View Full Version : Got them delayed harvest blues
02-15-01, 04:03 PM
I need some help. I started out doing real well on the hooch DH (about 15 in 45 minutes one morning), but I have been skunked more times than I care to count over the last month or so, and I think something must have gone wrong with me. In the beginning there was the black wooly bugger. The trout liked the wooly bugger, and it was good. But now I think the trout have gotten smart to my buggers, and now I swear I can hear them laughing at it when it swings by them. I've tied up every variety of fly trying to redeem myself but nothing is working for me now. I caught a nice little rainbow this morning on a brassie, but I think it was because the trout felt sorry for me. Aside from that, I've been shut out for over a month, and I fish at least three times a week at Whitewater. So here's my question. Could you fine people please make me some recommendations? I read posts all the time about folks catching 20 or 30 in a day, and I want to know how. I'm not interested in big fish (well, that's a lie), I just want to catch more than one trout per month. I know there's no magic bullet to it, but there's got to be something I can do. I'm thinking of changing my username to "TheSkunk".
A defeated flyfisherman,
Hang tough, Josh!
I've found the fishing to be "different" since Christmas. Not sure if it is because the fish have been in river longer or just because we are dealing with the wonders of nature (even with recently stocked fish). Some suggestions- vary presentation. I've found days where only dead drift worked, days when only swinging worked and days where stripping worked best. Also found it best to use a two fly rig- WB (black or olive) and a nymph about 18" as dropper. Try varying nymph patterns and sizes. Some days size 20 nymphs are what they take, other days only the WB. Also vary depth and places you fish. Before Christmas I found a lot of fish in the shoals but since Christmas, I've found more at the heads and tails of pools. Add more weight or take some off. Keep experimenting and keep a positive attitude- take advantage of slow days to try new techniques, patterns, places on river, to work on your casting, try a longer, thiner leader, etc. Hang with it and don't let other's successes frustrate you.
02-15-01, 05:21 PM
Big Josh....don't change your handle yet!
The trout have changed! They're learning what a drag-free drift is. They're learning about insects. Gaudy flashy flies (like the WB) are becoming less effective.
I caught a dozen in about 3 hours last weeks. I'd call that a slow day by DH standards. This is what I found:
1. The water is colder now than in December. 49 degrees to be exact. Hence the fish's metabolism slows down. They are not gonna expend a lot of energy to chase a wooly booger. So fish slow as in dead drift. Like Caddis said, try a WB with a dropper. That was effective for me also.
2. The insects at this time of year are small. Size 18 and 20 should do it whether we're talking nymphs (brassies), or dries (BWOs, Parachute Adams, etc).
3. Fish the slack water. The fish tend to be in the water that has the least current. Remember that cover and structure has to be nearby. Fish behind the big rocks where the water has little current.
Call them the three (3) S's: Small, Slow, and Slack.
Disclaimer.....there are always exceptions. But for the most part, this works for me at this time of year. Your mileage may vary.
[This message has been edited by Drifter (edited 02-15-2001).]
02-15-01, 05:27 PM
Tried a heavy, realistic looking streamer?.....with some flash....that might work if the small stuff doesn't......I say might.....never been there.....I like mountain bacteria. :0 hahaha
Sounds like you have concentrated your efforts under the water. Try fishing a dry fly. I have had 90% of my luck at Whitewater on the surface. There are still tons of uneducated fish in the DH section, just change your approach.
I just work to support my fishin' addiction.
02-15-01, 06:45 PM
The fish have changed since before Christmas, but I have had a couple of 20+ days lately on wooly buggers. Like they said above, try the slower water and less flash. Also, in the slower water you don't need as much weight or bead heads. I have had great luch with a #10 olive bugger. I've also been using 6x fluro tippet on that bugger. It makes for funny casting, but the fish like it.
02-16-01, 09:35 AM
I should defer to Drifter's suggestions, but my .02 as well. Certain days, trout may key on small stuff. But if the water gets cold and their metabolism slows down, a big bug like a WB may be just the trick. Why expend as much energy chasing 20 small bugs as you get from eating them? But give them a mouthful, fished slowly, then it's worth the effort. Used this logic to get two nice browns on the Davidson a few weeks back, after they refused everything small. I'd say, and given others are still having WB success, maybe the fish have spread out or moved, and you're not fishing the productive water. This advice and $1 will get you a cup of coffee at the Waffle House.
02-16-01, 12:33 PM
I saw a fish with a flytying vise strapped to his back - you think they're on to us?
"The fish you release is your gift to another angler, and remember - it may have been someone's similar gift to you." Lee Wulff
02-16-01, 01:29 PM
Well, I went to Whitewater again this morning for about 45 minutes and got skunked again, big deal. I guess the whole point is to catch fish, but it's still pretty nice being out on the river early in the morning with the fog still hanging in the treetops. Just to set everyones minds at ease, I'm not disheartened, just a little disappointed with my recent efforts. I appreciate everyones advice, and I hope some more continues to roll in over the next few days. I sat down last night and tied up a whole mess of different midge emergers and griffith's gnats and am looking forward to trying them all out. If anyone's ever out in the early morning (7:30-9:45) at Whitewater and you see a maroon Volvo in the lot, that's me. I'd like to meet you guys in person and shoot the bull sometime. I'm thinking of getting a float tube soon (wedding present from my brother maybe) and I'd like to go on one of those legendary floats maybe after my wedding on March, 3. Thanks again everybody.
PS- I'm still thinking of changing my handle to "TheSkunk" or "SkunkMan", I kind of like the sound of it.
02-16-01, 02:33 PM
Not to worry, Josh, you'll get their range down soon.
Seeing that you are an early-bird, the same water that's fishing slow for you might be much faster for others later in the day. It doesn't take much of a temperature rise to perk the little boogers up!
Just keep plugging http://www.georgia-outdoors.com/ubbngto/redface.gif away!
[This message has been edited by Windknot (edited 02-16-2001).]
02-16-01, 07:31 PM
Hey Big J I think I talked to you awhile back I was the guy in the White Van at Whitewater. Well anyway like WindKnot said about temp change in the afternoon can really make a big difference IMO this time of year. You might want to try the same program after 12:00 noon till Dark. Thats when I really start to get into them trout good on the River including the DH. Check out BPS on the float tube they are 49 bucks for the round tubes until Sunday. Thats a good price for a tube. http://www.georgia-outdoors.com/ubbngto/smile.gif
Try fishing at West Palisades. I am not what you would call a good fly fisherman, as a have only done it for a few years, but I have not been their yet without catching under 10 on a Olive #8 WB. For some reason, I have always caught more fish on these "micro" buggers.
vBulletin® v3.7.2, Copyright ©2000-2013, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.