What does everyone think? I know that when I fish they respond to different baits AND tactics at different times, but often once (or if) I discover what the magic combo is, I can't really tell how it's related to a particular hatch that's going on. For example, I may see march browns coming off with fish rising, but it's a small, light-colored emerger they finally start biting on. Some days they hit zebra midges, some they don't. I do know that I tie light colored nymphs that I call "Hare's Ear" just because of the shading, and dark ones I call "Pheasant Tail" for the same reason, but I use whatever material I pull out of my box that looks about right. I mainly try to have some light ones and some dark ones in different sizes.
I've had good luck with Pat's Rubber legs tied with a floppy leg material that's popular now. So, I said, let me tie some up with a tapered abdomen that will look more like a stonefly nymph. Nope. Don't work as well. It's all so much still a mystery to me.
Post by darrelln09 on Jul 20, 2019 10:21:09 GMT -6
When fishing dry flies with bugs coming off the water, I think it is very important to match the hatch - color, profile, and also size if possible. I have even proven this to myself once at a time when I was having a lot of action on a BWO #18 by switching to a Hendrickson #16. The result - a complete shutdown. Nothing. And then back to the BWO where they were all over it again. This was on the Lower Illinois though, so kind of like the minor leagues.
Agree with all of the above. Sometimes it matters sometimes it doesn't... too many variables... stocker fish, wild fish, conditioned fish, how often they've seen patterns... river conditions, visibility, etc...
I've seen fish ignore attractor patterns, some of my confidence patterns and other patterns I thought would have worked (typical food sources). They were keyed into orange scuds and worm patterns and ignored most everything else. A BWO or Trico hatch on the S Platte you generally need to be close in size, shape, profile... then color. Your fly might get ignored if it's too big...
Presentation and drift is probably even more important, most of the time......
I think I've found specific patterns to be more important when fishing dries, too. Thing is, I can't always figure out why they prefer one fly to the other. For example, one time in Zone II there was an ant-fall. They were all over these spent ants. So hey! I tied on an ant pattern that looked real close, to me. They wouldn't touch it. After a little while, in frustration, I started experimenting with other patterns. I finally discovered it was a parachute Adams they wanted. Go figure!
What percentage of the time would you say you are fishing during a “hatch” and how do we define a hatch?
I guess what I’m driving at is, unless there is so much of a particular food source in the river that trout are keying in on one particular food source, then they are opportunistic feeders and as long as you can get something in front of their face that looks like food without spooking them, they are usually going to eat.
Post by golferjeff on Jul 24, 2019 15:18:29 GMT -6
I consider it a hatch when you can see bugs floating to or on the surface and then flying away. Not just one or two, but dozens or hundreds. We had a midge hatch on the San Juan friday that numbered in the millions, easily. The water even turned brown there were so many midges trapped in the foam lines.
I say we fish during a hatch about 20% of the time. On the Costilla earlier this month, it may have been 80%. That place was a bug factory.
I see Dain's point. I actually encounter a "hatch" about once every 3-4 trips to the LMF or any other river. I would define a hatch for my purposes as any time there are enough of a given type of bug coming off that the fish appear to be primarily feeding off of them. And for the purposes of this thread I guess I was using the term "hatch" to mean whenever the fish were going after one bait in particular. It remains a mystery to me why one day they'll go after a zebra midge, say, but not the caddis larva I threw for 10 minutes just before that. The other time they were all over that caddis larva. So that I'm still, whenever I fish, basically just trying different stuff till I find something that works.
Hey Jeff, what did you think of the San Juan. Whenever I go to Durango it's late November. The "Juan" is about all I've got. There are tons of fish, but man, it's tough!
Post by golferjeff on Jul 25, 2019 10:46:28 GMT -6
The San Juan was a midge-fest. Larry and I caught about 150 between us. Crazy stuff. We stood at the head of Texas Hole and just killed 'em all day. I hope to post a story and pics later. 149 rainbows and 1 little brown. I know it isn't usually that easy.... but man, was that fun.
Post by lipripper1983 on Aug 4, 2019 0:15:18 GMT -6
I think it's more important with dry flies than it is with nymphs. It seems to me fish are alot pickier of dry flies than they are subsurface flies. This tells me that matching the hatch is important for dry fly fishing. In which case the only features important are color, shape and size of the fly. Suggestive patterns that can imitate many different things are good to have.