Close Encounters of the Trout Kind

From three years ago today, but well worth sharing again. There is some good stuff here, if I may say so myself. 😉
Also in the comments, my dear departed friend, Jack Tokach, shared an amusing story about one of our personal experiences related to this topic. Enjoy again!

Don Bastian Wet Flies

This article developed into a bit of a larger piece, based on my personal years of experience and observations, as a result of my reply to a recent post on Gink and Gasoline. The article has a really long title so I’ll just post the link. I suggest you read this post before continuing here, it will help build my case. http://www.ginkandgasoline.com/fly-fishing/fly-fishing-is-there-a-time-when-anglers-should-admit-defeat-and-move-on/

My personal experience bears out the fact that, as long as a trout keeps feeding, he is not spooked and can be caught. That is where the challenge and appeal to keep trying comes in. Because many trout under the surface of the water cannot be seen from above, most anglers do not realize that a nymphing trout or a trout feeding off the bottom anywhere in the water column will do the exact same thing to your fly that a surface feeding trout does – which we…

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2 comments on “Close Encounters of the Trout Kind

  1. Andrew Hlavac says:

    Finding feeding trout no matter where they are in the water column is always a gift above and beyond the sheer pleasure of being out fishing to begin with, with all it’s anticipations and preparations.
    If there are “no feeding trout” to our assessment, of course an assessment made based on our personal techniques, insights, and biases, well then maybe we see if we can entice a non-feeding trout into a reaction strike to a streamer or other attracter fly. All part of the therapy and what it means to each of us.

    I have fished fly stretch trout streams, particularly on the Musconetcong River in Hackettstown, years back, where there were a breed of people who did not care if the trout were feeding or not – they were going to catch them even if it meant drifting nymphs with 10 split-shot on the line and jerking the rod at the end of the drift to snag them. It may take all kinds, but where the pleasure is in that I’ll never know.

    To relate an experience regarding trout taking the same fly twice… I often fly fish a remote part of a popular NJ stream that supports wild and stocked fish. Why it is not overly popular I do not know, but there are no stocking signs and there is walking involved. The few large trout there are like ghosts. Which is why I think they are able to survive in this Jersey river. In one particular large section of this river the water is lake-like smooth and normally gin clear, with depths to 4′. The big trout here, most would swear do not exist. However depending on the hatch and conditions the big ones will come out. But this water… Like – if you look at the water the wrong way it almost sends out waves that tell these fish you are there. Anyway, these fish give you one chance only, if you can even get close enough to get a chance without spooking them. That’s it! If you miss, it’s goodbye til next time. Maybe they will be cooperative again, tomorrow. Maybe. Getting a take is success alone. Getting one of these fish to take twice is a fantasy. Perhaps these fish in a different stretch of river would “loosen up” a little, but living where they do, and the advantages that quiet water gives them, their instincts appear to be sharper than average.

    Other rivers in my area, at times you can come back and have the same fish, even wild fish you have missed, hit again if given a chance to “calm down”. I guess this is part of the mystery and unpredictability that we, as fishermen, all love to be victims of.

  2. Bob Thompson Tipp City Ohio says:

    Don do you think you will sell wet flies again. I would like to order some from you very much.

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