Insects and other foods the trout may be eating:
1.   Blue-winged Olives - mostly Little BWO - Isolated hatches
2.   Mahogany Duns
3.   Midges - hatching in isolated locations
4.   Little Yellow Stoneflies - hatching
5.   Slate Drakes - hatching
6.   Cream Cahills - hatching in Isolated locations
7.   Little Yellow Quills
8.   Needle Stoneflies
9.   Beetles
10. Grasshoppers
11. Ants
12. Inch Worms
13. Crane Flies
14. Helligramite
15. Streamers - matching sculpin, baitfish and small crawfish

The Learning Process - Part 45
From the very beginning, Angie and I heard over and over, that the presentation of
the fly is more important than the fly itself. Each time someone told me that, I felt as
if I was being tutored for the first grade of fly-fishing school so I could advance on to
the second grade. I had known that the presentation of any artificial lure or fly was
more important than the lure or fly itself since I was not far past the first grade. I had
already figured out that my Heddon River Runt caught more bass when I presented
it in slightly stained water very near heavy cover like stumps and logs. I had figured
out that if I ripped it passed the cover the fish were hiding it, it would bring more
strikes than if I slowly retrieved it by the cover.  I had even figured out that if I
paused it, ripped it a foot or so, paused it, etc,, that it did better than if I just reeled
it in. I knew from the get go that real flies didn't drift upstream. I had a very good
idea that where you placed the fly was important. I had not just fell off of a turnip
green truck. I had already caught thousand of fish using man made objects with
hooks in them. I had made my living from fishing for over twenty-seven years before
I started trout fishing extensively. I had already taken large Alaskan rainbow trout,
salmon and grayling on a fly, three sailfish in a day, a mega number of bass and
bream since age ten, and many other fish on a fly. I would say "presentation" was
important in every case.

Just a few days ago, in this series of articles, I went over my analysis of how any
artificial worked to fool fish. In a sentence the lesson from it was,
"The better the
fish can see the fly, the more it "better" look and act like the real thing it is
suppose to imitate".
Real insects don't have little motors that drag them cross
ways to the current. Like any other tiny object, they drift with the flow. Of course a
trout can tell the difference in a real mayfly drifting along the surface and an
angler's imitation that looks very real but is skiing sideways to the current. After all,
trout see the real insects, baitfish and crustaceans in the water every day of their

If trout only get a split second look at your fly in fast moving water, they are much
easier fooled than they are when the fly is presented in a slow moving pool where
they can see it for as long as they care to look. I had spent many days rigging and
adjusting trolling lures designed to imitate baitfish so that they would run just
beneath the peak on the downslope of the waves like the real baitfish. Getting them
to jump in and out of the waves just right, isn't exactly easy. I had even produced
videos on just how you
"present" various types of big game fishing lures so that
they look like the real things. Every type of sea condition, wave hight and period,
wavelength, etc., demands different presentations. Every direction you approach
the seas with a boat, head-on, in the trough, following sea, etc., demands different
presentations. I have spent many hours that add up to weeks and months fine
tuning lures and teasers, adjusting them on flat lines, long lines, and outrigger lines
so that my "presentation" of the lure gave the appearance of being the real, live fish
they were suppose to imitate. I could go on and on about all the different species of
fish I have ever fished for, explaining that the presentation is important.  

There is just
one thing missing in many trout angler's explanation of
that I also had known for many years. I also knew that if I used a lure
that was designed to look like a flying fish, for example, that I could perfect the
presentation of it as much as I wanted to, and it would still not catch dolphin, wahoo,
marlin or tuna if the fish were feeding on balleyhoo. If the sailfish I were trying to
catch were feeding on schools of goggle eyes (Bigeye Scad), and I was perfecting
the presentation of my balleyhoo lure, it wouldn't make much difference how well I
presented the lure, I wouldn't be catching many sailfish. So, I knew very early in my
"learning process" fly fishing for trout, that if trout were feeding on scuds, for
example, that I could perfect the presentation of my Blue-winged Olive dun as much
as humanly possible, and my odds of catching trout would still not be very good. I
knew that if the bottom of the stream was crawling with Little Yellow Stonefly
nymphs, that I would be far better off perfecting the "presentation" of a stonefly
nymph than I would a Royal Wulf. In other words, in case anyone doesn't get it,
both the fly and the presentation of the fly is important. Duh!

I knew very well from the first day on, that tying on different flies until I found one
that worked
wasn't a strategy, it was desperation. I also knew that the mediocre
angler did just that, fly fishing, bait casting or trolling. In the words of my late father,
i knew trail and error was a "half-ass" way to go about it.

Copyright 2009 James Marsh