I’ve been fishing quite a bit lately and find myself with a little extra time for self-reflection while waiting for mayflies to begin hatching. I’ve talked about my zen fly fishing in other posts and decided to share a few thoughts from the river and how I see fly fishing through the lens of a camera. It might be more of a picture show, so get out the popcorn and I hope you enjoy the show.
The image above is something I see on a regular basis… My fishing partner hooking and landing fish.
We used to fish real close to each other so I could help her. She doesn’t need my help at all any longer. More frequently I’ll ask, “what fly were you using?” as she hooks and lands her fish!
There’s a spot on the river where we’ve fished recently and have been fairly close to each other. I was able to capture a few action shots.
The beauty of the river never ceases to amaze me.
When fishing is slow, I look for insects and the best place to locate them is in an eddy.
You’ll be amazed what you can find when slipping a mesh paint strainer bag (Amazon affiliate link) over your net. (They do come in packs as large as 20 to 30. Perhaps the extras could be Christmas gifts for your fly fishing friends!)
Not only will you see spinners, but hatching caddis, mayflies, and stoneflies as well.
I’m not an expert when it comes to insect identification, so I’ve provided my best guess below. My favorite reference books these days are Western Mayfly Hatches by Rick Hafele and Dave Hugh’s (wow, the price has increased recently on this book) and Arlen Thomson’s BugWater. (Again, Amazon affiliate links)
This is a Drunella Green Drake. I’m not positive, but it was a size 12 or 14 which I’m guessing is a Flav, or Lesser Green Drake.
And the spinner version.
I would be remiss if I didn’t include the larger version.
Most of the Green Drakes from the Metolius River are more green and brown, less yellow like the one above.
PMD’s can be prolific at times.
The image below shows a different body color of a PMD. I always thought their body color was a shade of yellow. But this one is a reddish-brown. If you look closely, it has a tinge of yellow on the leading party of the wing, a tell-tale sign of a PMD.
I think this is a BWO.
I’m guessing the image below is of a Pale Evening Dun Spinner.
I can’t positively identify these insects, but I think the one on the lower left is a caddis.
How about a small olive stonefly?
Notice how the wings aren’t fully developed yet?
Most of these insects were found in an eddy with the paint strainer. These bugs have floated down the river and were available for fish to eat.
What fly would you tie on? Which insect would you try to imitate?
At times, trout will eat anything in their feeding lane. Other times, they can be quite picky. Have you ever noticed them move to your fly only to turn away at the last second? We call that a drive-by. Why didn’t they eat the fly? Wrong size? Wrong color? Did they see the leader? Who knows, but it drives me crazy at times.
It’s amazing what you can find if you pay attention.
I better add a couple of fish pics as well. I’m constantly amazed at their beautiful colors and spots.
Butterflies are abundant along the river. They are quick to fly away, but I was lucky to capture these shots.
The beauty of the river. Can you hear it talking to you?
Enjoy… go fish, stay safe!
Nicely done, John. Thank you.
I loved this comment: “The beauty of the river. Can you hear it talking to you?” I have never fished your river and this quote is made for the canyon section (section #2) of the South Fork of the Snake River but it must be drifted and I suppose a lot of other rivers I fish. Come to think about it this the main reason I do it.
Thanks for leaving a Comment. Happy to hear is resonated with you.
Wow. That was an education.
Well done John.