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What were they eating?

Joined:
1/20 11:44
From Denver, PA
Posts: 2
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Went to the Tulpehocken yesterday, fished from 3-8. I fished the pool right in front of the parking area below the 222 bridge. I talked to 4 fisherman that all caught some fish, I however struck out. One fly fisherman said they were hitting midges, but I don't think I really had anything in my box that's midge like.
The perplexing part is that there were quite a few bugs hatching and on the water, crippled, dead, or just sitting on the water. I couldn't identify any, but they were all super tiny, smaller than a size 20 I'm guessing. So there was a bunch of food that they could have been eating. However, fish were only rising very sporadically. I probably saw 15-20 rises in that pool, but only a few of them were at the same place. Also, fish weren't just sipping stuff off the top, rather when a fish did rise it was usually violent with a loud splash and a significant disturbance. So, what on earth were they eating?

Posted on: 3/27 12:51


Re: What were they eating?

Joined:
2015/6/1 16:22
From Burke VA
Posts: 896
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A good drift

Posted on: 3/27 12:54


Re: What were they eating?

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2009/11/5 1:46
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Quote:

ryansheehan wrote:
A good drift


Or since they were splashy rises, possibly a good swing or skitter.

Posted on: 3/27 13:01
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Bob


Re: What were they eating?

Joined:
2015/6/1 16:22
From Burke VA
Posts: 896
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To answer your question on what they were eating, probably stoneflies or caddis, those tend to be aggressive takes. When the fish are taking midges it tends to be very subtle. That being said a pattern like an adams or an elk hair caddis will get eaten when presented properly. I know many times fly fisherman focus on a switching flies because that is easy to change, presentation is a completely different animal.

Posted on: 3/27 21:30


Re: What were they eating?
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Joined:
2016/1/24 14:30
From Gettysburg
Posts: 1466
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Quote:

tmohler wrote:
Also, fish weren't just sipping stuff off the top, rather when a fish did rise it was usually violent with a loud splash and a significant disturbance. So, what on earth were they eating?


Solving challenges and riddles such as this is part of the fly fishing (FFing) mystique. Even experienced and highly skilled FFers still get defeated in situations such as this. The challenge of identifying bugs and effectively presenting the correct fly is what makes FF so much fun.

Anyway, considering the size of the insects you saw, I would guess midges but more likely (due to the splashy rises) they were eating early stones. These early stones, also called little black stones, match the size you describe and are often taken by fish when they are flittering around on the surface which resiults in splashy rises.

Don't get discouraged! This was a good day on the water.

Posted on: 3/28 15:53


Re: What were they eating?

Joined:
1/18 18:38
From Southeast, PA
Posts: 56
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the tully can be really tough... picky fish! don't get discouraged. Last weekend it took me a few hours to get dialed in, finally figured it out, then preceded to come unbuttoned 4 times in a row, UGH.

one was nice and was taking some line. Ended up getting 2 to net in the same pool and that was my only action all day- I really had to work for it too. I was there for about 6 hours and this was all in 45 minutes. Then they just turned off to what was a hot pattern briefly.

The tully drives me nuts some days! You are not alone!

Posted on: 4/24 19:56


Re: What were they eating?

Joined:
2007/1/28 18:18
From Woodstock, MD
Posts: 78
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Many times what looks like a surface take is really just slow the surface. If you see that, try a small dry fly with a soft hackle or emerger about 6 to 10 inches behind it. If the dry goes down, set the hook.

Posted on: 5/6 13:06


Re: What were they eating?

Joined:
2011/7/6 13:48
From Philadelphia PA
Posts: 625
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I think it's a whole lot of fun, tossing dry flies at risers and trying to get them to take. I find that if my presentation is right on top of them or to far away, they are very reluctant to take. I'd say I did best at 6 - 12" where it gives them time to see it land, but not to think and watch the drift.

Trying to skitter flies across the river to get them to take is also fun and challenging. I whip or pop the rod up pretty fast but not to far in order to get the fly off the water and bounce.


Posted on: 5/10 8:12
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