants (includes Flying Ants)
"New" Fly Fishing Strategies - What Fly To Use - Part 8
Remember: The key is to imitate the insects and or other food that's most
available and easiest for the trout to acquire. If you haven't read the first parts of this
series, please do so. It will help make this article more meaningful.
Although I didn't have time to fish, I did drive into the park yesterday afternoon and
check the conditions at a few places ranging from the high elevations to the mid
elevations. The weather was summertime hot again and the water at a normal level for
this time of the year.
There's only a small chance of rain each day for the rest of the week with the highest
odds Thursday at 40%. The best part of the forecast is the temperatures is going to
be much cooler. I'm writing this very early in the morning because I will be on my way
to Virginia by daylight.
Late Tomorrow afternoon, I have an appointment with some smallmouth bass in
A couple of days ago, while waiting on Angie to do some shopping, Biddie and I took a
short walk and discovered some very nice smallmouth bass in a location I have never
as much as thought about fishing. I couldn't believe the number and size of the bass I
was seeing. I seriously doubt anyone has ever fished there.
From a very high vantage point, which by the way, wasn't a bridge, I spotted one
smallmouth that has to weigh over four pounds along with several others ranging from
a pound up to that size. I watched the bass for about fifteen minutes. They were very
active and would swim in and out of a deeper area of water. Interestingly, there were
several large carp in the same general area but in shallower water. The sun was
directly overhead and I could see just about everything in the river. I'm not sure of the
depth of the water, but I know it's deeper than it appeared to be. I can't wait to cast a
fly there but doing so, isn't going to be easy.
Back To Strategy:
The strategy I'm suggesting you use now is almost the same as it was before the last
big rain which occurred just over a week ago. The high water and lack of time during
the past few days gave me little opportunity to determine much but I am confident that
after today, the cool weather will help start the hatches of Needle Stoneflies and Little
Yellow Quills in the higher elevations. This should happen within the next few days, if
The Mahogany Duns will start to hatch any time. They already have in some areas.
This will occur at the mid elevations and progress downstream. There's few crawler
nymphs in the high elevations.
The Slate Drakes (Mid and Low elevations) will continue to hatch, but it will be near
the end of this month and early October before they peak.
Little Yellow Stoneflies (mid to low elevations) haven't started anywhere yet as far as I
have been able to determine. Once you start seeing them, you should start fishing an
imitation of the nymph very late in the day and imitations of the adults anytime you
see the females laying eggs.
There are plenty of Blue-winged Olive nymphs remaining in the water and unlike the
clingers, they are more exposed and available for the trout to eat than any of the
other remaining nymphs that are fully grown. We will be getting hatches of baetis
BWOs in October. Next available in terms of quantity would be the Mahogany Dun
As for the past few weeks, the BWO nymph is the fly I would start with anywhere in the
low to mid elevations. Notice I have added "Low" elevations and I'm doing that based
on the forecast for the next few days. With highs in the seventies and lows in the
sixties at night, trout in the lower elevation streams come into play. When I mention
low elevations, I'm not referring to smallmouth water, rather the lower elevations where
Switch flies only when you see evidence of other above mentioned insects hatching.
The only exception I would recommend you make is that you may want to try a
streamer very early in the morning or late in the day near dust. If it happens to rain
and the water gets a little off color where you are fishing, you may want to switch to a
If you fish the higher elevations, (brook trout streams) I would suggest starting out
fishing a Needle Stonefly nymph and sticking with that unless you start seeing Little
Yellow Quill duns. That would indicate they are starting to hatch and you should then
switch to a Little Yellow Quill nymph. Of course, if the hatch is underway, go to the dun
or an emerger. Around 5:00 PM start looking for spinners and switch to a spinner
imitation if you see any on the water. If you see any adult Needle Stoneflies, watch for
the egg layers later on in the afternoons. They can live out of the water for up to a few
days and just because you see them doesn't mean egg laying activity is going to take
If you have just started reading this series, please be aware that the strategy I am
suggesting is based on increasing your odds of catching larger numbers of trout. If
you want to fish a dry fly at times a hatch isn't occurring, by all means do so.