Eye of the Guide


Tom Travis - July 2, 2012

Sysadmin Note
Part nine can be found here

July 1st, during sparse hatches the trout tend to move around a great deal when feeding, this feeding behavior will often frustrate the angler. With this constant moving of the trout there also arises another occurrence which many anglers misunderstand and that is the territorial fighting between the trout. Anyone who has fished on the spring creeks of Paradise Valley have seen this behavior and I have seen this behavior on many trout streams around the area and across the country.

The PMD hatch was on the sparse side and the trout were moving around a considerable amount to feed, we had move into a position where we could see four different trout that were actively feeding on nymphs that were in the upper levels of the water column. These trout were moving three to six feet to feed and then return to a holding position, just as we were preparing to cast all the exploded in a flurry of activity, darting seemingly about without purpose.

My angler looked at me in confusion and asked "Did we spook them?" I replied, "No, at the moment they are having a territorial dispute, if we stand here and wait they will settle down and resume feeding in a minute or two." They did and we were able to take two of the four trout before the others became agitated and stopped feeding.

During lunch that day we talked to several anglers who commented on how spooky the trout were during the hatch, many complained of how they had got into position and the trout spooked and then we had to move to another target, damn it was frustrating.

When I attempted to explain what was happening what should have been done, some nodded however one individual told me "Look I know spooking trout when I see them." I could only shrug and we left to resume our fishing.

Another activity that you can encounter during sparse hatches is the slow trickle of hatching insect that can continue far into the afternoon and into the early evening.

This was the case on July 1st, the sparse hatch had started around 11:30 A.M. and had sputtered to an end by 1:30 p.m. after which we stopped for lunch. We returned to the stream by 2:50 p.m. and I soon noticed the steady trickle of hatching PMD Duns. I pointed this out to my angler and as we watched I explained that we should be able to pick off several of the feeding trout with dry imitations. The tactic worked well and though the fishing wasn't fast and furious we managed to pick off another dozen of the feeding trout using PMD Para-duns and PMD Spent Dun imitations.

Soon it was 6:30 p.m. and we stopped for another break to get something to drink and to prepare for the spinner fall which I was anticipating as the evening was warm and still. The preparations included checking the leaders to make sure that no extra knots had been added and that the tippets were not frayed or too short for the task and to apply mosquitoes repellent. With all the water we have had this year those pesky little buggers were appearing in clouds and the unprotected angler would be in for an uncomfortable evening.
Over the streamside vegetation and the fields the PMD spinners began to appear and begin their delightful dance which happens prior to the spinners actually falling on the water.

We moved to a position that offered a nice riffle with a smooth flat glide below it, the time was now 7:30, when were scouting for the position we had chosen, we noticed that all the other anglers had left the creek and we had our choice of water to fish. The spinners finally came down at 7:45 p.m. and ended at 9:30 p.m. The spinner fall was full and heavy and the trout took full advantage of the bounty offered them as did the anglers.

By the time we were gearing down all were ready to call it a day as we had spent almost fifteen hours on the creek and had enjoyed excellent fishing. Sadly many anglers missed some of the best fishing as they had left the creek too early. But tomorrow was another day, full of promise.

Enjoy & Good Fishin'

Sysadmin Note
Part eleven can be found here


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