Question of the Week: December 31, 2020

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Question: 

I was on the Boise River casting a size 20 Blue Winged Olive (Mayfly) over rising trout. While I only caught 1 trout over the course of the hatch, another fly fisher was banging them one after the other.  What was I doing wrong? 

Answer: 

It’s hard to say exactly because I wasn’t there, however I can tell you why the other fly fisher was “Banging them”.  He was catching a lot of trout because he was best able to imitate exactly what those trout were eating.  Only two things catch trout; the fly and the fly rod.  Your inability to catch more than one trout is more than likely rooted in your lack of using the right fly, or your inability to present the right fly correctly.  My guess is you were unable to “Work the progression” (Trial and error), meaning you didn’t have enough BWO patterns to work through until you found the right one that best matched what those trout were eating.  Recognizing what aquatic insect trout are feeding on is critical.  Just as critical is to have a fly that will match the exact bug those trout are feeding on.  What separates a non-fly fisherman from a Master fly fisherman is simply the fly and the fly rod.  Advise:  Go back to the river with numerous size 20 BWO’s and work those trout again.