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 8
Continued from part 7
The first time I remember noticing brook trout key in on one insect was late one day
after we had discovered a lot of mayfly spinners dipping down to touch the water.
We were on our way back down the stream to a point we could climb out on the
bank. We had stopped fishing. I stopped and video taped the large number of
spinners. We had noticed earlier that lots of duns were in the bushes and on the
banks around the middle of the afternoon. After I had a few minutes of video
recorded, I picked up the rod and tied on the closest thing I could find to the
spinners. I am not sure of the fly, but it was a spent wing spinner with clear wings of
some type. It was getting late although the low light level caused by the thick
rhododendron bushes and trees made it appear much later than it actually was.
The first cast produced a take the second the fly hit the water and I landed a
average size brookie. Angie took the rod away from me, saying it was her time to
fish and she proceeded to catch ten nice brook trout within just a few minutes. I
know the number because I video tapped the action and it is logged in our tape log
records. Four came from one small pool. All of them came within a stretch of less
than forty yards of the stream. They would smack the spinners even in the slow
water of the pools. We realized afterwards, we caught as many brook trout as we
caught in a couple of hours at one slow stretch during the day. All ten of the trout
caught on spinners were taken in less than forty-five minutes of fishing and not very
many cast. The brook trout were definitely looking for the spinners and were
sometimes coming from several feet away to get the fly.
For the next few days, we visited the same stream and found the same conditions.
When we started fishing at the time we spotted the first dun, which was sometimes
in the middle of the afternoon, we started catching trout fast. There were a few
rainbow trout mixed in but most all of them were brook trout. Reviewing this rough
footage shows we were again able to catch several trout in less than an hour on a
what appears to be a Light Cahill dun pattern that we were using. That is the closest
thing we could find to match what we identified later in the year as Little Yellow Quill
For the five days in a row we fished the same stream, we were able to catch as
many trout during a time span of about an hour when the hatch was taking place
and about thirty minutes late in the day when the spinners were falling as we could
catch all day long otherwise. We realized we were on to something and that when a
large number of insects were present on the water, the brook trout eagerly
responded. We have fished the same hatch at many other places in the park in
years since with the same results.
We now have a specific Perfect Fly pattern that matches the nymphs, emergers,
duns and spinners of the Little Yellow Quills much better than the flies we first used.
They work even better. You can catch trout all morning long on the Little Yellow
Quill nymph imitations during the time span the hatch is occurring.
We discovered several other mayflies and stoneflies that the brook trout respond
too similarly. I will get into those tomorrow but for now I want to emphasize this point.
Although it's obvious that you can fish just about any dry fly or nymph for
the brook trout and catch them fairly well, it's also obvious that when
something is hatching or about to hatch, and you use a good specific,
imitation of it, the numbers of fish caught in a given length of time sky
rockets. You can catch three to five times the number you can catch using just any
attractor fly, including the Parachute Adams we mostly used for the two years prior
to that discovery.
Unlike the rainbow and brown trout, the brook trout will often come back to a fly they
miss or refuse. I[m sure many of you have seen that happen. They are not very
selective at all. They are highly opportunistic and will take just about any small fly at
times. They remind me of bream in that respect. The question becomes, just how
regular and will other flies work better. Whereas you may use a Parachute Adams
and catch four or five brook trout an hour and sometimes more, you can catch that
many in just a few minutes using specific imitations of something hatching or about
to hatch. When I say about to hatch, I am referring to the clinger nymphs that come
out from under the rocks and become exposed on the bottom as much as a week
prior to the hatch actually occurring.
I video taped Angie catching five brook trout out of one good sized pool on five
consecutive cast a couple of years ago. Part of the reason was she was fishing a
Needle Stonefly hatch and the other reason is her patience. She drives me nuts,
stopping and dressing her fly up each time. Drying off the fly, then applying liquid
dressing, and then the dry powder she calls make up, and by the time she cast, I
have gone to sleep. She's like watching paint dry but it obviously works far better
than my bad habit of moving on at a rapid pace.
I'll also get into what I learned about that from her. Although she appears to be
fishing slow, the numbers of fish she catches at that snail pace rate, usually double
my brook trout catch. I made her mad enough complaining about it one day, she
made a point to prove it to me.