Posts Tagged ‘Bugs



31
Aug
11

Bibios, Sweden & Old Crow Medicine Show

A little foot tapping music and some nice fish in the S. Lappland region of Sweden. Short & Sweet

Bibio Tribute

22
Aug
11

Fly Fishing: Entomology & The Cat

I left the house at 7pm intending to run an errand. I noticed a big, beautiful mayfly dun on my other car. I snapped a few pics and departed, figuring it would be gone when I returned. And, so it was, kind of. I returned to find the shuck in place of the dun. Now, I didn’t get a good enough look at the time to see what was totally going on when I originally left. So now, I gently secured the shuck with the intent of photographing it. I went to the front door and opened it and out jets Penelope the House Cat. Shoot it was 0845pm and almost dark. I chased after the cat and eventually removed her from beneath my rig. Hmmm….the shuck was destroyed in the pursuit of the cat! So much for my entomological studies…at least for tonight. What is very fascinating, for me, is that there is only the smallest little spring behind my house. So, was I watching a Dun prior to the emergence of a Spinner or…….

06
Aug
11

Fly Fishing: Bug Catcher

Common Garden/Cross Spider (Araneus diadematus) SwittersB

To me, there is nothing seemingly ‘common’ about this spider. It was a long ways from any garden as well. As I explored along the rocky shoreline of the Clackamas River, I came across this sizable spider working away on a web. A steady up river breeze ushered along hatches of assorted Caddis, PMD’s and midges. Remnants of a sizable Stonefly emergence littered the moss covered boulders. This busy spider prepared to intercept some portion of the shore bound insects. Once he was done, he tucked himself beneath some mossy growth attached to a boulder that supported his fly catcher. You are exactly right: the fishing was less than stellar on the Clack/Collawash R., so I passed off the time looking about the shoreline for this and that.

Cross Spider Hiding and Waiting for a trapped morsel (SwittersB)

Mt. Hood National Forest Proposes Decommissioning 255 miles of Collawash River Drainage Roads

08
Jul
11

Minuscule Dragon Flies

The Dragon Flies and the Lady Bug

See More Minuscule Videos

 

23
Jun
11

Fly Fishing: The Water Is Alive

For the beginning fly fisher recognizing your insects can be confusing. On a lake, the insect population is seemingly distinct and more recognizable: hexagenia, callibaetis, dragons, damsels, and of course, the other creatures of scuds (rivers too), leeches, water boatman, chironomids (rivers too) etc. Maybe, at first you might confuse a damsel and dragon. On a river or stream, the puzzle can be a bit more confusing. 

The other night, an associate was fishing the McKenzie River. There were what appeared to be bright yellow, large mayflies out over the water, “as big as a dragon fly”. There were additional yellow mayflies near shore bobbing up and down and almost like a swarm. The fly fisher saw no surface activity from fish.

This is confusing for a beginner and also for the non-beginner. But, this is truly part of the fun of fly fishing! This part of the thinking, observing, planning, deciphering, responding that makes the endeavor so satisfying….at least if you successfully sort out the puzzle. If you don’t observe to start with or if you observe but can’t sort it out then it is daunting. But, don’t let it be.

Keep it exciting and do the research, which has never been easier for the beginner given today’s on line resources: identify the river (or lake) you were fishing. You can do this before or after your fishing. What hatch charts can you find for that water? What insects are present during what months or when you were fishing? Research those insects. Find pictures of the nymphs, duns, spinners for that mayfly lets say (or caddis?).

In my friends case: what were those ‘large’ yellow mayflies? PMD, PED, Yellow Sallys (stonefly), Epeorus, Golden Stones. Color, size, hatch location, stage of life (dun, spinner), hatch method, time of day…can be important in narrowing down the insects you are seeing. Asking the local shop; writing knowledgeable fly fishers who really know that water shed and insects. The resources are there. Then be armed with patterns for several insects from the bottom (nymphs) up to the top. Remember there can frequently be more than one mayfly hatching at the same time and the duns and spinners can be simultaneously present. Recognize the busy egg laying spinners (no fish activity); the hatching duns, different mayflies from spinners (in this case there could have been the hatching Epeorus, hatching Pale Morning Duns, and egg laying PMD spinners.

