05/08/12
Insects and other foods the trout should be eating:
Hatching:
1.    Little BWOs
2.    Green Sedges (Caddisflies)
3.    Cinnamon Caddis (Mostly Abrams Creek)
4.    Little Short Horned Sedges
5.    American March Browns
6.    Giant Stoneflies
7.    Light Cahills
8.    Little Yellow Stoneflies (Yellow Sally)
9.    Eastern Pale Evening Duns
10.  Sulphurs

Most available/ Other types of available food:
11.    Sculpin, Minnows (Streamers)

Fly Fishing Strategies - What Fly To Use - Part 42

While the fishing has been reported by some as being quote "excellent", many anglers have
not been having "excellent" success. To put this in the proper perspective, the fishing
conditions have been excellent but the fishing success strictly depends on the angler. If
someone catches a lot of trout, you could say his or her fishing was excellent. If not, and the
conditions were excellent, you could say his or her fishing was poor.

The typical long list of excuses for not catching a lot of trout when quote "fishing is
excellent" is being well used
. It never fails that when conditions do get in great shape, the
catching still varies from poor to great.

Probably the most recent used excuse is the full moon. Next in line is probably the "fishing
behind someone" excuse. I could go on but in talking to several guys fishing on the water in
the park as well as on the telephone during the past week, I heard several more of the usual
excuses.
Some of them are so good those using them actually believe them.

Some anglers reported catching lots of trout and some reported right the opposite. Just
because conditions (weather, water temps, stream levels, etc.) are excellent, doesn't mean
your going to catch a lot of trout.

As it has been for the past few weeks, what's hatching will depend on the elevation even more
than it normally does. As I put it last week, that's because some of the hatches have been
"strung out". I saw very few aquatic insects that had or were hatching at the time. I did see
quite a few Little Yellow Stoneflies but that doesn't mean they are hatching. They "hatch" out
of the water starting near dark and on into the night. They live for several days and depending
on when they hatched, deposit their eggs starting in the late afternoons and on into the
evening. This means that although you may see some Little Yellow Stoneflies, it doesn't mean
they are hatching at the time. The trout do get used to seeing the nymphs crawling out of the
water to hatch, and they do get used to seeing the egg laying females. Most of the time they
will continue to feed on imitations of either the nymph or the adult even during periods of time
when they are not hatching.

One gentleman told me he heard that anything yellow would catch trout. I talked to others that
were under the same basic impression. That's a true statement. The question is how often or
how many.

In fast water, a split second glimpse of something yellow can fool the trout into taking it for a
Light Cahill, currently hatching, or a Little Yellow Egg laying stonefly. Does that mean all you
need is a yellow dry fly? If you are satisfied with mediocre success, I guess it does.

Fishing during the hatch, egg laying activity or spinner fall using a better, more
realistic imitation of either the Light Cahill or Little Yellow Stonefly (depending on
the activity) will result in much better results.  

In talking to a few guys during the past week that were disappointed with their fishing, I found
one thing consistent among them. They had a false impression of what to expect. They were
under the impression that they could just go fishing, tie on about any yellow dry fly or nymph
that they could find in their fly box and catch a lot of trout. I talked to at least a half dozen guys
who said they caught less than a 5 to 10 trout all day long when they probably should have
been able to do that in less than an hour.
The problem is a direct result of a complete
misunderstanding of the misused and abused term "the fishing is excellent".

Strategies:
Notice I have removed some of the insects from the above list. The BWO hatches (Baetis)
have ended. There are still plenty of Little and Small BWOs but you will need a size 20 fly to
fishing the hatches successfully. The Green Drake hatch on Abrams should be over. The
Hendrickson and Red Quills are finished of another year.  

As you should almost always do, start out in the mornings fishing a nymph or larva imitation
and change to an emerger/pupa, or a dun/adult dry fly pattern, if and when you spot
something hatching. Most hatches should start taking place around 1:00 to 4:00 PM and
again, the hatches will depend greatly on the elevation of the stream your fishing.

Later in the day, when the hatches subside, switch back to the morning pattern. Again, even
though the trout will continue to fall for a few dry flies, I'm advising what to do based on your
highest odds of success, not necessarily your highest odds of fun.

