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Identifying what fish are eating

Joined:
1/20 11:44
From Denver, PA
Posts: 6
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Different times and at different places I've seen fish rising and eating off the surface. However, it's often difficult for me to identify what it is specifically that they're eating, even if I'm familiar with the hatches and insects on a given stream. Is there anything I can do to better identify what a fish is eating?

Posted on: 7/31 16:47


Re: Identifying what fish are eating

Joined:
2015/6/1 16:22
From Burke VA
Posts: 1081
Offline
Alot of the time they are taking something just below the surface where it is very tough to see what they are eating. Dropping a small pheasant tail or midge pattern a few inches off a dry often will solve the problem.

Also try to read the different takes. Are they splashy, sipping, porpoising takes? They can all clue you in to what they might be eating. However the best advice I can give you on what they are eating is......a great drift.

Posted on: 7/31 19:10


Re: Identifying what fish are eating

Joined:
2015/6/24 19:54
From New Jersey
Posts: 26
Online
Usually you can see the flies they are taking on the water. For me, when I see naturals drifting over a feeding fish and there is no takes, I try a BWO. I have have a hard time seeing them on the water.

Posted on: 7/31 20:38


Re: Identifying what fish are eating

Joined:
2010/5/28 0:25
Posts: 263
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Carry a fish aquarium net or a small and net the surface of the stream.

Posted on: 7/31 22:12
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I love the smell of caddis in the morning. Smells like.........victory.


Re: Identifying what fish are eating

Joined:
2009/11/5 1:46
Posts: 200
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Quote:

Also try to read the different takes. Are they splashy, sipping, porpoising takes? They can all clue you in to what they might be eating.


A bit more detail:

Splashy rises with fish coming out of the water often indicate fish chasing either emerging or ovipositing caddis flies. Try an EHC/softhackle combo. (Splashy rise can also simply mean small fish.)
Consider fishing downstream, and twitching the EHC.

Otherwise, look for a bubble in the rise. If you see one, they're taking something off the top. (They sucked in air with the bug and it has to go out again.) The size of the rise is a clue to the size of bug being eaten.

Porpoising rises a are clue that they're taking something both small and numerous. Think midges, tricos or small olives. Time of year might help here. the actual bugs may be in the film, or just below, and probably not doing a lot of moving.

If you don't see a bubble, they're probably taking below the surface. Try a dry/dropper or a team of wet flies, depending on your own preferences.

Posted on: 7/31 23:23
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Bob






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