Insects and other foods the trout may be eating:
1. Blue-winged Olives - mostly Little BWO - Isolated hatches
2. Cinnamon Caddis - Mostly Abrams Creek
3 Light Cahills - hatching
4. Midges - hatching in isolated locations
5. Little Short-horned Sedges - should hatch randomly for 2-3 months
6. Streamers - matching sculpin, baitfish and small crawfish
7. Little Yellow Stoneflies - hatching
8. Green Sedges - hatching
9. Little Sister Caddisflies - Mostly Abrams Creek
10. Eastern Pale Evening Duns - (called Sulfurs by some)
11. Sulphurs - hatching in isolated areas
12. Golden Stonefly - hatching
13. Little Green Stonefly - hatching
14. Slate Drakes - hatching
Fishing the Current Conditions - Part 2
Yesterday's article started with "I don't want to cause more confusion than I solve".
So, I tried to make a few basic, simple statements about the hatches and fishing at
this time of the season. From the email and questions I received, It appears it just
opened up a big can of worms for some of you.
Part of it has to do with the misunderstanding of duns and spinners. Some guys
don't know the difference. I always tell the story of a guide I was taking to one day
that stopped me and said "James I really don't know what a spinner is - I have heard
of them". Well, for those of you that don't really know, if you will be kind enough to
overlook a few exceptions, it is like this:
When a mayfly hatches out from a nymph, it is called a dun by anglers. Within
hours, or a day or two depending on the species, both sexes, males and females,
become sexually mature. The skin on their entire body comes off. The new mayfly
(males and females) are skinny, longer, have longer tails, longer legs, almost clear
wings, etc. They become sexually mature. They become what anglers call spinners
These spinners mate in the air; the males drop dead like a lot of old men having sex
- instantly; and the females go back to the trees for a short period of time. Their
eggs mature and they return to drop them in the stream to start the life cycle all
When the duns hatch and leave the water, that is the trout's only chance to eat
them. The trout either get them before they leave the water or they don't get them
as duns at all. They will never return to the water as duns.
When the males drop dead, they may or may not fall in the water depending on
where they mate with the females. When the females go back to deposit their eggs,
they usually fall in the water (or dive to the bottom) and end up spent on the
surface. In the early season, this may happen in the early afternoon. Later, when it
is warmer and the sun is positioned directly overhead, it may occur near dark or
even after dark. That is the situation now. Fishing the hatch and fishing the
spinner fall are two entirely different things.
The next subject I was ask about is another simply thing I hear over and over. No,
you do not necessarily need to fish the shaded areas of the stream. It
depends on what your are fishing for. Rainbow trout don't hide in the shade.
They usually do just the opposite. They stay out in the bright sun in the runs and
riffles feeding, rising to the surface when they want to eat something on the surface,
right out in the middle of the non-shaded part of the stream. Often, the smaller
brown trout do the same thing. The larger brown trout are a completely different. At
some point in their life, they stop eating the small aquatic insects in the fast water.
They start eating larger items of food like minnows, sculpin, small crawfish, etc.
Brown trout are nocturnal. They feed in low light situations and at night.
Again, if you pardon the exceptions and over simplification - If you are fishing for
larger brown trout, fish the shady spots, undercut banks, etc. If you are fishing for
the rainbow trout (or brook trout), ignore the sunlight and fish the runs, riffles or
where ever you think the fish are feeding or holding without worrying about the sun.
The reason the trout are feeding heavily near dark now isn't because they will
not feed in the sunny areas of the stream. It is because thats when the mayflies,
stoneflies and caddisflies are depositing their eggs, and in some cases (stoneflies
and caddis), crawling out of the water and/or hatching. Mayflies, stoneflies and
caddisflies do not like bright light. That is why they hatch longer and heavier on
cloudy days. That is why the hatch times change with the seasons from up in the
day until later in the day. That is why stoneflies hatch at night. It isn't so much the
rainbow and small brown trout that favor the low light. It is the aquatic insects.
I will do a "fishing for larger brown trout" article later. Fishing for them doesn't relate
much to fishing for the rainbows. My oversimplifications of it is to fish very late and
early or low light conditions. You would be better off to act as if you were bass
fishing for the larger browns. Fish the shaded, heavy cover, under the crevices of
the boulders, etc.
Now I am certain I have opened several more cans of worms.
Copyright James Marsh 2009