10/17/13

Insects and other foods the trout
should be eating:
Hatching:
1.     Slate Drakes
2.     Little Yellow Stoneflies
3.     Needle Stoneflies
4.     Mahogany Duns
5.     Little Yellow Quills
6.     Great Autumn Brown Sedges
7.     Blue-winged Olives

Most available - Other types of food:
8.     Sculpin, Minnows (Streamers)
9.     Grasshoppers
10.   Ants
11.   Beetles
12.   Craneflies



Fly Fishing Strategies & Weather/Stream Conditions Update
It is as warm at 5 AM this morning (66 degrees F.) as it is going to be all day today
and tomorrow. Tonight will drop down into the mid forties. There's a 90% chance
of showers today and a 60% chance tonight.  The high tomorrow will be in the low
sixties with lows in the mid forties. Saturday's high will be about the same but it will
drop down into the mid thirties Saturday night. I don't think they are expecting
much rain from either of the two, back to back approaching fronts, but it should be
enough to raise the stream levels some. One weather site shows a prediction of
six/tenths of an inch. There will be a slight chance of rain again on Saturday prior
to the second cold front.

Larger Middle and Lower Elevation Streams:
I suggest you use a Perfect Fly Blue-winged Olive nymph, size 18, in the mornings.
It should imitate the most plentiful and available food at this time of the year.
Continue with it until you see something hatch which most likely would be BWOs.
You may also see some Little Yellow Stoneflies. If you do spot any adults, I  
suggest you fish a Perfect Fly Little Yellow Stonefly nymph late in the afternoon
about an hour or two before dark. If you spot any of them laying eggs, switch to
our Perfect Fly adult Little Yellow Stonefly.

Other than the Little Yellow Stoneflies scenario, I would stick with the Blue-winged
Olive nymph until they begin to hatch (if they do), and then switch to an emerger
or dun imitation of the BWO. There could be a BWO spinner fall but if so, it will be
near dark. If you fish late in the day, I suggest you have a few BWO spinners on
hand.

If you are seeing any Slate Drake nymphs on the rocks along the streams, I
suggest you switch to a Slate Drake nymph. If you do, you should also watch for a
Slate Drake spinner fall near dark. They are large enough you can see them,  
even in low light conditions. If you do, switch to the Perfect Fly Slate Drake spinner.

Great Autumn Brown Sedges will continue to hatch. These start emerging late in
the afternoons and early evenings. If you see any of these large caddisflies, you
should switch to a Perfect Fly pupa imitation of them. If you see them laying eggs
(dropping down and fluttering on the surface), switch to the Perfect Fly Adult Great
Brown Sedge.

Remember, there are several different species (at least 6) of mayflies that anglers
call Blue-winged Olives that hatch in the Fall. Not all are
baetis species, although a
couple of them are. There are some
Drunella species called Eastern Blue-winged
Olives, Small Eastern BWOs (
Attenella) species, and some other smaller
(
Acentrella) species that could hatch. These could range from a hook size 20 up
to as large as a 14, although the larger size would be rare. Most of them are a
hook size 18 with a few 16 size
baetis species showing up areas of some streams..

Smaller Middle and Higher Elevation Streams:
In the higher elevation streams and small, fast water, middle elevation streams, I
suggest a different strategy. I would fish a Perfect Fly Little Yellow Quill nymph in
the mornings and continue with it until I spotted something hatching. Most likely
that would be Little Yellow Quills but it could also be the little Needle Stoneflies.
Both of these insects are hatching in the higher elevations. The Little Yellow Quills
normally start to hatch around the middle of the afternoon. If you spot any, switch
to an emerger or dun imitation of the Little Yellow Quill.

If neither of these insects begin to hatch, you may want to switch to a Needle
Stonefly nymph about the middle of the afternoon. If you spot any Needle
Stoneflies laying eggs, switch to the Perfect Fly adult imitation. Remember, when
they are flying, the little Needle stoneflies look more like caddisflies than stoneflies.
The Great Autumn Browns can also hatch in the larger higher elevations but it is
not as likely as it is in the lower elevations.

You may also find some Little Yellow Quill spinners from the previous day's hatch
showing up late in the day. Sometimes, the spinners from the day before appear
during the same time of the current day's hatch.  Their light colors make both the
duns and spinners fairly easy to spot.

The brook trout and small rainbows in the small headwater streams are quite  
opportunistic feeders, but if either of the above insects are hatching, I will assure
you your odds of success with double or triple if you imitate that particular insect. If
you do that, you should be able to catch trout about as fast as you can hook and
release them.

Keep in mind, the strategies I'm suggested are based on increasing your odds of
success or catching the highest number of trout possible, not the largest size
trout. There are other specific methods of fishing that will produce some much
larger trout.

Also, keep in mind that I'm well aware that some of you may prefer to fish dry flies
more than the above strategy suggest, but again, the strategies provided are for
catching the highest numbers of trout, and depending on individual preferences,
not necessarily having the most fun

If your fishing a stream that has brown trout, it is a good idea to always scan the
water ahead for larger browns. Pre-spawn browns are frequently seen out in the
open at this time of the year. They are usually aggressive and will often attack a
streamer that gets near them. It isn't a bad idea to fish a streamer anytime under
low light conditions, or if the rain headed our way stains the water.

It is still a little early for the browns to be in the actual spawning process but some
may well have started and be holding on their redds. Those fish should be left
alone.
Copyright 2013 James Marsh
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