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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 Female Sweltsa borealis (Chloroperlidae) (Boreal Sallfly) Stonefly Adult from Harris Creek in Washington
I was not fishing, but happened to be at an unrelated social event on a hill above this tiny creek (which I never even saw) when this stonefly flew by me. I assume it came from there. Some key characteristics are tricky to follow, but process of elimination ultimately led me to Sweltsa borealis. It is reassuringly similar to this specimen posted by Bob Newell years ago. It is also so strikingly similar to this nymph from the same river system that I'm comfortable identifying that nymph from this adult. I was especially pleased with the closeup photo of four mites parasitizing this one.
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.

Red_green_h
Red_green_h's profile picture
New Mexico

Posts: 64
Red_green_h on Sep 13, 2019September 13th, 2019, 3:36 am EDT
Maybe this is a question for the beginners area, but...I'm mostly self taught with the help of some YouTube videos. I'm fairly new to this style of fishing, but I've been fishing my entire life. I'm an old fashioned country hick from Iowa. Some of my best days as a youth were spent with my Zebco and can of corn or with some worms. One of my best days with a fly rod was up on a small mountain stream that rarely gets fished and nothing was working. I eventually kicked over a cow pattie and saw some worms. I put on a small hook and a worm and my first cast I had a fish. I caught and released so many trout it was amazing. My question is...does using worms break some type of fly fishing etiquette? The purpose is to catch fish and if they are biting on worms does that take away style points? Are there purist out there that would frown upon using a good old fashioned hook and worm on a fly rod and reel? I ask this on this forum because there is all this discussion about bugs, terrestrials, and the like and we devote so much time to figure out what trout go for which is great and I'm very interested in these topics but when I throw a worm in it just seems to work. Will someone let me know if I'm breaking the "rules" by using worms.
Taxon
Taxon's profile picture
Site Editor
Plano, TX

Posts: 1311
Taxon on Sep 13, 2019September 13th, 2019, 4:19 pm EDT
Hi Red_green_h-

Re: My question is...does using worms break some type of fly fishing etiquette?

Fly fishing involves using a tied artificial imitation, as opposed to using live bait. So when one uses live bait, even if it is cast with a fly rod, it is not fly fishing.
Best regards,
Roger Rohrbeck
www.FlyfishingEntomology.com
Troutnut
Troutnut's profile picture
Administrator
Bellevue, WA

Posts: 2758
Troutnut on Sep 14, 2019September 14th, 2019, 2:09 am EDT
Yeah, Taxon got it right.

If you tried to fly cast with a live worm, it would go flying off the hook before it even reaches the water. It's only fly fishing if you're using an artificial fly. However, if the artificial "fly" is made of a little strip of rubber or chenille in the shape and color of a worm, then it's still fly fishing.

That doesn't mean it's wrong to worm dunk, but it's generally not as challenging as fly fishing and therefore doesn't earn as many style points.

Also, trout are biting on worms most of the time, but that doesn't mean worms are the main things trout eat in the stream. Far from it. As far as I know, only once have I ever caught a trout that was actually stuffed full of earthworms. They just aren't drifting loose in the water all that often, but a worm is such a tempting morsel that a trout will rarely pass one up unless it's extremely keyed in on a particular abundant insect at that moment.
Jason Neuswanger, Ph.D.
Troutnut and salmonid ecologist
Red_green_h
Red_green_h's profile picture
New Mexico

Posts: 64
Red_green_h on Sep 16, 2019September 16th, 2019, 3:50 am EDT
Got it, well I went out this last weekend and got skunked. I resisted the urge to throw a worm on. I was trying to identify the right insect but was unsuccessful. They were rising all over the place even right next to my fly I just couldn't find the right one. I got a nibble or 2 from darker colored nymphs but still nothing. My buddy out of frustration threw a hopper pattern on even though there were none visible and caught 4 fish one right after the other. I don't know. I was perplexed to say the least.
Partsman
Partsman's profile picture
bancroft michigan

Posts: 321
Partsman on Sep 16, 2019September 16th, 2019, 7:18 am EDT
Go to your local flyshop and get some info on hatches in your area, typically this time of year terrestials are common, hence your partner doing well with that pattern. You can also find hatch charts online, there very helpful. I know nothing about N.M., but im sure if you do some searching you can find some helpful info. Don't give up, that's part of the fun of flyfishing, being more in tune with your environment.

Mike
Red_green_h
Red_green_h's profile picture
New Mexico

Posts: 64
Red_green_h on Sep 16, 2019September 16th, 2019, 7:35 am EDT
Thanks Mike, I did do that right before I left and I got a dozen flies that they helped me pick out. Where I go there is a fishing report that gets updated weekly. Just wasn't my day. Which is fine. Did some 4 wheeling and just getting out is worth it even if I don't catch anything. Catching fish is just an added bonus! I won't give up, just makes me want to go back up there asap.
Jmd123
Jmd123's profile picture
Oscoda, MI

Posts: 2474
Jmd123 on Sep 16, 2019September 16th, 2019, 7:41 am EDT
"My buddy out of frustration threw a hopper pattern on even though there were none visible and caught 4 fish one right after the other. I don't know. I was perplexed to say the least."

Hoppers are DEADLY at this time of the year, whether you actually see any or not! Dead drifted or twitched, depending on your situation - I twitch them on lakes and ponds and do more dead-drifting on streams, though I will twitch them too. Also - try an all-black hopper with grey wings, you have a cricket and they are just as deadly at this time of the season.

Tight lines and better luck next time out!

Jonathon
No matter how big the one you just caught is, there's always a bigger one out there somewhere...

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