At 6:30 there was NOBODY on the lower Swift which was strange because on Tuesday there were six cars in the lot at 7am. I had been dreaming about gypsy moth flies and wanted to stake my place at Cady Lane with its placid flow and with gypsy moth flies falling into the river but with an empty river I decided to spy on the Tree Pool first. It was odd when I saw a light but steady parade of sulphur like mayfiles floating downstream but any rises were coming from the PIPE Run and not at the Tree Pool. Go to the Pipe. A sulphur nymph did the job, first with a foot long brookie and then with four bows the largest being close to 20 inches that decided to go airborne during a prolonged fight. Funny, but the Pipe has been only so-so for the people that I met in the last week but when you see mayflies sailing through the "tree" go to the fast water above because that's where the feeding fish are!
The first angler arrived, saw the aerial display of that big bow, and that sent me down to my original choice being Cady Lane. On went a Gypsy Moth. I failed the hook set on the first and then took a second which was a bow and a good one. Moths started to hit the water by 8:30 but they didn't seem too active. As Andrew (AKA Falsecast) said they need to be flopping on the water with some movement to get trout excited. These guys were still chilled by the air (52 degrees when I got there) so the action was slower. (Note to self: kill the early start during the Moth Hatch).
I then went to the "top" of Cady to fish the riffle water that only appears when the water is high as it is now. This is a good place and starts just below the Tree Pool and ends as the flow settles out a 100 yards downstream. I took two bows in that water with a PT nymph and had nobody around me. YOU SHOULD FISH THIS SPOT!!
A good Morning!!!!
Freestones in Summer - Take your advice from those who have spent decades fishing freestones in the Summer. Here's the advise: trout feed the most actively between the water temperatures of 55 and 65 degrees Fahrenheit. That doesn't mean that they stop feeding at 66 degrees BUT it means they reduce their feeding needs as the temperature goes above 65. IT'S A SELF REGULATING ENVIRONMENT!!! Go ahead and fish at 75 degrees but you may catch nothing because they have no need to feed actively. Browns have been caught while surface feeding on the Millers over the last 30 years at DUSK or after nightfall when the water temperature is about 70 degrees. Over the decades I have broken off browns on warm Summer evenings and then hooked and caught them again anywhere from 10 minutes to 2 hours later and retrieved my original fly! Listen to some without that dusk experience and you would think that the trout was going to crawl under a rock and die!!!
Low water temperature does the same thing. When water temperatures drop in Winter trout almost reduce or cease feeding depending on how cold the water is. One former blogger (he had three blogs that sank without a trace) was hellbent on telling me that trout HAD to feed more actively in the Winter to keep their energy levels up to survive the winter. That makes sense if trout were WARM BLOODED and not COLD BLOODED! I still don't think he gets it!!!
Note: Notice that the trout shown in this blog are photographed "in the net" (the net is quickly lifted out of the water for the photo) and then quickly returned to the river. Sometimes one may be hand held but only for a few seconds and only in cold weather. You will not find photos of beached trout laying on the riverside rocks for the photo opportunity!!!!!!!
If you don't use a stomach pump you are doing the trout a favor. Remember, you just caught the trout so you have a good idea what it's been feeding on. Tailwater trout feed on TINY organisms and it takes MANY of these to maintain it's weight. So why rob them of hours of feeding activity, right?????