In this instance, I did a little research and learned something interesting. The larger, yellow mayfly called Yellow Quills or Epeorus is a mayfly that ‘hatches’/’emerges’ beneath the surface and then moves to the surface to view. Now I know that I should have, for that particular mayfly on that river a larger yellow wet fly to be fished beneath the surface. I learned from my friends bewilderment and hopefully you will too.

So, stay patient. Study. Ask questions. Observe and keep notes. Take a picture if possible. And enjoy the puzzle! Then again, I did some more research and in Arlen Thomason’s excellent Bug Water, he and Rick Hafele arrived at Heptagenia solitaria…a PED. All part of the puzzle.

26
May
11

Fly Fishing Ponds in the Springtime


Tony Muncy

Flyfishing ponds, in the Spring, is a nice respite from the long Winter and the high runoffs of Springtime. The setting is more relaxed. The pace is, and should be, slower; a small puzzle to be solved. The smaller patterns of chironomids, dragons, damsels, scuds are perfect for subsurface presentations. Little poppers and emergers in the film can be productive in the evenings. This is 3 wt. time for smaller species, unless finessing larger bass or carp.

Many ponds are open year around. Weed growth can be a bit much in the Summer, but Spring and Fall pond fishing can be quite rewarding. Docks, rocks and shoreline structure often reinforce the fact that fish are holding to structure and close to the shoreline, as indicated in both of these pictures. Slow retrieves, almost vertical retrieves near structure, will produce fish.   

Tony has had his fair share of bigger fish, but you can see his, and Darly’s,  satisfaction with seducing these Crappie to the feathered creations.

Darly Reed with a nice Crappie (TMuncy)


19
May
11

Fly Fishing & Stomach Pumps

Stomach Pump

Personally, I think stomach pumps should be the last thing any self respecting fly shop or on line fly fishing resource should offer to the fly fisher. Oh, the sampling can be most enlightening, but more often than not (no I don’t have any statistical data) I would imagine the device is misused and causes harm to the fish.

Stomach Pump Sampling (Brian Chan)

I mean just look at that stillwater sampling of mega chironomids, damsel fly and mayfly nymphs. How much easier now to tie on the correct size and color of an imitation. But, seriously, you want it that easy? While potentially doing harm to the fish? I will say this is one thing (the only thing probably) in which, I think Brian Chan errors. A fishery biologist, such as he, knows how to use a simple, crude device as a stomach pump and has a theoretical need to study food samples from fish and the health of a lake or river. The rest of us can study up and forgo the pump. I don’t believe I have seen a presentation by Mr. Chan in which the pump is not presented and demonstrated at least on lakes. He takes great care to use cradles to land fish and is obviously respectful of the fish. Others, I am not so sure of.   

Is there available written data on the hatches/aquatic life of the body of water you intend to fish? What patterns imitate those food sources? Where are they likely living, emerging, drifting, etc. in that lake or river? At what time of day do they provide the best food source for the fish? What months are they best available? What do other fly fishers tell you? What techniques are you seeing successfully used and where on the body of water?  

When you get to this body of water, what do you see? Are there visible hatches? Are birds feeding above the water? How are the rise forms of the fish (sub surface slashes, porpoising, sips, engulfing wallops, airborne projectiles)? What do you see on the water’s surface, nearby vegetation, on the rocks? What is possibly protruding from the fish’s mouth you are about to release.

Stomach pumps may provide that extra reassurance of what to use, but given the probable harm you will cause (if catching and releasing), forgo the pump and use your brain and power of observation more often. Unless you are Brian Chan and/or a fishery’s biologist?


19
Apr
11

Fly Tying & Fly Fishing: “Must Have” Scuds

“Must have” patterns both annoy me, and as they should, simplify things. A ‘must have’ pattern can be a trap. Tie it on and go. A ‘must have’ pattern must work all the time, anywhere?

Such is the case with scuds. Most articles are like every one was originally issued a press release from the Fishing Guru 25 years ago and every writer feels obligated to issue the same chopped release/phrases for their region. It smacks of an obligatory inclusion on the last page of a book.

