The Further Adventures of a Wildlife Enthusiast, Amateur Fly Fisherman, and Bird Lover.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Trout Tricks and the Guy who Taught 'em to me!

New things popping off as my learning of the Flies increases.  Of course, this week's lesson came from an old fisherman, on the river, seemingly happy to just be there to share the knowledge with other fishermen.  I had seen him several times before at Saxton Falls and had passing exchanges, pleasantries, what fly was hot, and the fish's depth, but had never fished with him.  When I got to the Dam, he was all the way in the corner fishing the foam.  It was a hot and humid day, so I figured the fish would be deep.  I began to fish towards the far bank where there is a deep cut.  It was working, but not. As you can see, this Smallie is foul hooked!
Wrong species, foul hooked, it wasn't looking like it was gonna be a good day for me.  I kept on flogging that trench and adding to my frustration with Sunnies, Smallies, and Chubs.  Billy, the old fisherman who everybody calls Mike, must have noticed my frustration and mercifully called me over.  He asked what I was using.  I had size 20 Copper John.
He chuckled and said "well, at least you've got the right nymph on."  He said where I went wrong was my spot choice.  On a hot humid day the Trout will not be eating aggressively.  If they're low, they're going to stay there and not expend energy.  The fish that stay in and around the foam will be more active because this is where the oxygen is most plentiful.  "Put a strike indicator on..." he said "Even though they're (Trout) more active here its still just gonna be a small suck on the Nymph."  I know what this "small suck" looks like on the surface, but haven't had too much luck timing a less aggressive take underwater. As I'm thinking this, Billy chimes in like he was hearing my thoughts; "The timing is tough, but once you learn to see it and get it down, you'll be hitting fish all day!"  He motioned me over to where he'd been catching fish and the advice he gave rang like a bell. "When that strike indicator does anything that doesn't look like it's flowing with the current, set the hook.  Its not always a fish, but when it is, you'll know it."  This, as it turns out, was the most helpful and important advice of the day!  I knuckled up, started rolling a short line into the foam and letting it get spit out into the flow.  Billy was laughing, unbeknownst to me, at at least 4 strikes that I had missed.  I mean, they weren't even strikes.  It seemed as though the indicator would just pause in the flow for a split second.  Billy said "That's your cue!" A few more attempts and then I made it happen!
Brown Trout
Brown Trout!!!  The first one on the fly this year.  I caught 8 fish that day, mostly Browns.  A few Rainbows, but it seemed like the Brookies were M.I.A. I can confidently say that without the sagely advice of my new pal Billy, I would not have caught a fish that day.  All in all, a great day on the water and the message here is: put your time in and don't be afraid to listen to an old pro on the water. You'll be surprised at what you might learn and also how that advice can improve your Fly game!!!
Rainbow Trout

1 comment:

El Rakeman said...

Good deal! I got skunked down here in SC today, but a skunk on the river is better than yard work!