18 June 2009

Duffy's got some questions

Duffy googled "full moon fly fishing" and got my blog. He was floating the Gunnison River and his group camped for the night, awkened by rising trout on a black night shaded by a canyon wall ...they were going nuts on caddis .He woke up his buddy and they caught fish "till their arms were tired "(quote ) all the fish were Browns . His questions are Do trout feed more often at night during the full moon phase ? and What about caddis hatches ? Should I plan my trip around the moon phase ??? Before I answer you Duffy let it be known , I believe there is nothing black and white in the world of fly fishing ... there are to many variables ... for example, I had read in some magazine years ago about the golden stone flies hatching at night , crawling to the banks to safety ( written in California )... Where I was guiding in Banff at the time on the Upper Bow River (a Brown trout fishery ) . We worshiped the hottest sunniest days in mid summer to bring on a Golden Stone hatch, miday in the middle of a fast run , Browns smacking them as they topped a roller , it was the best! and rare on a sunny day. I assumed the variable for the Stonefly might be the water temp. ..our glacial river was never warm and always a cure for a hangover . Nothing is black and white in the fishing world and the trout know what to do and when to do it . It,s their world and we just stand above it and make our best assumption and or maybe try to replay a similar scenerio . So was it the caddis hatch or the nights light , maybe the water is cooler and perfect at night , I don,t know the Gunnison ? Tough to answer .. I have moved south, I like to fish the Crows Nest river in high run off and catch fish in the mud , it pisses off my friends who insist it can,t be done . So one evening I go down to where Todd Creek comes into the Crow. A travelling sedge hatch is in full swing and trout are cruising in slow muddy water. Only two inches of visibility,. Picking up on the caddises vibe or scent ? tracking caddis and sucking them down . The trout were right in the surface, bulging the water as they tracked down the caddis . the water was so dirty you could not see the trout , but follow the bulge you could guess their route and cast ahead and skate the fly too them . It was good fun . Beside me I noticed fish swimming up Todd creek doing the same .Todd creek comes out of cattle country and is twice as dirty ,so I should give it a try ... Trout know what to do and when and were to do it . I fished the bulges in the water and landed my fly perfectly on the biggest swelling bulge of the evening . The timing couldn't have been more perfect to hook that beavers nose as it broke the surface . My fly was gone with the bang of a tail . Not really an answer ? well there isn't one Next ... Do I think moon light has an effect on trout fishing ? definately , but not always . On browns more so than other trout definately ? but not so much on some rivers . From river to river I see different behaviors in trout . The Upper Bow river Browns were so tough during a long full moon phase ... One thing I do know for sure is sometimes they sleep in the day and they get locked into that night shift just like the sunny high pressure scenerio common with full moonphase gets locked in for a week , added torture for fishing guides . If we nymphed long and hard on those tough moon phase days, we would pull in a bewildered brown, like dragging in a wet rag . When you release the nymph from it's lip it would stay at you're feet .You have to nudge it do deeper water . It was pretty much asleep . I would fish any piece of trout holding water with a touch of shade or cutbank facing the right way looking for a trout not on night shift. Those Browns hated the sun so much I would prey for that single cloud to move and cover the sun, and when it did that clients fly had better be in the air ready to land . There would often be a immediate sip on the surface and it was over for the dry flier as the cloud passed. On my southern Alberta steams some moon phases are tough some are not ??? but I never catch sleeping trout.. we have numerous trout species and downhere and the Browns jump . I have some thoughts on that after twenty years guiding. So Duffy if you are planning your float on the Gunnison again, maybe ask yourself , how was the fishing during the daylight hours of that memorable trip ??? A QUICK RIVER REPORT A bit of rain brought up the Waterton and Castle while it barely hit the Crow , and the Oldman level continued to go down but it,s still cold water and not many hatches reported on the Oldman , while the Crow is quite buggy. .... all streams down here are open ... and the Crowsnest Cafe' and Flyshop is open 8-6 everyday untill October ... If you get a fly in your soup thats an extra $2.oo

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