...the purpose of this book is to link an
understanding of stillwater food sources to
fly design. Obtaining the right fly and presenting
it in the right fashion is only one facet of this
methodology. An integral part of this concept comes
from knowing when to fish one pattern over another.
Traditionally we have used the obvious visual
clues Mother Nature provides for us. The reality
is that Mother Nature tends to hide most of these
clues beneath the water's surface.
Since my initial baptism pursuing stillwater trout
I have become obsessed with understanding the relative
importance of each food item in the diet of the trout.
Whenever I go fishing I keep comprehensive notes
regarding air and water temperatures, lunar phase,
successful flies, retrieves, and wind direction. But
by far my most important observations are obtained
from stomach analysis. Through the use of a stomach
pump, the odd fish I kept and being a pest around
the cleaning stations I found out exactly what
stillwater trout were feasting upon. You should see
the looks you get when you ask another angler if you
can sift through the entrails of a fish they just
cleaned. I have been making this a regular habit for
over 10 years and the results have been startling.
I know what food sources appear regularly and when
they are most likely to appear. Knowing what and
when makes pattern selection an easier chore throughout
the season. Keep in mind my observations have been
primarily confined to British Columbia and eastern
Washington. Although each area lake differs somewhat
in terms of food sources and fish behavior, I feel
confident basing my initial strategies can be applied
to any body water with reasonable success.
From my 10-plus years of note taking I have compiled
the following diet composition charts. I have I included
a complete chart identifying the trout's feeding preferences
over the complete season. In addition, I have broken down
my data to give a snapshot of the spring, summer and fall.
I hope fly-fishers find these charts both educational and
interesting. ~ PR
The Seasonal Charts next time!
Credits: Excerpt from Fly Patterns
for Stillwaters By Philip Rowley, published
by Frank Amato Publications. We appreciate use