" A trout is a moment of beauty known only to those who seek it" - Arnold Gingrich
I got an email this week that asked the question how big does a trout have to be to start eating other fish? I thought it was a trick question so I gave a trick answer: Any size! A 2 inch trout will gulp down a 1/4 inch fry of any species if it can catch and so will a 1 inch trout.
What I really think the writer meant to ask is when do trout begin to capture most of their calories by eating other fish? Now we have a good question. We will exclude lakes (a totally different environment) and focus on rivers. For the VAST majority of river environments and for the vast majority of trout that live in them the answer is NEVER. It is safe to say that roughly 80% of a trout's diet, regardless of it's size, is made up of insects!!
.The Millers is an insect factory and is also a bait fish factory. Simply put, there's a lot of food in that river. The largest trout that I have caught over the years there have been brown trout in the 20-21 inch range. At around 3 lbs they would represent the top 1% of the trout in size for that river. All of these trout were caught on SURFACE FLIES IN THE SIZE 16 TO 20 RANGE. In most cases I spied these fish feeding and took my damn time getting to them. One of them rose continually for an hour before I caught him. Did I think of throwing streamers at them? No! They were content to feed on aquatic insects. Trout will go after the most plentiful and easiest prey and that will be aquatic insects and terrestrial insects that fall into the water. A 6lb brown may gulp down a shiner but will never pass up a stonefly or a hellgrammite.
When should one fish streamers? The answer is anytime you want but statistically your best chance of success will be with insect imitations. And don't buy into that nonsense that the Fall is the time for streamers because trout are "putting on the feed bag" to prep for Winter. According to Tom Rosenbauer trout consume the most calories in the Spring than in the Fall. (see my post on this from 11/15/15)
THIS WEEKEND - This is the time when we begin to transition into the Summer mode. It's also the time when we usually have the time to hit the rivers.
The Millers has been HOT and evenings will be prime. Ask me for my MILLERS GUIDE if you want to know more about this river. Don't forget the Bridge Street Pool!!
The EB turned into a dry fly paradise Sunday afternoon after we played with picky fish for most of the day. The water temperature hasn't hit 60 yet and the flow is perfect.
The Ware is loaded with trout. The worst time to fish it will be at mid day under bright sun. Fish it in the mornings and in the evenings going forward.
Lenny and I will be working the MB this weekend. More on that later.
The Swift - Still fishing the ghost town known as the Pipe and still catching trout!!!
Have a Safe Holiday Weekend!