I am lost somewhere in the middle of trout fishing's nowhere. I am confused about certain aspects of trout fishing, such as catching them consistently.I don't get a chance to go for trout often because of my location (right in the middle of Ohio), but when I do, I have problems gettin' bit. I am unfortunate enough that I've never seen a hatch, much less been on the water during one, so I am sorta confused there, but my main problem is catching fish sub-surface. This 'll sound weird, but I beleive I have a better grasp on nymphs than most other flies. Maybe this is because I have used them 90% of the time for steelies. I am interested in streamers and wets, but am not sure what to throw when I do get time on the stream. I have Micky Finns, Clousers, Black Nosed Daces,Buggers,Squirlle Tails,Carrie Specials,Dark Spruces, Squirlle Spruces, Ballou Specials, and various multi color bucktail streamers, such as Brown over Yellow with gold tinsel body, and Green over Red with a Grey dubbed body ribbed with silver tinsel and a white underwing.For wets I have Black and Peacocks, SJWs, and a few various other wets including Diawl Bachs. Can any one give me a map outtta here?????
It sounds like you are in a difficult situation mentally. This can happen to anyone and sometimes ends in the fly fisher losing interest. I know you do Bluegill and Steelhead so you still have that to fall back on.
The first and most important aspect with any game fish is to fish where there are numbers of fish. With Trout that can be a problem in your area. You might consider making a trip to Michigan or Pennsylvania and trying for Trout there. It also helps with familiarity of the water. If you know of a stream with lots of trout then make several trips so you learn all of the water. Trout lay in specific spots in a stream or river. Learning to read the water is very important in catching Trout. To me reading the water may be the single most important aspect of catching Trout.
Catching Trout with Nymphs is one of the very best methods so I don't think that is your problem. The local fly shop in the area you are fishing will be a big help with what flies to use. Make sure you buy some from him and you will get all kinds of information.
With Streamers I think you need to simplify. Get some Buggers in Black, Purple and Brown. A little crystal flash in the Bugger is usually a plus. Stick with the Bugger and don't start trying a bunch of different flies if you are not catching anything. You can fish a streamer on a swing, a dead drift or a stripping retrieve. I use a stripping retrieve in combination with a dead drift a lot. You should be using polarized glasses and should be able to see fish at times. If you can see the fish then adjust your retrieve so the streamer is on the fishes nose. If you can't see fish then fish the streamer so it is presented to a particular place in the water. For instance, always swim your fly as close to a undercut bank as possible. Or seams or slack water or where ever you think there are fish lying.
When you fish the same water a lot you learn spots that always hold fish. That is why fishing the same water is a big help. When you catch a fish remember where it was lying, the time of year and the time of day. This is where a log is very handy. Even if someone kills that fish another fish will fill the spot. This is especially true with big fish.
I am not sure how much this helps but it may give you some things to think about and ask questions.
Okay, so you are in the middle of Ohio. Are you fishing a certain angry river? If not you should. It is in central Ohio and holds a lot of browns and some decent rainbows. Let me know if you don’t know what river I am talking about.
I agre, there are fewer hatches that are obvious around here. I see some that are very small bugs (and I’m no entomologist by far) and when I see the fish rising, I am ahrd pressed to actually see the bugs (might be feeding on emergers but I still catch them on dry)
For nymphs, Beadhead hair’s ear or squirrel tails work well here, copper johns as well. I always do well with dry flies on that river as well as emergers and spyders (soft hackle).
I like Frank’s advice, but I have found wooly worms tend to work a tad better than buggers here. I rarely fish streamers, but guys catch them on roostertails a lot so I’m sure they will hit that black-nosed dace or mickey finn you got…
Summer can be tough, and in my opinion any trout fisherman looking to catch consistently is going to be disappointed.
Sadly I was skunked last week on smallies (and that’s the first time in years that has happened) on the LMR. I fished a great streach for 4 hours and never got one smallie, just a sunfish and a rockbass (and a bite from a gar I could not hook).
So even with a “sure thing” like smallies (for me anyway) it is not always going to happen.
We go hunting, not killing and we go fishing, not catching… it happens.
But terrestrial can do well here too in summer.
PM me if you have any spot questions as I know it can be difficult to access that angry river sometimes.
Keep at it! Frank is right, the more you fish an area the better understanding of it you will have.
Thanks everyone!!!! This is much more than I expected. It has been very helpfull. I look into tyin' up some (more) buggers in some different colors, as I forgot to mention those in the streamers. I have around a dozen in bead head, plain, ribbed, chartruse flash bead head, ect. I can tie some up in white if that would help..........Oh yeah, and some ants and hoppers. Thanks again every body.
I got a couple more questions, if you guys don't mind.Most of my trips are relatively short. How can I make the best of my time Should I tie on one fly and try to cover water Should I try to find a good pool and and try every fly in my box Should I sharpen my 5wt. into a spear and "Sight Fish" WHAT SHOULD I DO???
Getting some intel from MRO is great advice to get a sense of what may be going on in terms of flows and hatches that you may run into. Knowing a bit about the hatches helps a lot too--- in terms of when in the day they tend to happen, and also what parts of the stream they tend to happen over- fast water, below riffles, slow water with muddy bottoms etc. They should be able to tell you that too if you ask, (or post here if they don’t).
If you have a limited amount of time to fish, try and hit it when you have the best chance and things are most likely to be popping. For example a lot of the big deal hatches out your way like hexes and brown drakes might bring up every fish in the river. But if you’re out fishing in a fast water section of the stream mid-morning you maybe wonder what all the fuss is about, since they rend to come off in slow sections at and after dusk into late evening after dark.
This time of year a lot of the hatches tend to happen in the morning or evening as opposed to early season hatches that come off midday. I’d also think you’d be better off trying to cover some water rather than camping out in one spot, unless you’re waiting for something specific to happen. A pool can be hard to fish, and a lot of casts will eventually put fish down.
You’d be better off running and gunning and casting to likely looking spots as you move., hitting current seams, undercut banks, deadfalls, fronts and backs of rocks, etc. Try a couple casts at each spot and move on, or if it’s really fishy, change your angle by moving a bit.
Depending on time of day of likely hatches, you may want to work your way down stream nymphing and swinging wets, and then work back upstream over the same water casting dries. This way, if the hatch starts in late afternoon and you'll be mimic-ing the behavior of the naturals as nymphs get active, start to emerge (wet flies), and then finally start popping later when you work your way back with dries.
If you’re fishing and nothing is going, on prospecting with standard dries like a size 16ish Parachute Adams or Elk Hair Caddis, swinging a wet fly, soft hackle or caddis pupa below riffles, and hitting riffles with a Green Rockworm (caddis larva pattern also a good steelhead pattern) are good ways to dredge something up.
As far as fishing streamers, I’d say practice on bass since they should be all around you. Find some small mouth streams to fish ‘em in moving water. The techniques for trout are the same and you'll have more of a chance to fish them if you do limited trips for trout. Although you can fish streamers anytime, personally I go to them more in early spring (high water) and late fall for trout.
I can't really offer much more after Peregrines; but, after you talk to Brian, take some time when you get to the stream to look around a little. See what insects are active, turn over some rocks in the riffles etc... If there are bugs on the water, try to catch one to see exactly what it is... When all else fails, drop an ant pattern under any over hanging trees, grass, etc...