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  • Tuesday, July 21, 2009

    Trout Food


    It's Not Just The Flies
    juicy ants and spiders too

    .. Right now the trout in Grayling Creek, Fan Creek, Bacon Rind Creek, Duck Creek, Cougar Creek, and the Gallatin River, have it made.
    .. They have all the aquatic insects that cause fly fishers to wax poetic. They also have many juicy terrestrial snacks that are abundant.
    .. Now is when the these fish get fat. Now is when they store up energy for their sexual shenanigans of the Fall. Now is when observation of the stream bank is of paramount importance for the fly fisher.
    .. On the other hand, if you choose to limit yourself to the 3% of the fish that are rising at any one time, ignore the rest of this post.
    .. This year's wonderfully prolonged and damp Spring, coupled with the last few gentle, (but deep,) winters has produced a plethora of land and bush based critters that the trout love to see floating in the water column.
    .. Don your waders if you must. Do a little San Juan Shuffle if it suits you. Splash to your hearts content at all the "obvious" places. Or, prowl the banks looking for ant colonies that are precariously close to the water.

    .. Just down stream from Black Butte we watched nice fish in about 8" of riffled water taking giant red and black ants. There were caddis on the water. There were fishers in the middle of the stream. the fish ignored both and gulped the ants as they came by. We caught several and moved on - didn't even get our feet wet.
    .. Not far from the ants was a fairly persistent back eddy. There were nicely defined foam lines, (yes, in years like this, the organic foam sprouts - even on the Gallatin River.)
    .. We're not sure what the aquatic Lazy Susan was offering - but it was small. We tossed a big yellow Woolly Bugger, (size 8, with a red tail,) and took a fish. We tied on a small Rainy's Hopper: took another. Nuisance that it was, we put a big Two-Tone Ant back on, and took another fish. These fish were enjoying a variety of eatables. We suspect that they hadn't read the books about keying on a specific type of food - oh well.
    .. As Summer blooms late in the high country we implore you to remember that the fish love to eat. They will eat sticks. They will eat spiders. They will eat anything that their little brain tells them "could be food." Of course if you choose, stick with the caddis - they're eating them too.
    .. We also implore you to avoid the "Tire Eating Flies." They eat people too.