As with any outing, it is better to do some research first re a stream, lake, etc. before going blind. Research on line for info about hatches and when they most often appear (May to June; late afternoons; overcast days best). Also, how to fish them is critical. The presentation of the fly. How would the real ‘insect’ or critter act in the water?

You might be able to gather some meaningful info from your fly shop and a pattern or two to use.

Such is the case with scuds, the ‘must have’ pattern. You will find this must have pattern: drifted and jerked in rapids and riffles with a split shot 6″ above; also you will find it fished deep in stillwaters and the slower, backwaters of rivers beneath a strike indicator with no weight save the fly’s/hook’s weight.

The ‘must have’ scud seems capable of being in all waters and anywhere in those waters according to the varied articles and posts. As with many things for the beginning fly fisher/tier the signs of certainty and clarity are confusing re scuds once you read past ‘must have’.

I won’t propose to be an expert re scuds. I have fished them on tailwater fisheries and done well in quieter, weedy side waters drifting slowly near the bottom. In stillwaters in B.C. and near home, I have fished longer leaders on a floating line and let the fly sink down amongst the weeds and worked the pattern near the bottom, moving it in a slow jigging motion (and yes getting tangled, so a slip strike indicator may be in order…query upper right in search box re slip strike indicator).

I tied the patterns from size 18’s to size 10’s. I like Orange ( a common color for a dead or supposedly egg laden female), tan, and my favorite olive.. Some patterns can be tied with the traditional scud/Czech-Caddsi Pupa configuration as below here:

Both of the above patterns have the back strap of plastic material that is tied in at the bend with ribbing material (wire usually). The body material is either dubbed up the shank or wrapped up the shank (micro chenille and a sparse hackle wrap or two). Then the back strap is pulled over and secured at the eye with the ribbing following to hold the back strap in place. This tying sequence is used in one form or another for Czech, Polish, Caddis, Scud patterns. Large or small.

Another pattern, less sophisticated and still worthy is one I use for Scuds for sizes 10 to 14. I use an Estaz material that is a synthetic (plastic) chenille material. I tie on and wrap up and simply trim the top bristly material away and that is it. It is a great pattern. It can be slightly weighted. I don’t put on a bead, but you could for a Caddis Pupa pattern.

  So, to recap on ‘must have’ Scud’ pattern: research your waters you fish. Do they have scuds? Where are they likely to live in your waters? How would you present the pattern to best put it where they live and maybe move it to suggest life? How would I tie a pattern that looks close in size, color and movement to imitate the real life scud. Research Estaz as a fly tying material and look at the sizes. It is not the same as Sparkle Chenille.

Not to confuse matters more, for the heck of it do a little research on sow bugs as well as they are often linked to scuds (freshwater shrimp) in stream habitat. See if they reside in the same parts of the stream’s holding waters. Good luck and as usual have fun!     


12
Apr
11

Stillwater Hatches (Brian Chan)

I have occassionally highlighted the well known Brian Chan. His knowledge is apparent, but I have an added touch to this: several times I have reached out to Brian and without hesitation he has provided precise information about how certain stillwater insects act subsurface and how the trout act early in the year. He did not know me from Earl….but, he graciously helped. A true gentleman.

Here I offer up some stillwater insect info from Brian Chan’s site Rise Form Ventures . There is a very good, basic over view of stillwater insects.

I like this picture. I took it outside wth the sunlight upon a suggestion by Tim Barker (Planet Trout)

06
Apr
11

Fly Tying & Fishing Instruction

I was stuck in beautiful Eugene, Oregon and ended up in a Borders book store. There were, surprisingly, a scant dozen or so books of fishing. Surprising because Eugene sets amongst several excellent fishing venues within minutes of town.


I came upon a nice book by John Barr entitled Barr Flies. It is a glossy, large sized book with great visuals and a bit spendy. I liked the S-B-S tutorials on several nymph patterns and  I bought the book. I couldn’t fish, so I perused the Barr book and planned my tying to incorporate some of Barr’s patterns.

Another excellent book is Rick Hafele’s Nymph Fishing Rivers & Streams. Hafele provides a gazillion interesting facts about insects that trout eat and how to fish them.






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