Insects and other foods the trout may be eating:
1. Blue-winged Olives
2. Great Brown Autumn Sedge
3. Slate Drakes
4. Little Yellow Quills
5. Needle Stoneflies
6. Crane Flies
8. Streamers - matching sculpin, baitfish and small crayfish
Fly Fishing for Trout - Instructional Videos (DVD) - Part 10
Continued from yesterday
Yesterday, we linked how our nymph fly tying program (our eleventh DVD release)
related to the insects we were finding in the streams across the nation. I confined
the content to aquatic insects trout eat subsurface. Today, I will get to our twelfth
DVD release - "Tying Perfect Mayfly Duns, Emergers and Spinners". The program
on tying Perfect Mayfly Nymphs, combined with the Dun, Emergers and Spinners
program, enables anyone to tie semi-realistic imitations of any stage of life of any of
the important species of mayflies that trout feed on. These flies not only look and
act like the real things, they are very effective in catching trout. Both programs
come with a CD that provides the recipes for each species, or groups of similar
species, of mayflies found in trout streams. By varying the size and color of the
materials according to our recipes (on the included CD) you will be able to tie flies
for over 120 different species of mayflies consisting of highly effective, specific
imitations of the duns, spinners and emerging duns of each species or group of
As mentioned yesterday, most anglers and commercial fly companies appear far
more concerned about dry flies than nymphs or larvae imitations. That's really a
result of anglers, including us, preferring the dry fly to anything fished below the
surface. That is why most trout flies are dry flies.
When we were studying, capturing and photographing the adults (fully developed
stages of the aquatic insects) we ran into the same problems we were having with
the nymphs and larvae we were finding. We realized we were going to be forced to
show flies in our "Imitating Aquatic Insects - Mayfly Emergers, Duns and Spinners"
DVD that were not very imitative of the either the appearance or the behavior of the
mayflies found in trout streams.
The Catskill style flies, and other original dry fly imitations of mayflies tied by
anglers in the early years of trout fishing in the United States, had the features most
anglers wanted in a dry fly but some of these features adversely affected the flies
effectiveness. The heavily hackled flies will float in rough, fast moving water high
and dry. They are somewhat effective in imitating those few mayflies that hatch in
the fast moving water of the runs and riffles. However, that's only because the trout
have little opportunity to examine them closely. When they do, they reject them. The
other bigger problem is most mayflies don't hatch in that type of water.
When a trout sees a dry fly on the surface drifting downstream in its direction, it first
sees only those parts of the fly that protrude below the surface of the water. It
cannot see the parts of the fly that are above the surface of the water until the fly
gets within its "window of vision". For example, if the trout is two feet deep, it doesn't
see the parts of the fly above the water until the fly is 2 ft., 3 inches from it. If the
water is moving fast, the trout only gets a quick glimpse. If it is moving slow, it can
see the fly well, better than a human at that distance.
I have written about the "window of vision" several times, and it you do not understand that, you
cannot possibly understand what a trout sees and doesn't see. It affects how trout react to flies
on the surface and how they see everything they see that's outside of the water.
All mayflies have six legs, three on each side, that are spread out under the
abdomen section of their body. They do not come out of the abdomen in one place.
They are equally spread out on each side of the mayfly emerging dun, dun and
spinner. Any fly tied using vertically wound hackle to imitate its legs cannot possibly
match the real legs of a mayfly. Flies that employ horizontally wound hackle appear
far more realistic because the hackle is spread out. Parachute style flies have
horizontally wound hackle. That's one thing that makes them effective. Some say
they are designed only for smooth water but if tied properly and floatant is applied
properly, they will float on the surface of rough water just as well as the real
mayflies. When the fly reaches the trout's "window of vision", the ones with the
horizontally wound hackle appear far more imitative of the real mayflies. That's the
main reason why all "Perfect Fly Duns" have horizontally tied hackle. In that respect,
the main difference in our flies and most other mayfly dun imitations is that we use
split feathers to imitate the wings instead of a parachute post. The first thing a trout
sees when the fly enters its window of vision is the wings. Split feather wings,
slanted back like the real ones, are far more difficult to tie on the fly than a post.
The hackle is more difficult to wind around two small split feathers than a post.
The same thing applies to the tail of the mayfly. Mayflies don't have sixty tails. They
have either two or three. It is far more difficult to tie in two or three individual split
tails on a dun or spinner imitation than it is a clump of hair. I can go on and on
about how and why we developed our fly patterns to match the real insects but all of
that, as well as how to do it, is explained in the fly tying DVD.
Although we didn't produce our "Imitating Aquatic Insects - Mayflies DVD"
immediately following the two mayfly tying programs, those three programs viewed
simultaneously, cover all the many aspects of it.
Copyright 2009 James Marsh