11/15/13

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)




Whatever Hits Me - An Angler's Imagination
A few days ago, just after the two week government shutdown ended, I was talking on
the phone to a customer planning a trip to the Smokies who conveyed that the main
reason he was coming up from southern Louisiana to fish the park, was because no
one had fished it for two weeks. I responded by saying that I wasn't quite sure what
he meant. He again, said the main reason he was rushing to get to the Smokies to
fish, was because no one had been able to fish the streams for two weeks. Still not
being certain I was understanding him correctly, I asked him again, why that was
important to him. He answered by saying that since no one had recently fished the
streams, the trout would be easier to catch. Not wanting to insult him by laughing at
what he said, or discouraging him from fishing the Smokies, I just proceeded with
trying to help him.

I have no idea where or how the gentleman came up with that idea. Of course, I am
well aware everyone including me, is always concerned about fishing behind
someone that just fished the same water. If I have any question about that, I always
pay attention to the banks and rocks, looking for wet shoe prints. I know that when
someone is wading upstream in a small stream just ahead of you, they will spook the
trout. If it has been over an hour or two since someone fished ahead of me, I don't
worry about it adversely affecting my success. Trout out feeding in the open water
will dart away, sometimes under rocks or other cover, when an anglers wades up the
middle of a twenty-foot wide stream. It does spook them.

I thought about that conversation this morning and it reminded me of a big problem
BASS, or Bass Anglers Sportsman Society had with their early professional bass
tournaments. I cannot remember which lake it occurred on or the exact year
(approximately 1970) it occurred, but I do clearly remember that the guy that won the
tournament caught mostly fish that had been released by BASS the day before. On
the third day of the three day tournament, more anglers than the winner and his
drawn partner for the day caught bass released from the previous day's catch. About
half of the top ten anglers were able to pull that off. After the tournament ended, it
became very clear that all those guys did was fish the water in the close proximity of
where BASS released the previous day catch. That resulted in a big problem for
BASS. They had to begin to make large areas of water where the bass were
released back into the lake off limits for fishing. This resulting in entire creeks and
large sections of the lake being put off limits because the released bass traveled
varying distances within the next day or two.

For those who may not be familiar with what I'm referring to, at that time, the 250
anglers in a tournament could keep up to ten bass each in the live well, put them in
special designed bags at the weight-in site when the tournament ended, and proceed
to get in line and have them weighted on scales (still in the bag) by BASS. By the
way, there was and still is a substantial penalty if a fish dies, BASS then puts the
bass into large, aerated holding tanks. At the end of the weigh-in, they release them
back into the lake, usually miles away at easy to access locations.  

It became very obvious, that even though the bass were caught, held in a boat's live
well for a few hours, put in a bag for as much as sometimes ten to twenty minutes,
then put in a holding tank, and released from the holding tanks back into the lake
late in the day,
they could still easily be caught the following morning.

I can give many other examples of bass and other species of fish being caught and
then caught again within a day and even an hour or less. More than once, I caught
the same large bass in Tom Mann's Fishworld, an aquarium about the size of a
house. This was something he allowed me and only a very few others to do and only
for experiments. The fact is, after hooking, landing and releasing the bass back into
the tank, I could sneak up on the top side of what amounts to a swimming pool with
windows on the sides of the tank one floor below the top of the tank, and catch the
same bass, ON THE SAME LURE, two or three hours later.

I have no experience in doing the same type of things with trout, but I'm willing to bet,
it makes no difference. I'm sure this could be proven fishing a trout pond, or one of
the "trophy" trout  streams where trout are fed.

Now, in case your missing the point I'm getting to, and with some clear exceptions
and disclaimers, in layman terms,  I'll state that fish have a very, very short memory.
Their pea size brain cannot be compared to that of a human and that is exactly what
anglers tend to try to do.

Now, that written, like other animals, fish can be taught or made to respond to
repeated stimuli. In other words, fish that constantly see anglers or birds and other
prey, probably tend to stay hidden more and in essence, become more cautious than
those that don't.

Now, what do I think the effect of not fishing a certain stream for a period of two
weeks have to do with an angler's chances of success in catching trout?
I think
that, within the confines that I am trying to confine it, has absolutely nothing
to do with it. That problem exist mostly in the imagination of anglers with
little knowledge of fish.
Copyright 2013 James Marsh
New Schedule of Daily
Articles
Mondays: Weather and Stream
Conditions Forecast - Coming Week
Tuesdays: Fly Fishing Strategies -
Which Flies To Use - Coming Week
Wednesday: Fishing Tales
Thursday: Fly Fishing Strategies and
Weather/Stream Conditions Update
Friday: Whatever Hits Me
Saturday: Getting Started
Sunday: Fly Fishing School
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