Follow a Path
The part of the world I fish most is
full of small, clear, and very tight
spring creeks. To most, that means
delicate presentations of small dry
flies, and sometimes I’ll do just that.
More and more, however, I’ll tie on
a leech pattern and fish it directly
upstream using short, staccato jerks
of my line ( above) to make the leech
behave like a wounded minnow;
normally on a 2 or 3 weight. My
friends chide me that my favorite
leech pattern doesn’t look much like
a leech, that I certainly don’t fish it
like one, and that throwing streamers
on a 2 weight is preposterous. But,
the whole show works and it catches
me a lot of fish.
The lesson is that following a
path less ( or perhaps not) traveled
will sometimes get you lost. Other
times, however, it will take you to
great places, and sometimes those
places are full of nice browns and
brookies. Don’t be afraid to try new
things and techniques, or to go rogue
perfecting strange arts that your
friends will make fun of you about
over a beer at the end of the day.
— Henry Koltz, Brookfield, Wisc.
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Go Dark at Night
Fishing topwater at night?
While it may seem illogical, use
dark flies, not light ones. No
matter how deep the sky, the
fish are just seeing silhouettes,
not colors, and a black fly will
show better than a white.
— Mike Sepelak,
Taming Mega- Hatches
Everyone likes a mega- hatch, when flies come off in droves and just as
many are stuck in the surface film tempting every trout in the stream.
But, when mayfly and caddis hatches are dense, trout may be overly
skeptical of your offerings, and they might, in fact, have trouble even
finding your fly among the masses of real insects on the water. I’ve
encountered that situation many times, especially on south- central
Idaho’s Silver Creek, where clouds of Trico spinners fall to the water all
at once, and the trout sucking them up turn that normally flat- surfaced
spring creek into what appears to be a set of riffles. Expecting the creek’s
big rainbows and browns to find your size 22 Trico spinner among that
mass of real flies can be maddening. When that type of situation occurs,
be the angler who steps out of line and knots a terrestrial to the end of
your tippet. These, fish, even when keyed in on a particular hatch and
sucking bugs down one after the other, often pounce on a terrestrial.
And why wouldn’t they— they would have to eat at least a hundred Trico
spinners to equal the amount of protein they take in with just one
grasshopper. Ants and beetles offer big results in a minimal amount
of effort, too. Think about risk and reward, effort versus gain, and
you’ll quickly see why this tactic makes sense when you’re fishing these
mega- hatches, be it caddis, PMDs, Tricos , mahogany duns, or even Baetis .
— Greg Thomas, Missoula, Mont.
G D k tNi
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