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
5.   Slate Drakes
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 59
In summarizing what I have written about in the last few articles, I suppose I could
say that after fishing for trout for the first two or three years, on about fifty or sixty
highly praised trout streams across the United States, we learned enough to know
that were going to have to learn a lot more. We knew we were going to have to
probably learn more than ninety-nine out of a hundred anglers that fly fished for
trout knew, if we were going to be able to catch trout consistently day in and day out.
Now I am not including those streams that are stocked. Yes, we were aware that
catching one and two year old trout that had been stocked as fingerlings and/or
large holdover trout that had been stocked for at least a year or two, could require
just as much knowledge and skill to catch as wild trout in some cases. We also were
well aware that catching stocked trout consistently required little skill or much
knowledge, although I want to point out that there is nothing wrong with that.  

After a year or two of learning the basics, we found that when conditions were good,
it was fairly easy to catch trout in all of the major streams in Great Smoky Mountains
National Park and numerous other headwater streams throughout the nation. We
learned that catching wild trout in fast moving water, pocket water was
comparatively easy when compared to catching them in smooth flowing water,
especially if the water was moving slow.

When the water levels, clarity, temperature, weather and other conditions were
good, we found that most of the time we could catch plenty of wild trout in the fast
moving pocket water of Little River, Gallatin River, Gunnison River, Madison River,
Upper Connecticut River, Arkansas River, South Platte River, Roaring Fork, Big
Wood, Rio Grande, and many other similar trout streams.

When the conditions were just as good, we found we frequently had trouble
consistently catching trout on the smooth flowing streams, including the smooth
flowing sections of streams with diverse types of water, such as the meadow
sections of the Madison River, Bechler River and Firehole River in Yellowstone
Park, Missouri River, Delaware River, Beaver Kill, Henry's Fork of the Snake River,
Yampa River, Au Sable River, and many other similar trout streams or smooth
flowing sections of them.

When conditions were near perfect, we found we that we had trouble consistently
catching trout on most all of the smooth flowing spring creeks such as Silver Creek,
Armstrong's Spring Creek, Crane Creek, North Fork of the White River, Letort
Springs, Metolius River, Big Springs, Spruce Creek, Nelson's Spring Creek and
many other spring creeks. However, we found that we could do well in the fast
flowing, riffles and run sections of some spring creeks, such as Penns Creek and
Spring Creek.

When the conditions were not very favorable, such as times when the water was
very cold, the flows were slow, the stream levels were very low, etc., we found that
we frequently had trouble consistently catching trout in any type of wild trout stream.

Many anglers, maybe even most anglers, are satisfied with just excusing or making
exceptions for their poor success during the times conditions are not very
favorable.  Many anglers avoid fishing streams with smooth flowing water, the slow
sections of streams, and the spring creeks with smooth flows. Many of them are
content to only fish fast flowing pocket water streams. Many are perfectly content to
only catch stocked trout. There are some that don't even know the difference.
There is absolutely nothing wrong with any of these cases or preferences, as long
as the angler enjoys it.

None of the above has ever been satisfactory to me, simply because defeating the
challenges is the part I obtain the most enjoyment and satisfaction from. To say that
I have been an avid fisherman all my life would be a huge understatement. I have
been able to make my living for most of my entire life from fishing and other closely
related outdoor activities. I have done it without ever guiding anyone for any form of
compensation and without ever allowing anyone to charter any of my saltwater
fishing boats. Over the years I have had thousands of opportunities to do both. I did
it by producing television shows from 1980 to 1985 and instructional videos since
1985, or in other words by fishing on camera for the last 29 years.

Excuses didn't account for one penny of it. Accepting what everyone else considers
normal was never part of it. Accepting anything that anyone (including any and all
of those considered the professionals and the experts) proclaimed to be the best
way to go about catching any species of fish served only to challenge me to either
substantiate it, or to prove there were better ways to go about it. Mediocrity has
always been completely out of the question.


Copyright 2009 James Marsh