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  1. #1
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    Trouts' entree preferences

    This question, I guess is for the more observant of you. Have you been able to determine if there are any or (if there are then) which insects trout "prefer" to eat? I know that sounds hilarious, but if there are multiple hatches occuring at the same time, is there a hierarchy of insects that the trout will eat first? Can I assume taste would have nothing to do with it? If yes, than would their choice be dictated by the ease in which they could catch the meal, or maybe they key on the insect that is more numerous? I understand, that they will sometimes be going for tiny insects when other larger ones are available, so I guess it is not the size of the meal alone...
    Please feel free to list some experiences you had with selective trout or interesting illustrations of their behavior in this regard.
    Thanks.

    John


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    I have heard when salmon flys hatch (not in the east) trout will not eat anything but and there are usually other hatches occuring, in Ireland i experience a small slamon fly hatch and dapped for some nice seatrout, but as soon as the hatch died it was back to nymphing for the big boys- in new zealand th mice grow in spurts between years when a mouse year is on the trout feed exscluively on mice- maybe also a rumor??-so, i dont know- around here especially on nj streams when theres more then a few hatches at once i always chose the bigger hatch or the bigger bugs, but you can never go wrong tossing a flying ant in the heat of a mixed hatch


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    T.R. you HAVE been observant. Ants, any kind of ants, and ESPECIALLY flying ants, have GOT to be a trouts favorite food. They frickin' LOVE ants. Make sure you have them in cinnamin too. willow

    Mark J. Romero
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  4. #4
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    definitely, cinnamon is the color of choice, the full on blacks are for low light when you get those cristal clear days in early summer i tough enticing one with a jet black ant, has anyone ever seen a gray ant pattern, im thinking theyd work out real well, have to get some material to tie one up


  5. #5
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    Future

    On rivers like the Delaware the wild trout will feed on the easier(vunerable) hatches on the water at that time.I have seen coulntless times where Sulphurs,Cahills,and even the drakes painted the surface, yet the fish will not feed on the larger insects time and time again,Thats one of the main reason why so many guys get there buts kicked on the D:confused The fish will eat the Pseudos(tiny olives) over the larger ones most of the time.



    Why?Because there typically more of them floating in or under the film and they cant get through or off the surface!Its all about survival for the fish.Why expend energy if they dont have to.The fish could set up in pods as they do on the D right under the film tip there heads up or porpoise for hours on end and feast away,knowing nothing is getting away.As the larger ones are floating BUT taking to the air.

    Most guys dont " look' for the not so obvious,but yet very obvious to some.Its all about vunerabilty and numbers.Many tiny mayflies get stuck in the surface and are very easy targets,and the fish know it.

    The fish will often key in on caddis pupa the same way.Even with other hatches coming off they will key in on the caddis pupa in the film as opposed to the larger or obvious mayflies that the angler see's on the surface.

    John it has nothing to do with taste!Again its what s available to them,and whats vunerable.The reason the fish whack the ants especially the august sept cinnamon/charcoal ants is because they are typically are on the surface during the day as opposed to the evening as most "summer hatches" are.So there often on the water with no competition to be eatenAlso because they get stuck on the surface and cause a commotion that drive the fish nuts.

    John thousands of days on the stream over the years and logs kept in great detail is whats put the "puzzle" together for me.

    Oh one more when the Female hendricksons are all over the surface along with Paraleps(blue quills) a size 16 blue quill will often do the trick since the smaller hedrickson males (almost identical to the blue quill) are mixed in as well and the fish key in on the smaller insects since theres more of them.

    Ah this is a good one to.This gal(Epeorus Vitreus) Female cahill will get the fish locked in big time as well.Even with the march browns and green drakes on the water.There (pinkish red bodies and often having a tough time of it getting off the surface drives the fish mad on the D.

    Of course most of this activty I HAVE OBSERVED has been on the Delaware or its branches.

    Selectivity is a subject that I COULD WRITE A BOOK on.But until mine comes out I suggest studying Caddisflies By Gary LAFONTAINE and IN THE RING OF THE RISE BY Vincent Marinaro.You will have a better understanding of why fish get keyed and very selective in ceratin cases on certain rivers.

    Also In the ring of the rise Vincent MARINARO EXPLAINS IN GREAT DETAIL as to how fish see insects,and when you undersand that aspect of it everything starts to come together

    Spend about 50-75 days a year on the D for a few years and you will get a "SCHOOLING"


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    OK, Joe, so if we go on the premise that it is about vulnerablity and numbers, then this would explain the whole ant thing that Troutrob brought up because USUALLY, a flying ant "hatch" is when hundreds of them are leaving the nest at once, with many nests having ants leaving, based probably on temperatures or something(thus, probably blown into the water in large numbers at the same time) as well as being "vulnerable" because they are not designed to lift off from the water, right?
    If the vulnerability aspect were to be so important, wouldn't it stand to reason that most successful fly patterns would be of the type that mimic flies that are not being successful in escaping their nymphal shuck? Or, maybe, the transitional stages of each species based on each's journey from the river bottom to the surface?
    If I understood your post correctly, Joe, (and correct me if I didn't ) if there are multiple hatches going on, what the fish will be keying on will be based on some melding of what is most available(numbers) AND what is the easiest species to pick off and/or has the most vulnerable stage (a weak link in the journey to the surface)?
    This brings me to ask, where/how do females laying eggs/spinner falls come into play?
    John
    and thanks for the answers by the way

    John
    Some circumstantial evidence is very strong, as when you find a trout in the milk.--Henry David Thoreau

