Seine Your Way to Success
Lets face it we all are air breathers and when we’re fly fishing we are attempting to fool a water breather into eating our imitaion of a water breathing insect as best we can with fur and feathers. We as air breathing fly anglers can improve our chances at catching trout if we spend the time to understand the water breathing world. After all our quarry is a water breather and what they eat are water breathing insects. If we anglers want to get better at fly fishing then the first step is to begin learning about why trout are feeding in front of us and what it is they are feeding on. The best way I know how to do that is with a seine.
A seine or net allows you to filter the water moving by you to capture what may be on or just under the surface. Take your seine to the bottom of the river and you can get a good sample of what aquatic insects are living amoung the rocks. A seine will solve the problem of what trout are feeding on. I use two types of seines; one is a very small aquarium net that allows me to make a quick assessment on whats happening on the water right in front of me, the other is a two dollar paint bucket filter you would buy at a hardware store. The paint seine compacts really small so I can store it out of the way in my vest and when I need it I cover my net with it to capture more water surface. The smaller aquarium net I most often use to pluck that little adult bug or mayfly floating on the surface.
Many times I know what the trout are feeding on but I want to get the size and color right. An aquarium net allows me to do just that. Or I might want to get a look at that emerger I know they are eating. The paint bucket seine allows me to cover more water when I’m really stumped on what trout may be feeding on. The large seine also allows me to take a good sampling of what aquatic bugs might be living in the subsurface. Many times while I’m on the river I may not be fishing and so killing some time with my seine is a great activity that I always find worthwhile. Give it a try, it’s inexpensive, fun and it can open some doors into the water breathing world that can only make your fly fishing less complicated.