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Lateral view of a Male Baetis (Baetidae) (Blue-Winged Olive) Mayfly Dun from Mystery Creek #43 in New York
Blue-winged Olives
Baetis

Tiny Baetis mayflies are perhaps the most commonly encountered and imitated by anglers on all American trout streams due to their great abundance, widespread distribution, and trout-friendly emergence habits.

Lateral view of a Male Baetidae (Blue-Winged Olive) Mayfly Dun from Mystery Creek #308 in Washington
This dun emerged from a mature nymph on my desk. Unfortunately its wings didn't perfectly dry out.
27" brown trout, my largest ever. It was the sub-dominant fish in its pool. After this, I hooked the bigger one, but I couldn't land it.
Troutnut is a project started in 2003 by salmonid ecologist Jason "Troutnut" Neuswanger to help anglers and fly tyers unabashedly embrace the entomological side of the sport. Learn more about Troutnut or support the project for an enhanced experience here.

Martinlf
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Palmyra PA

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Martinlf on May 30, 2007May 30th, 2007, 1:43 am EDT
For some time I've been working on making my spinners more visible at dusk. A recent after-dark spinner fall made me even more determined and led to some post-fishing jokes among my colleagues about flies with tiny LED's.

Since I prefer parachutes for many of my spinner imitations, the logical approach has seemed to make the post visible. I've been using white yarns, and have experimented with glow in the dark Hi-Vis, but it isn't very bright, and does not hold a light charge very long. Next I'll be trying white foam posts with a bit of paint from these folks:

http://www.glowinc.com/

I'll probably try painting just the very top of the post first, then more if more visibility is needed. I'll let you know if this works. Does anyone else have a better solution?

"He spread them a yard and a half. 'And every one that got away is this big.'"

--Fred Chappell
Troutnut
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Bellevue, WA

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Troutnut on May 30, 2007May 30th, 2007, 3:19 am EDT
LED! LED!

If that won't work, maybe we can mount a very tiny high-powered laser in place of the post, so that you set the hook when the tiny red line shooting up into the sky disappears. If it's powerful enough to see in the air, though, it might do some damage to the fish. Then we'd have C&R areas with rules "barbless only, no laser flies." I would pay to see that on a sign.
Jason Neuswanger, Ph.D.
Troutnut and salmonid ecologist
Taxon
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Plano, TX

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Taxon on May 30, 2007May 30th, 2007, 3:53 am EDT
Louis-

I haven't actually used this technique, so I can't tell you from first-hand knowledge how effective it is, but I have read that constructing the post of half black and half white makes it much more visible than does white alone.
Best regards,
Roger Rohrbeck
www.FlyfishingEntomology.com
Turboboy
Posts: 5
Turboboy on May 30, 2007May 30th, 2007, 7:17 am EDT
i have been thinking along these lines as well. i got some glow in the dark goop stuff from feather craft that i have yet to try. will let you
know how it works.
Martinlf
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Palmyra PA

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Martinlf on May 30, 2007May 30th, 2007, 1:27 pm EDT
Roger, I believe the black/white post works pretty well in glare, but for dusk to dawn I think the glow post may be the ticket--if it's bright enough. Jason, let me know when you find that tiny LED and we'll really get those Little J fish!! Turboboy, I tried the Feathercraft stuff, but it didn't seem bright enough to me. I'll let you know if the paint seems brighter.
"He spread them a yard and a half. 'And every one that got away is this big.'"

--Fred Chappell
Martinlf
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Palmyra PA

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Martinlf on Jun 6, 2007June 6th, 2007, 2:52 pm EDT
Jason, the paint is much brighter than anything I've tried previously, and it is very visible in the dark. I'll be doing some local field testing of the parachute spinners in the next week or so to see what the fish think. If this doesn't work I'll be looking for that tiny LED!
"He spread them a yard and a half. 'And every one that got away is this big.'"

--Fred Chappell
GONZO
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"Bear Swamp," PA

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GONZO on Jun 6, 2007June 6th, 2007, 3:55 pm EDT
Wow...glow goop, glow-in-the-dark paint, and LEDs! I hope these experiments work better than I anticipate that they will, but staring at a tiny glowing dot in the darkness is not my idea of fun. The only "glow" fly I ever liked was a firefly pattern that used glow flashabou wrapped at the rear of the abdomen to allow the firefly to light up. And that glow was intended for the fish, not for me to see the fly.

(By the way, if you want to try glowing flies, make a "charging chamber" from a 35mm film can covered on the inside with aluminum foil. Cut a hole in the top to accept the tip of a small but powerful flashlight. Then you can drop the fly in the chamber with leader attached, and charge it without ruining your night vision. Without this or something like it, you will lose your ability to see (anything) every time you charge the fly.)

For me, fishing after dark is more about feel than visual aids. For after-dark spinner falls, try a drowned spinner pattern fished like a wet fly. In order to feel the hits, the fly will be slightly dragging on a gentle swing. This probably wouldn't fool many fish in the daylight, but even fussy trout are willing to accept things after dark that they wouldn't entertain in the light of day. Even better, abandon your dry-fly fixation for a moment and put on a big meaty dark fly that moves water. You won't catch any of the little spinner-sippers, but what you do catch might make you question why you've spent so much time and energy fussing with little fish in the darkness! I don't want to cast a pall over all these bright ideas; I just wanted to share some darker thoughts. ;)
Troutnut
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Troutnut on Jun 6, 2007June 6th, 2007, 4:17 pm EDT
You won't catch any of the little spinner-sippers, but what you do catch might make you question why you've spent so much time and energy fussing with little fish in the darkness!