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    TR, YES! there is a gray ant, which can be tyed using foam, or Muskrat dubbing. It works well either way. Make 'em rather large also. A size 14 isn't to big at all. Give the fish something he can see well from a distance. They'll move for these flies. I have preformed bodies in gray foam that are tipped with red, for an added sightablility for the angler. You just tye one on the shank and add some black hackle for legs. Done Deal! You wanna build up a bit of a thread damm in front of the thorax portion of the body, so as to be able to see that red tip. Good luck. mark

    Mark J. Romero
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    There are two hatches that in my experiences, trout don't like the 'taste' of the flies that come to mind. Joe mentioned one, the female Hendricksons. I was on the Beaverkill one May at Cemetary pool. The surface was absolutely littered with female Hendrickson's and there were almost no rises, maybe one every 15 minutes or so. This lasted for about 2 to 3 hrs and these flies were very vulnerable, just floating down the river, moving very little. Made me wonder if there was a huge fish kill the year before (but I knew there hadn't been!!! I have also seen the exact same thing on the D, lot's of female Hendricksons floating down the river very vulnerable and yet unmolested. Don't know the answer. (maybe they taste bad) I've also seen a similar thing with the apple-green caddis in May on the big D. Tons of then on the water moving around a little more than the Hendricksons, but for the main part, ON the water (by the thousands) and almost entirely unmolested. With nothing else on the water you would think the trout would be feasting, but not so. (maybe not a tasty fly) I've seen this on more than a couple occasions with this caddis but there were also a couple of times when I did seen a number of fish eating them, just not an 'every fish in the river eating them' situation.
    I've seen many hatches of other insects (like olives, other caddis, sulphurs, etc.) with less than one tenth the intensity of the female Hendrickson and apple-green caddis I mentioned earlier, and the fish were just up and at them, eagerily awaiting the next morsel to float within range to be taken.
    I know trout can't taste, but then again.....


    Bruce


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    Willow,
    When you say there is a grey ant, do you mean just a grey, ant fly pattern or an actual grey ant that is copied with a fly pattern?
    John

    John
    Some circumstantial evidence is very strong, as when you find a trout in the milk.--Henry David Thoreau

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    Cool

    I was on the lower West Branch this spring during an almost unbelievable mixed caddis, Hendrickson hatch. For twenty minutes, it was hard to see accross the river. There were four or five other anglers within my view. No one caught anything using caddis or Hendricksons, but in the last five minutes of the hatch, I caught two decent Rainbows on a White Zonker. Go figure.
    Bob

    There is a fine line between fly fishing, and standing in the water waving a stick.

  11. #11
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    John

    The ant thing is about vunerabilty as well as its the only thing to eat sometimes at that time of the year.I have seen them in the thousands on occasion.The color gray is actually a charcoal color and it is the coloration of one of the species in August and September.Al Cauciis spectrumized dubbing will do the trick.

    John IF you have read any of my previous posts I always profess that if you fish the stage of emergence(vunerabilty) as well as the hatch you will be much more succesful on Tailwaters like the Delaware.For most guys(90%) at least its about casting a dun of some sort and that works at times but on the D Unless you not only have the right bug,but the stage there eating than good luck.Sure some will catch a fish or two here and there and think its success and maybe it is to them,but why not catch a dozen or how about 20 fish?

    I match the stage of emergence with various emergers,floating nymphs,spinners and cripple patterns.I guess thats why I HAVE ABOUT 1200 flys with me at all times.

    Spinners>the most vunerable stage with out a dought,but remember one thing after the spring hathces spinner falls can happend between dusk and dawn which all depends on temps,weather,and humidity.Spinners are hard to nail down and predict,however when they are on the water in numbers the BIG fish will eat!Green drake spinners and various Species from Family Ephemera often fall after dark.I have had many great nights walking into a river at 9:00 p.m on a very warm day and fishing until midnight with tremendous spinner falls.

    Apple Caddis as well as other species are often not eaten when the adults are on the surface(to fast and to much energy to be expended from the fish).Use a caddis pupa fished deep since there will be thousands simply dead drifting down the river for very long distances.I have had some 20 fish days on the D using a simple pupa pattern,and not small fish all in the 13-17 inch range.Why beacuse thats the most vunerable stage for certain species of caddis.

    Hendricksons and other mayflies hatching and no luck but a white zonker did the trick>Thats Very typical on the D AND THE WEST BRANCH,since you where imitating the Alewifes(Small minnows that are imitated with white streamers or buggers) that come over the Cannonsville in the spring.

    John I SUGGEST Hatches 11 by Al CAUCCI to study not only the mayflies themselves but to get a better understanding of the emergance of each species>you will than have a much better understanding of why each species are vunerable in different ways at differnet times of emergence.

    BTW there are many patterns that imitate all of the stages.

    Or you can chuck and hope for the best as many do on the D OR HEAD TO THE BKILL where the fishin is easier.


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    FF, there is actually a gray ant species. If you want to know more about it, go to the CFFC&M next year when Andy Genarrow does his Sat. fly tying demo, from 1 to 4 p.m., call the CFFC&M for dates, 845-439-4810. He's an expert with them ants. He keeps a trailor at one of the campgrounds also. Fishes constantly and is very willing to teach, at least while he's tying, LOL. I probly mispelled his last name, LOL. He has many articles in the FF mags. about "trout flies." Just one more reason NOT to miss those Sat. afternoon tying sessions. Three hours out of a week, even BETTER invested than on the water, IMHO. mark

    Mark J. Romero
    www.fudr.org
    607-498-9944
    M&M Fly Fishing
    JazzMark Gallery
    94 Yorktown Road
    Roscoe, N.Y. 12776-5017

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