Insects and other food the trout may be eating:
Note: Just because an insect is listed below doesn't mean it is hatching. Trout eat the insects as
nymphs and larvae, not just duns or adults. These are the insects and other food you should be
concerned with at this particular time.
1. Blue-winged Olives (Baetis) - sparse hatches
2. Blue Quills - hatching soon
3. Quill Gordons - hatching soon
4. Little Black Caddis - hatching soon
5. Winter Stoneflies - sparse hatches
6. Midges - hatching in isolated locations
7. Streamers - matching sculpin, baitfish and small crawfish
Reviewing the Basics - Hiding From the Trout - Part 2
As I said yesterday, trout have a blind spot in their peripheral vision. It is a small
area directly behind them. When they are positioned in the moving water of the
stream facing in an upstream direction, that small blind area enables you to get
fairly close to them provided you approach them from their rear. This must be done
carefully and quietly. Approaching them from their front (the direction they are
looking) isn't as easy to do without being spotted.
Again, it is movement of objects at a distance that gets their attention quicker than
anything. Another big factor in just how well they can spot you has to do with your
contrast with the surrounding background. For example, If you are wearing a white
shirt and white hat, you are not blending in very well with the typical background of
a stream unless snow is a foot deep. You want to blend in with the background in
the same manner a deer or turkey hunter would. In fact, the best clothing you could
possible wear would be the best matching camouflage outfits you could find to
match the colors of the forest during the different seasons of the year. I am not
suggesting you should go so far as to wear a camouflage net over your head or
that you should shade your eyes. I am not even saying that camouflage clothing is
necessary even though it would solve the problem very well. Trout will not detect
your presence near as well if you blend in with the background. Subdued shades of
browns and greens usually work best. You should avoid bright, flashy colors.
Another factor in how close you can approach trout is how well you can see them. If
there is a lot of glare on the water, and there always is, you should wear polarized
glasses. There is no sense in stumbling over a trout directly in front of you. It will go
upstream and warn its entire family that a creature is coming. Seriously, when trout
suddenly shoot upstream, I believe it signals other fish that danger is approaching
or it at least makes them aware something is not normal. The least fish you can
spook, the better off you are, even if you are not trying to catch them.
It helps if you can see what is ahead period. I don't want to get into wading yet, but
when you can see everything in the water ahead of you, you can wade making the
least amount of disturbance.
Trout do not have to see you in order for them to detect your presence. They can
hear you. You can yell at your buddy and that won't bother them. If you move a
rock on the bottom of the stream, it will. If you stumble along the bank, it will disturb
them. They can hear the sound you through their lateral line. Again, I don't want to
get technical. This is not the place to discuss how fish hear in detail. Just be aware
that you should walk softly, without disturbing things on the bottom of the stream or
Lets summarize what I have said so far about hiding from the trout:
1. Keep a low profile. I don't mean crawl along the bank or even that you need to
stoop low when you are wading. Just be aware that the higher you are, the farther
away trout can see you. Don't climb up on boulders and search the water for the
trout. They are there. You are just warning them that you are there.
2. Fish in an upstream direction. Whether you are wading or moving along a
bank, progress in an upstream direction, not downstream. Cast in a general
upstream direction, not downstream. You can get closer to the trout and they won't
see you as well as if you approached them when they are facing you.
3. Dress to blend in with the surroundings. Don't wear flashy or bright colored
4. Don't disturb the bottom of the stream or the ground along the banks.
Trout can hear you. Avoid moving or kicking rocks.
5. Wear polarized sunglasses. The better you can see what is ahead in the
water, the easier it is for you to prevent spooking the trout ahead. If you loose your
footing and step off into a deep hole you will spook every trout in the creek.
More on the basics tomorrow.
Copyright 2009 James Marsh