09/02/09

Insects and other foods the trout may be eating:
1.   Blue-winged Olives - mostly Little BWO - Isolated hatches
2.   Mahogany Duns
3.   Midges - hatching in isolated locations
4.   Little Yellow Stoneflies - hatching
5.   Slate Drakes - hatching
6.   Cream Cahills - hatching in Isolated locations
7.   Little Yellow Quills
8.   Needle Stoneflies
9.   Beetles
10. Grasshoppers
11. Ants
12. Inch Worms
13. Crane Flies
14. Helligramite
15. Streamers - matching sculpin, baitfish and small crawfish

The Learning Process - Part 40

On July the 30th, I stopped writing a series I called "The Learning Process". Of all
the subjects I have written about in the past 536 articles, the learning process
series got more response and request for more articles than anything else I have
written about. Although I am not certain where I left off even when I read the last few
posted, I will try to pick back up with the series. I am certain I was doing a lot of
jumping around trying to remember when and where we learned various things. Our
video logs and daily notes about the streams we fished and the fish we caught
helps or otherwise, I wouldn't be able to come up with much.

I have considerable fishing education, I'll call it, from my years of experience with
other types of fishing. I knew that the local advice you could get about fishing any
area was worth listening to but that you better not ever accept it as the gospel
about the how you should fish. When I fished the professional BASS circuit for four
years, I learned the local guides and experts on any lake we fished rarely won or
even placed high in the tournaments. Give the regular circuit guys three days of
practice on any lake and things would get even fast. The community holes, we
called them, didn't ever pay off.

For example, when some of the California guys started flipping at Lake
Okeechobee, the many local guides in the tournaments that fished the lake almost
every day, didn't make the top forty. The standard techniques that were supposed
to work for that lake that had been developed over the years didn't work near as
well as some of the newer techniques that had never been used there before that
were brought in by the pros. I could go on and on and give many other examples of
this same thing on bass fishing but I won't. However, I will give an example of
saltwater fishing because I want to make sure I am getting the point across.

When I learned the hard way how the East Coast anglers slow-trolled three foot
long ribbonfish to catch huge king mackerel on the Atlantic Coast completing in SKA
tournaments, such as the Greater Jacksonville Tournament, I discovered the same
thing worked just as well in the Gulf of Mexico where such a technique and even the
bait was unheard of. The first time I tried it around the oil rigs off the Louisiana
coast, I caught several large kings including one over forty-six pounds that won a
few thousand bucks and second place. The local boat captains from the Gulf Coast
looked like they were just learning how to fish competing against the East Coast
anglers. In fact, I caught a Destin Charter Boat captain video taping me rigging a
ribbonfish to troll on downriggers with a hidden camera on his tuna tower. They
couldn't figure out how to fish these strange fish even when they knew what we
(except for me, mostly the North Carolina guys) were using. The traditional method
of trolling for king mackerel that had been used for years and years on the Gulf
Coast was worthless competing against those of us that knew how to slow troll
ribbonfish on downriggers. In fact, at that time in the late 1990s, the Gulf Coast
boats didn't even have or use downriggers.

Again, I could give example after example of both fresh and saltwater fishing
situations, where the standard local ways of fishing didn't turn out to be so great
when they  was used in competition against methods used by anglers that had
never fished the local waters before. Knowing well that the same thing would be true
of local trout fishing methods and techniques, I didn't have to learn everything the
hard way. I paid little attention to local advice where ever I fished. I always listen to
the locals and I always consider everything they say, but I am always confident
enough to do my own thing. I leaned years ago that trying to copy others want get
you very far.
A copy of anything is never better than the original.

Starting tomorrow, I will give some more examples of our "learning process" fly
fishing for trout. If you will look at the
"Your Streams Section" of our Perfect Fly
website that is under construction, you will see that we have already posted pictures
and written some articles on well over a hundred trout streams across the nation
that we have fished.  As you can see, I still have that many or more that we have
fished to post and write about. I also have some listed that we haven't fished, but
not many.

Copyright 2009 James Marsh