Insects and other foods the trout may be eating:
1. Blue-winged Olives
2 . Sculpin, baitfish and small crayfish (Imitate with streamers)
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Matching the Hatch
Continuing with Email questions from Sir Hugo Boots I am skipping question #2 and
going to Question #3 because it is more consistent with the subject of yesterday's
article than question #2 that I will answer last.
You have expanded “Match the Hatch” to “Match the Natural”. And Match a
Natural's ACTION. This makes PERFECT LOGICAL SENSE!!
In Czech Style fishing, as done by the US World Fly fishing Championship team
following the Father/Inventor of the Czech method “Valdi” the nymphs are actually
ACCELERATED in presentation.
Accelerated meaning they are moved faster than the speed of the water current
when fished. This accelerated presentation does not FOLLOW the MATCH the
NATURALS ACTION YET CATCHES the “MOST” fish………
Any idea why the US team doesn’t match the naturals dead drift action when Czech
Sir Boots is one of the few anglers that I have noticed picked up on the difference in
"matching the hatch" and matching the aquatic insects or trout food in general. I
notice that almost everyone in writing me or that talks to me mentions that I'm a strict
believer in matching the hatch. While that statement has a lot of truth to it, it's only a
small part of the overall concept that I believe with regards to the subject of
matching the trout food. I'll explain what I mean by that.
When the book "match the hatch" came out several years ago, it changed many
anglers thinking about fly selection and made a huge impact on the way anglers
fish. It was extremely popular and rightly so; however, it only addressed part of the
overall procedure anglers should use when trying to fool trout with flies. It only dealt
with the hatch, which represents only a small part of the life of aquatic insects. To
begin with, flies aren't only imitations of aquatic insects, they are also imitations of
other trout food such as terrestrial insects, for example. When terrestrial insects
hatch, they don't hatch in the water, so matching the hatch isn't applicable to
terrestrials. Matching the insects that get into the water after the hatch is. It's also a
fact that when many aquatic insects hatch, they don't do so in the water - all of the
stoneflies, for example. But to get even more to the point, what about crustaceans.
Aren't they important trout food? Of course they are and they don't hatch at all.
Neither does minnows, baitfish, sculpin, and many other forms of trout food. Finally,
and getting straight to the most important point I want to make, is what does
"matching the hatch" have to do with imitating nymphs and larvae? They probably
represents about 90 percent of all trout food? They should be matched for the
entire time they live in the water before they hatch, which just happens to be about
99 percent of their lifetime.
I'm certainly not trying to reduce the importance of the fine book "Matching The
Hatch" or the importance of the hatch by any means. I'm just saying there could be
a much more valuable book written entitled "Match the Naturals", or "Matching Trout
Food", or even "Matching the Larval Form of Aquatic Insects". Matching the Hatch
only deals with a very small part of the life of some aquatic insects and only a very
small percentage of what trout eat. It only deals with matching the adult stages of life
of some insects. Since most aquatic insects live at least a year and some even
longer, the adults represent only a tiny percentage of their entire life span that they
are available to trout to eat. Don't you think it's probably more appropriate to
emphasis "matching the insects" rather than just the hatch?
Here's another important point to consider. When anglers think of matching the
hatch, they think in terms of dry flies that closely match the looks and behavior of
those adults that are only on the water for a very short time, usually just a few
seconds. When it comes to fishing nymphs and larvae, most anglers forget
about "matching" anything. They just grab a "nymph", from their fly box. They
don't think about it in terms of matching any particular insect. I sometimes think
some anglers must believe trout eat hair, feathers and metal hooks. What they
should be concentrating on is matching the looks and behavior of the most available
trout food at the particular time and place they are fishing. That's where 90% of all
anglers get off course with using sensible strategies. It's plain stupid, and yes I said
stupid, to deal with the details in trying to match a particular mayfly dun, a Blue-
winged olive mayfly, just for example, when there isn't the slightest bit of attention
paid to trying to match BWO nymphs..When it comes to nymphs,anglers tend to
think just any old nymph will do, but in the case of the dun, the same anglers think
the fly should look like the real insect as much as possible. Hello! The trout can see
the nymphs of these insects far better than they can the duns. They only get a short
glimpse of the dun as it pases through their overhead window of vision and even
then, it's image is distorted at the beginning and the end of the view they get. In
comparison, the trout can see the nymph clearly from a few feet away in most cases.
Yes, Sir Hugo, anglers should not only pay attention to "matching the hatch". Far
more importantly, they should pay attention to "matching all of the naturals in all
stages of life that trout eat them". They also need to learn to "Match the Dieing".
Egg laying aquatic insects that die on the water (spinners in the case of mayflies)
are also trout food. In fact, insofar as mayflies are concerned, trout eat far more
mayfly spinners than they do the duns. So, we need to "Match the Dead".
Regarding your questions about the U. S. World Championship Fishing
Tournaments, I will have to admit that I know very little about the tournaments or
how they are fished. I have not paid much attention to them when maybe I should
have. In fact, you have just brought it to my attention that the Czech Method of
nymphing is an accelerated method. I though the flies were fished at the speed of
the current when that method was used. If not, I have not been doing it incorrectly
when I have attempted to use the method. At least I didn't make any effort to
accelerate the flies faster than the current. The only logical thing I can think of is
that when this is done, the trout may get a quick glimpse and think they are minnows
or small baitfish.
I do know this. There aren't any mayfly, stonefly, caddisfly or midge nymphs or
larvae that can accelerate very much in the water. Some swimming nymphs can
accelerate an inch or two and maybe the Slate Drake nymphs a little more but for he
most part, acceleration of nymphs doesn't exist. I don't know of any caddisfly or
midge larvae that can accelerate. Both dragon fly and damselfly nymphs can
accelerate some, but only a very short distance, and they do so in short spirts..So,
whatever it is they are supposed to be imitating, I don't think it is the larval form of
mayflies or caddisflies, and it sure isn't stonefly nymphs. To me, most Czech
nymphs appear to look more like caddisfly larvae than anything else, so this just
doesn't make much sense to me.
There's one other thing I can think of that is typical of all fish species behavior.
Often, when fish see something that appears to be escaping, they attack it. This
type of acceleration is used with flies and lures to attract many different species of
fish. It's the most effective way of catching saltwater Cobia I know of. It even works
with some streamers on trout. That's the only other thing that comes to mind.
When you say it catches the "most" fish, I might could accept that if that in the case
in the tournaments you are referring to. Again, I am not familiar with any details of
the tournaments. I will not accept it as a general statement about nymph fishing for
trout. In fact, I would totally disagree with the concept insofar as imitating most
aquatic insects.. My guess is the acceleration you are referring to isn't the reason
for anyone's success or the lack of success, just an misapplied observation made
out of context.
Copyright 2010 James Marsh
Trout rise with reckless abandon to
hatching mayflies on a warm, clear day.
Unfortunately this is the exception, not
the rule. Come fishing with Ian Rutter as
he demonstrates successful strategies
to catch trout when they just won't rise to
a dry fly. Special attention is given to
fishing nymphs with and without strike
Fishing with streamers is also covered.
The trout are wild and the conditions
aren't optimal. See how to catch fish in
these tough conditions