I guess it depends where you're fishing, but on a couple of my favorite rivers the spinner sippers can be big. And that's for Ephemerellid-sized spinners. Brown drake and Hex spinners can attract the biggest fish in the stream, which I'm sure you weren't contesting.

I love after-dark spinner fishing. I give up on following my fly and just watch the general area for the faint glint of a rise. If it's quiet, I listen for the rises and strike at any suspicious sound. For me, fishing by feel with a subtle wet-fly swing would take some of the fun out of it, or at least change the experience: it would be tuning in to a whole different set of sensations.
Jason Neuswanger, Ph.D.
Troutnut and salmonid ecologist
GONZO
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"Bear Swamp," PA

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GONZO on Jun 6, 2007June 6th, 2007, 5:24 pm EDT
Fair enough. I was partly teasing, but I know that enjoying the fishing is much more important than the size of the fish caught. And I wouldn't deny that spinner falls can bring up some large fish at times (especially after dark). I also realize that some aspects of the dry-fly addiction may be incurable, and that is fine with me. For my own enjoyment, however, when it gets dark and batty, it's time for me to go wet.
Martinlf
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Palmyra PA

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Martinlf on Jun 7, 2007June 7th, 2007, 9:59 am EDT
The night before Jason and I fished the heavy spinner fall I did indeed go wet with good results, but it seemed that the fish we fished over the next evening really were mostly focused on spinners on the surface. Although I had spinner patterns with white posts (though no glow) I stayed with wet patterns, and only had a bump or two. Part of this may have been because I had positioned Jason in the upper end of the hole, and started pretty far downstream of him. As a result I was fishing upstream much of the time and it was more of a challenge to fish by feel, but I am pretty sure that if either of us would have had a visible spinner with a glowing dot to orient us we would have caught a few more fish, and there were some very big fish feeding on the surface that evening. I liked fishing wet the evening before, and appreciated the advice to do just that, but I believe that there will be days and times that the glow-in-the dark spinner may just be what the Dr. (er, the nutty professor that is) ordered. Thanks for the charging device suggestion; I'm going to put one together this evening. :)
"He spread them a yard and a half. 'And every one that got away is this big.'"

--Fred Chappell
GONZO
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"Bear Swamp," PA

Posts: 1681
GONZO on Jun 7, 2007June 7th, 2007, 12:43 pm EDT
I wish you the best of luck with your experiments, Louis. I only hope they prove more fruitful than mine did. Come to think of it, what about a pair of those cool night-vision goggles? ;)
Invicta
Tulare, CA

Posts: 23
Invicta on Jun 8, 2007June 8th, 2007, 11:26 am EDT
I wouldn't say the Brits are more advanced that us folks in the colonies but take a look at this link:

http://www.sexyloops.com/picofday/flies/psychedelicmouse.shtml

It may be the solution to your night vision quest.

John
GONZO
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"Bear Swamp," PA

Posts: 1681
GONZO on Jun 8, 2007June 8th, 2007, 1:20 pm EDT
Bingo! Nice one, John. :)
JAD
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Alexandria Pa

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JAD on Jun 8, 2007June 8th, 2007, 3:13 pm EDT


O Lloyd and John you are having fun You guys owe louis a cold one.

Another john

They fasten red (crimson red) wool around a hook, and fix onto the wool two feathers which grow under a cock’s wattles, and which in colour are like wax.
Radcliffe's Fishing from the Earliest Times,
GONZO
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"Bear Swamp," PA

Posts: 1681
GONZO on Jun 8, 2007June 8th, 2007, 3:44 pm EDT
You're absolutely right, John (JAD). I think Louis knows I'm teasing, but he's certainly earned a gentleman's credit for the beverage of his choice just for putting up with me!
Invicta
Tulare, CA

Posts: 23
Invicta on Jun 8, 2007June 8th, 2007, 5:13 pm EDT
Louis,

I hope you don’t mind, I had my tongue in my cheek also. But I’ll stand a round to pay off my sense of humor…it’s the least I could do after posting the link.

John
Wiflyfisher
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Wisconsin

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Wiflyfisher on Jun 9, 2007June 9th, 2007, 2:10 am EDT
I think you guys owe him a 6 pack of virtual beers, but John that was good! ;)

All tell you, as one gets older it becomes tougher and tougher to see small flies and see your fly on the water in low light. I wonder if they make clip-on night vision binoculars?

Maybe I should try a pair of these? http://www.nightvisionbinoculars.com/ri32conivigo2.html
Martinlf
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Palmyra PA

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Martinlf on Jun 9, 2007June 9th, 2007, 2:46 am EDT
JAD, and Wiflyfisher, (can't just say John for obvious reasons)

Not to worry. Gonzo is just mad because I've fixed his scud pattern so fish will actually take a second look at it, and we know those folks out in California are going to fall in the ocean any minute now. Anyone who would iive under such conditions is not to be taken seriously.

But I will take those beers.

And I loved the mouse ears in the dark.

Amusedly,
"He spread them a yard and a half. 'And every one that got away is this big.'"

--Fred Chappell
GONZO
Site Editor
"Bear Swamp," PA

Posts: 1681
GONZO on Jun 9, 2007June 9th, 2007, 4:58 am EDT
I think you guys owe him a 6 pack of virtual beers....

Wifly John, I didn't know that such obligations could now be paid in virtual beers. I'm a pretty low-tech guy, but I'm willing to learn. Does drinking a sixer of virtual brews lead to a virtual hangover, or does it just require a long visit to a virtual urinal?
Wiflyfisher
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Wisconsin

Posts: 622
Wiflyfisher on Jun 9, 2007June 9th, 2007, 5:46 am EDT
Gonzo, virtual beers are less filling and taste great! Although, as a true die-hard cheesehead I prefer Miller Lite! :)

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