OK, first off, in this case, "Match The Hatch" may not be the correct term, but it's the best I could come up with.
This time of year, with the winter fishing season over and the spring / summer season nearly upon us, idle chat at my store (not fishing related) turns to fishing daily. One of the common ponds frequently mentioned is one I've heard my dad speak of so often, as he heard his father speak of so many times, and we've all fished there, and the vast majority of the time, fished unsuccessfully.
It's a small pond, roughly oval shaped with a muddy bottom, ~ 1000 ft long X 400 ft wide, fed by a marsh and drained by a small stream. It's well known for the number of 18-20" Brookies living there that are nearly impossible to catch. It's also about a 2 hour hike from the nearest you can get a car.
Every trout I've ever seen or heard of taken from this pond had a gut full of black leeches, ~ 1 - 1-1/2" long. Normally in this area, bait is a worm and spinner, or at best, a "Red Devil" spoon, and fly fishing for trout in the area where this pond is, is nearly uheard of.
So, to get to the point, I mentioned today that to catch these trout, you need to match what they're feeding on, as close as possible since their food source is so plentiful (hence the term "Match the Hatch" I used).
I had a few naysayers, who believed "Why try to feed the trout something they already have an abundance of? Why not try to give them something else to "supplement" their diet?" I told them I don't have an answer for that, except to say the general belief is trout will stick to and feed on what they're used to or what's hatching at the time, and if they're used to a fine meal of black leeches, that will do the trick to catch them. Several chuckles and guffaws later, I was presented with a challenge:
"If you really believe that will work, prove it."
So, to step up to the challenge, on the first reasonable day after the opening of the trout season (May 15th), my uncle and I will be headed in there, him armed with his spinning rod, worms and spinners, and me with my 10 ft 3 wt rod, sinking tip line and a selection of flies, including several sizes of Black Wooly Buggers (which I believe is the best simulation of the black leeches so prominent in the food chain of this pond).
Now, I still consider myself a Noob so I ask for some critique and possibly advice to make sure I can say "Told ya so!"
From what I've read, the best method is a slow retrieve ""all the way in"", probably using a "hand twist" style of retrieve to try to simulate the movement of the leeches through the water. I've also read trout seem to like to "smack" the leeches to make them roll up into a ball and then attack to feed, so when you feel the smack, stop the retrieve, let the fly sink, and wait for the hit.
So, for a couple of questions:
- It seems larger flies are recommended, like a 4 or 6, but with a 3 wt rod, I'm worried about being able to toss a fly that size effectively. Should I use smaller flies, use a heavier rod, or will the 3 wt be able to handle that size of fly?
- Are there any other flies I should consider and add to the fly box?
- Most important, do I have my head up my butt thinking this will work and trying to prove these guys wrong?
Thank you in advance for reading, for answering my questions, and especially for any advice offered, I appreciate it!
P.S.: When I go to the pond, pics wil be taken and posted here.