Insects and other foods the trout may be eating:
1. Blue-winged Olives
2. Little Sister Caddisflies (Abrams Creek)
3. Little Yellow Stoneflies - Summer Stones
4. Slate Drakes
5. Cream Cahills
6. Little Green Stoneflies
13. Sculpin, baitfish and small crayfish (Imitate with streamers)
Advice on Fishing Techniques, Strategies and Methods - Part 9
Continued from part 8
The brook trout are also quite different from the rainbows in respect to where they
will feed in the typical small mountain streams. Basically, where there are both small
rainbows and brook trout existing in the headwater streams, the rainbows will feed in
the fast water and the brook trout will feed from a point starting at the end of the
fast water, or where it first begins to slow down to a moderate speed, all the way
down to the slow water.
Depending on the water level and how much recent rain there has been, these little
streams have anything from plunges, or miniature waterfalls, down to slow riffles.
This faster water always lead into a small run or a pool. Of course all of this varies
as much as cloud formations vary in the sky, but the point I want to make is that you
usually have a sequence of a fast water section that leads into a slow water section.
This situation repeats itself over and over as the water falls off the steeper declines
of the higher elevation. It seems as if the rainbows need the added dissolved
oxygen of the fast water plunges more than the brook trout, or maybe it's just that
they are prone to hide and feed in the fast water. Whatever the reason, you most
always pick up the rainbow strikes in the fast water and the brook trout beyond that
point. You can even pick up a brook trout around the edges of the little pools in
moderate to slow water. It's rare a little rainbow will eat your fly in almost still water.
We never both fish at the same time. One of us is taking pictures or running the
video camera while the other one fishes. Most anglers I have fished with, and this
also includes myself, tend to catch one brook trout from one of these small plunge
pool areas and then move on to the next one. You usually have to climb upstream
staying inside the stream due to the thick bushes along the banks. This hit and run
approach works but it takes a lot of effort climbing and moving between cast.
If you read yesterdays article, and I hope you did so this makes more sense to you,
you noticed I wrote about Angie's different way of fishing these streams. She will
hang around the same pool for two or three times as long as I normally do. First,
she proceeds to hit every likely looking spot in the pool, especially along the edges.
She continues placing the fly a little farther upstream until she is fishing every
current seam in the fast water. All the time, keep in mind, she is fishing slow enough
to put anyone to sleep. I'm always asking her to move on along but she doesn't pay
me any attention. Just about the time I am falling asleep, she catches another brook
trout. It depends on the water, of course, but she almost always catches more than
one from even the smaller plunge pools and sometimes as many as three or four
from the large ones. It seems like it's forever between her catches but it really isn't.
It doesn't take near as long as it takes to climb upstream, reposition and make some
more hit and run cast. It just seems that way. In fact, when we measure the fish she
catches in a given amount of time, compared to my catches, she usually doubles
I think the brook trout are far more forgiving than the rainbows and certainly far
more forgiving than the brown trout. If you give the area just a little time to settle
down, without moving around and spooking the trout even more after catching one,
they will continue to respond and continue to get caught. It's almost as if they have
a very short memory, although I doubt that's stated technically correct. Maybe they
just stay hungry. Whatever the reason, more than one can be caught from the
same relatively small plunge pool. Sounds like I am getting to like the description of
the streams as "plunge pools" but what I mean is the fast water, pool, fast water
pool, etc., configuration of the streams.
It always amazes me as to just how many brook trout she can catch out of one little
area of water. It obviously points out the fact that I tend to fish to fast. I think you call
it a "lack of patience" or maybe it's due to many years of fishing saltwater
tournaments. It doesn't matter if we are fishing the Madison River or a tiny brook
trout stream, I have a tendency to fish to fast. That causes mistakes to be made
including poor presentations, which means spooked trout and other bad things that
shouldn't occur. I have worked on this during the past few years and I notice it really
helps to just simply slow down. If you don't stop and study the water every once in a
while, you are probably doing something less effectively than you could do it. For
one thing, every movement you makes probably spooks something nearby, even if
its a minnow or a nymph. Movement is the number one thing that catches a fish's
attention. While many things they see at a distance are blurred, if a blur suddenly
moves, it sends an alarm warning to any fish. If you spook one little brook trout at
the end of a pool and it shoots upstream, if probably alerts other brook trout that
they should be cautious. However you want to put it, movement spooks trout and
the slower you can fish an area, and the less attention you can draw, the better
your odds of fooling the fish are.
Now this one point isn't all there is to it. It isn't the only reason Angie catches lots of
brook trout fishing the small streams. She does lots of other things right and even
more of them have to do with patience. She doesn't make a cast at all until she is
positioned just right. She very rarely hangs the bushes and her fly very rarely lands
anywhere but exactly where she wants it to land and even how she wants it to land.