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 Little Sister Caddisflies - Mostly Abrams Creek
4. Midges - hatching in isolated locations
5. Little Yellow Stoneflies - hatching (Little Summer Stones)
6. Slate Drakes - hatching
7. Little Green Stonefly - hatching
8. Cream Cahills - hatching in Isolated locations
12. Inch Worms
13. Crane Flies
15. Streamers - matching sculpin, baitfish and small crawfish
Determining the Best Strategy
I received an email yesterday that was of particular interest to me. It made me stop
and think more from a reader's perspective than I may otherwise do The reader was
concerned about how to apply what I had been saying in the series of articles i
called the "Learning Process" to the conditions I reported yesterday for fishing the
park. The exact quote he quoted me using was "Focus on the insects that are the
most plentiful and available at the time when you are fishing and see just how much
your success increases. You may just be amazed". He wanted to know exactly how
go about doing that under the conditions I reported yesterday.
Looking at the list above, notice six of the fifteen items listed are terrestrial insects.
Eliminating the two for Abrams Creek, and streamers that imitate crustaceans and
fish, leaves only six aquatic insects to be concerned with. The question becomes,
which of the three groups or types of food (terrestrial insects, aquatic insects or
food items streamers imitate) are the most important thing to concentrate on.
Lets first consider the six aquatic insects listed. The BWO's are species of Little
Blue-winged Olives. They could be Acentrella species which are usually a hook
size 20 to 26. These are difficult to distinguish from midges. About the only way is to
notice whether on not they dance up and down like mayflies or swam like
midges..The other possibility is one species of Eastern BWOs, or Drunella species.
These are crawlers that are isolated to slow to moderate water that hatch in sparse
quantities. The bottom line to the BWOs, is that they are isolated and existing in
small quantities. The only time I would consider them a factor would be when
I noticed several larger size 16 to 18 Eastern BWOs on the stream I was
fishing or large swarms of Little BWO spinners.
Midges, and the little BWO's mentioned above, are tiny, tiny bits of food for the trout
and although they may be available in fair quantities, they are not very important
because they are tiny. When the water is cold and the trout's metabolism is low,
they will eat these insects because they are 1. About the only thing available, 2.
They have to go to little effort to eat them and 3. They need only a small amount of
food to provide the small amount of energy they need in cold water. None of the
above is the case when the water is in the sixties. The trout need lots of energy and
lots of food. I guess you could say that I list them to be technically correct. Maybe I
shouldn't. Maybe it causes more confusion than it solves. For all practical
purposes, you should ignore them at this time of the year.
The Little Green Stoneflies that are listed are important only where you
find them and that is in very few places in the park. These stonelflies, depending
on the particular one of several species, tend to prefer moderate water. You will find
them near the ends of the pools sometimes. You may easily confuse them with Little
Yellow Stoneflies and you may even call them Yellow Sallies. They are only
important where you find them. You can only see the adult female egg layers on the
water or either gender on the banks and bushes. You cannot see the nymphs in the
water or see them crawling out of the water to hatch because that happens during
the night. If you do find several adults, you should beware that fishing the nymphs
in the same type of water during the afternoons up until dark, would be a good idea.
The Little Yellow Stoneflies listed above are the Summer Stones or the
Peltoperlidae family, often called Roach Flies, not the same Little Yellow stoneflies
that you were seeing a month or two ago. With the exception of one species of Little
Yellow Stonefly from the Perlodidae family, they yellow stoneflies you may see at
this time of the year are the Summer Stones or Little Green stoneflies
(Chloroperlidae species) that are more yellow than green in color. Use the same
strategy I stated above for the Little Green Stoneflies. If you see them laying
eggs in the late afternoons just before dark, fish the egg laying event by
all means but equally as important, fish imitations of their nymphs the
following afternoon. Keep in mind the hatch could have ended and you may only
be seeing egg layers from the tail end of what already hatched.
The two aquatic insects left are the Slate Drakes and the Cream Cahills. The Slate
Drakes are swimming nymphs. They hatch off and on throughout the days and over
a long period of time including most of the summer. You are not likely to see a large
hatch anywhere at any one time. Fishing an imitation of the nymph is not a bad
idea anytime during the summer. The nymphs are large and act more like
minnows than mayflies. These insects crawl out of the water to hatch and only the
nymphs and spinners are important. It is the most important mayfly as of this time of
The other mayflies, the Cream Cahills, are clingers. They are somewhat plentiful
but not nearly as plentiful as the earlier hatches of their sisters, the Light Cahills.
You may confuse them with the Light Cahills. Look for them in the fast water runs
and riffles. They hatch in isolated areas and small quantities. Unless you see a
decent hatch taking place, you should ignore them. If you do see several duns,
then by all means fish the late afternoon hatch or early evening spinner fall
but the odds of this happening are not very good.
Now so far, I have only gone through the six aquatic insects that may hatch. I have
yet to provide a strategy for fishing at this particular time. Tomorrow, I will continue
with this and look at the terrestrials and other food items available for the trout to
eat. Finally, I will tell you what I think would be the best overall strategy to use.