TIP OF THE WEEK - THE WHEN AND HOW OF FISHING EMERGERS
"I see them eating on top and I know it's the type of fly I am fishing, but they won't eat my fly!"
Ever been in this situation? You have identified the hatch to be a BWO hatch and you know it's a size 18. You see many fish eating... it's on! They are podded up and you are ready to have that "fish in a barrel" experience. Then you throw pattern after pattern and those darn fish won't eat. They are eating all around your fly, but not your fly. MADDENING!
Just like in last week's tip, we need to study how the fish are feeding. Too often we assume the trout are eating on top because they are breaking the water when they feed. We assume it is their head and mouth eating an adult fly but what is really happening is their backs or tails are hitting the surface as they are eating emerging flies just below the water's surface. Take a very close look at how the fish are feeding and if you identify it is what I detailed above, tie an emerger pattern on.
Emerger fly patterns are flies designed to drift with the current and hang just below the surface. Emerger patterns imitate emerging insect larvae and pupae making their way to the surface to molt into their next life cycle.
TIP OF THE WEEK:
WHEN TO FISH EMERGERS:
If you know a certain hatch usually comes off around 11am, you will want to fish emergers an hour to 30 minutes before the dries really get going. I will fish emergers until the fish stop eating them and then I will switch to adults. If you identify fish flashing just below the surface or it's their backs and tails that are breaking the surface when they feed, it's emerger time.
HOW TO FISH EMERGERS:
This is the fun part! You can target fish on emergers many different ways. Two of my favorites are swinging a soft-hackle on a floating tip with my Trout Spey and fishing a soft-hackle or other emerging pattern as a tag on my ESN setup. I've done both of these techniques in the past week with great success. The traditional way would be to fish a single emerging pattern on a standard technical rod, like a Winston 4wt Pure or the like. You need to have a good read on where your pattern is as you will not see your fly and thus need to watch for the eat. Personally, I like to fish both stages of the hatch at the same time. I will use a small parachute dry up front and trail it 18 inches or so with an emerger pattern. This way I have a better read on my emerger and as well might get an eat on my adult pattern.
Take a very close look at how the fish are feeding and if you identify they are feeding just below the surface, fish an emerger pattern with whatever technique suits your fancy.
UPCOMING COURSES TO HIGHLIGHT
Our whole course catalog is available in the Fall. We have the last of our Women's Intro and Divide and Conquer going on this month so don't miss out on this if you are interested. Trout Spey is just getting better and better. We have had a ton of fun with our Personal Watercraft Fishalongs getting after the Yakima and other tributaries.
- October 15th - Women's Intro to Fly Fishing
- October 15th - Fly Fishing 301
- October 17th - Euronymphing Fishalong
- October 18th - Trout Spey Fishalong
- October 20th - ESN Fishalong / Tributary Fishalong
- October 21st - Women's Divide and Conquer
- October 22nd - Fly Fishing 301