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Coldwater Fly Fishing Trout, Salmon, Steelhead, etc...

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Old 06-23-2008, 03:35 PM
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Default question about where trout feed

ive heard that trout do most/all of their feeding on the surface of the water or at the bottom, and that if i was nymphing, then i should put on a few split shot, and attach an indicator 1.5x the depth of the water im fishing, so that the nymph rolls along the bottom. however, im pretty sure ive seen videos of trout facing upstream, and intercepting flies that were drifting through the stream inbetween the bottom and the top of the water.

so... can yall clarify where trout feed in terms of the depth of the water and how should i go about setting up my line if im sight fishing and if im just chuckin it in a good lookin spot
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Old 06-24-2008, 01:44 PM
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Default Re: question about where trout feed

Fish feed in different depths depending on a number of factors (water temp, etc) They will move to food very little for the most part usually only a few inches. I've watched fish in the riffles move about a foot or so to intercept a meal. They look at it this way, expend as little energy as possible for the reward generally just twitching a fin to rise in the currant as opposed to swimming three feet for a midge. They also have to consider how much energy it takes to stay in one spot in the current. If it's fast water they expend a lot of energy, so the reward has to be worth it. Those are the aggressively feeding fish. Best place to find them is in the riffles in 18-24 inches of water. I generally use just enough weight in the riffles to barely bounce the bottom to avoid snags and present the nymph as a helpless bug caught in the current. To quote Pat Dorsey (A Fly Fisherman's Guide to the South Platte River) "Riffle fish are feeding fish."
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Old 07-17-2008, 02:19 AM
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Default Re: question about where trout feed

Trout feed 80% subsurface. They lie near (the bottom foot) the bottom of the streaqm and wait for food. If you fish a nymph on a leader 1.5-2X the depth of the water you are fiahing, the nymph will drift along just off the bottom. You will intercept more fish there than anywhere else.
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Old 07-17-2008, 08:57 AM
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Default Re: question about where trout feed

The 80% subsurface feeding would depend on the depth of the water. On a smaller stream that has a depth of 2 feet. The 80% would switch to surface feeding. Terrestrials are a large part of the food trout eat on small streams. They're mostly all on the surface.

I agree that a trout lying on the bottom of a deeper pool will require a weighted nymph to get to it. Personally, I pass up those pools and fish the areas that a dry fly will work. Lots of those.

One of the biggest joys in fly fishing is presenting the perfect drift and watching a trout take it.
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Old 07-17-2008, 11:48 AM
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Default Re: question about where trout feed

Depends on what size fish you are looking for is where and what depth you want to fish. I like to go for the bigger fish hunkering down at the back side of a deep pool. Hooking one big Brown is more rewarding to me than catching a few small rainbows. I will sometimes throw a long leader with a multiple fly rig through a deep hole for sure if not that I'll tie on a nice streamer and strip it through. Bob Newman wrote a good book on this subject called Flyfishing Struture the guide to reading and understanding the water. A very good book.
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Old 07-17-2008, 03:26 PM
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Default Re: question about where trout feed

Catching any size rainbow is not rewarding for me.

Browns, cutthroats, and brookies, and i'm smiling.
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Old 09-11-2008, 01:12 AM
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Default Re: question about where trout feed

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Originally Posted by fly baller View Post
ive heard that trout do most/all of their feeding on the surface of the water or at the bottom, and that if i was nymphing, then i should put on a few split shot, and attach an indicator 1.5x the depth of the water im fishing, so that the nymph rolls along the bottom. however, im pretty sure ive seen videos of trout facing upstream, and intercepting flies that were drifting through the stream inbetween the bottom and the top of the water.

so... can yall clarify where trout feed in terms of the depth of the water and how should i go about setting up my line if im sight fishing and if im just chuckin it in a good lookin spot
The best thing I've read is, "look for where the bedroom is right next to the kitchen", Dave Hughes. So basically, where a riffle runs into a hole. Seams are also an excellent place to let a nypmh drift around. The best thing to do is what the rest of us have done. Do some reading and however much reading you do, do at least twice that in fishing time. Don't expect to learn everything quickly. It takes time, it is a jounery to be enjoyed, it is a life long learning experience and a "moving meditation". Its a great excuse to hang out in beautiful places and really appreciate the world.
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Old 09-11-2008, 03:38 PM
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Default Re: question about where trout feed

Another question for the knowledgable!

I have a spot where there's a fast shallow riffle dropping into a deeper pool and it's known for big fish. Should I be setting my depth for and fishing the riffle or should I set depth for the pool and cast into the riffle to deliver the nymphs into the pool?

Thanks in advance
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Old 09-11-2008, 06:16 PM
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Default Re: question about where trout feed

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Originally Posted by CaBrit View Post
Should I be setting my depth for and fishing the riffle or should I set depth for the pool and cast into the riffle to deliver the nymphs into the pool?
For the most part, usually, set for the pool depth and add weight to get the nymph down to the bottom quickly so as to fish the head of the pool. Cast just into the tail of the riffle so the nymph will be descending as the bottom drops into the pool. However, there will be times that the trout will move up into the riffle when a hatch is underway. When that happens you will want to decrease the depth and the weight and fish through the riffle. Personally, if I came upon such a situation while working through an unknown stream I would set for the deep pool, work through it thoroughly, then remove weight and decrease depth, and work up through the riffle. If I connected only in the pool I would make a mental note and adjuts time spent in each at the next riffle to pool junction.
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Old 09-12-2008, 12:04 AM
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Default Re: question about where trout feed

Thanks MBWCC for the great advice. It's a tailwater with very high flows right now and considered a pretty technical creek with big wild rainbows and browns. I've been out there a few times to practice with no luck and one of the star regulars tipped me off to his 'honey hole' complete with fly combos that work there so I didn't want to have to also ask him how to fish it!

You've been a big help, I'm heading up there Sat morning and now have an approach. Hopefully I'll be posting a picture of my first fish on a fly on Sunday!

Thanks,
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