From about 5:00 PM to as late as you can legally fish, watch closely for stonefly egg laying
activity and both mayfly egg laying and spinner falls. Fishing the spinner falls can result in the
fastest action and the most fish caught in a short time span but you will have to keep checking
for them well above the streams late in the day. Otherwise, you probably won't even be aware
they fall.

Important:
By fishing a nymph or dry fly, I don't mean just any nymph or any dry fly. I am referring to
nymphs and dry flies that specifically match the insects that I list below. This will increase your
odds of success over the "match anything" generic and attractor type of flies that usually only
produce mediocre success.

Hatches:
There's still some fairly good odds of having some size 20 (and even smaller) Blue-winged
Olive hatches. Little Short-horned Sedges are still hatching. March Browns should still be
showing up and will continue to do so for some time, but  remember that they hatch a few here
and there and throughout much of the day over a long period of time. They are not usually
concentrated at any one point in time or place. If they are hatching, you can expect spinner
falls to occur near dark. That's because the spinner falls are concentrated into a short time of
usually less than an hour. A March Brown Dun imitation should still provide good odds in the
afternoon. The March Brown Spinner imitation would provide great odds very late in the day.
Also keep in mind, they probably won't be the only spinners that fall. Any other mayflies that
hatched in the same area will also fall.

Little Yellow Stonefly hatches are taking place. If you happen to be at the right place at the
right time of day (late afternoons) you will likely see some this coming week. Remember, they
both start to hatch (crawl out of the water) very late in the day and deposit their eggs late in
the day. Fish the nymph imitation starting around 4 PM and switch to an adult only when you
see egg laying activity which is usually late in the day.

The Green Sedges (caddisflies) have started to hatch in the lower and mid elevations. An
imitation of the Green Rock Worm (larvae) of this caddisfly is a good fly to use just about
anytime and especially just prior to a hatch. By the way, that's one reason the generic
imitations of moth larvae or Green Weenie fly works even thought moth larvae are not falling in
the water. The flies look similar to a Green Rock worm as well as a net-spinning caddisfly larva
such as a Cinnamon Sedge.

Giant Stoneflies and Light Cahills are hatching,.The Giant Stoneflies are hard to find during
the day. They hatch very late in the afternoons and during the evening and deposit their eggs
very late in the afternoons and during the evenings. Those guys backpacking and camping
near the streams will probably see some around their lights.

Light Cahills are hatching from the fast water areas of the streams. Imitations of this mayfly can
be very productive during a hatch. They should be among the top priorities but I'm suggesting
it only when you find them hatching and the odds of that are very good now.

It's also possible you will see some Eastern Pale Evening Duns and Sulphurs (both locally
called Sulphurs). Both of these mayflies can hatch in good quantities but only in very isolated
sections of the mid to large size streams. If and when you encounter them (and you probably
won't but could)  you should have a few imitations of them.

Which nymph/larva imitation to fish?
If you know for a fact any of the above insects hatched within the previous day or two of the
particular time you are fishing, fish the nymph or larva fly that imitates that particular species
during the mornings and continue to do so until you see it or another insect hatching.

Which Fly to use During Hatches?
If you happen to find any Eastern Pale Evening Duns or Sulphurs hatching, by all means fish
an imitation of the emerging dun, or the dun, in priority to any of the other insects. That's not
very likely though. Next in priority are the Little Short-horned Sedges or possibly the Green
Sedges. If they are hatching, fish an imitation of the pupa. Next in priority would be the March
Browns or Light Cahills. I would go with the Light Cahills. They should be the top priority.

Which Fly to use Late In The Day:
Late in the day, depending on which of the hatches listed above you may happen to have
found, watch for the spinner fall and/or egg laying activity as applicable. By all means, if you
see a spinner fall, fish it. Light Cahills and a few March Browns will likely fall. If you do find any
EPEDs or Sulphurs, they will fall. If there isn't any spinner falls occurring, but some caddis egg
laying activity is taking place, fish the adult pattern of that caddisfly.

Up until you see a spinner fall or heavy egg laying activity from caddisflies,
fish an imitation
of the Little Yellow Stonefly (Yellow Sally) nymph.
They will start crawling across the
bottom to the banks to hatch late in the day. They crawl out to hatch after sunset.  If you see
any depositing their eggs, switch to the adult imitation. I wouldn't want anyone to miss out on
the fun.
Copyright 2012 James Marsh