Originally Posted by plecain
If you're fly fishing waters that you 'just know' should have trout in them, but you're not seeing anything - no follows, no flashes, nothing - then here's a trick.
Take your spinning rod (I know you have one) and cast a small Rapala minnow out there and see what happens. (If you want to be more of a purist, take the hooks off the minnow.)
If you suddenly start seeing fish following the lure, then the problem is not 'no fish'. The problem is that they don't like what you're offering. Try something else.
Of course, the really small lures (Rapala F3, for example) are balsa and light enough to tie onto your fly leader.
Just watch out that the waters are not 'fly fishing only'.
This method would work great for when the water is on the high side. With all the rain we've been getting in the NE the West Branch Delaware peaked at over 5000cu/min (normally ~400-500cu/min at this time of year) and as it was dropping to around 2000cu/min a guy in our camp said he saw a lot of commotion in one of the eddies that normally has only about 5" of water in it. Long story short it was a trout feeding frenzy on dead alewives. He tied on a white streamer, let it dead drift and landed over 20 fish. The same result could have probably been met with a small Rapala.