Warm Weather and Terrestrial Fishing…..
Sat….June 4,2011………Looks like we have two seasons now in Carolina…..Winter and Summer. Its like we stepped from one to the other, and we are now almost full swing into the summer gig. What does summer mean? Usually warm temps, good fishing with normal stuff early and late, and filling in the middle of the day with attractor patterns and terrestrials….and that is where we are right now.
June also marks the transition from one sulphur hatch to another…the smaller sulphurs early in the day or late in the day and these flies are a creamier whitish color with a hint of pale orange and are much smaller than what we are usually calling a sulphur in April and May…these are a size 18 and sometimes even close to a #20. They are a favorite of trout on all waters practically, and while small stream fish will eat the duns/subadults often tailwater trout (South Holston, Watauga, Jackson, Clinch, Smith Rivers) will key almost exclusively on the emergers. It is this characteristic that often spells difficulty for the unsuspecting angler. Patterns and sizes that worked for weeks now float unmolested through boiling rises. Heads, backs, tails of trout showing but no takes…….that’s because they are eating emergers. The classic way to tell is if you are seeing the fish break the surface but leaving no bubble….that is definitely an emerger rise. They eat the nymphs as they reach the film, the nymphs/emergers struggling in the surface film……trout gorge themselves and often the duns float overhead uneaten…..a mystery to all except those aware of what is taking place. Folks who have fished sulphurs before and encounter situations like this will eventually realize the why of what is taking place. The fish behave this way often because the duns are quick to get off the water so the emergers offer a more profitable option. The emergers represent the easiest morsel available in the greatest quantity. And more often than not really selective, mature, wild fish will lock on those and ignore all else because they instinctively can cause the energy ‘balance sheet’ to always end up in the black.
The other feature this month is terrestrials. I have had two really good trips this week where we smoked them on beetles and inchworms. We fished water I have fished for years (my fishing log tells me sometime around the end of May and first part of June fish will start taking them here……it was right) and we caught numbers of fish that joyfully and enthusiastically sipped a beetle…and some more discerning fish that were under the surface and would not rise…we coaxed them to take a green weenie (inchworm pattern). Today’s photo is of a beetle…..maybe my favorite dry fly and favorite way of catching large fish on the surface.
Stay cool, get some of them ‘yellar and orange’ flies in size 18 and some beetles, ants , or inchworms, for great fishing with them is before us. And have a great weekend as well….!