Fishing | Trout Tips

Trout Tips: Vulnerability is an asset

Try using emergers or “cripple” patterns when casting during a prolific hatch with lots of working fish. Photo courtesy Orvis.

Editor’s note: The following is excerpted from TU’s book, “Trout Tips,” which is available online and can be shipped in plenty of time for the holidays.

When fish have a lot of options in terms of the number of bugs in or on the water, I always skew toward using a more vulnerable pattern, oftentimes a cripple or an emerger. For example, during a blanket callibaetis hatch on the Madison Arm of Hebgen Lake, Montana, I couldn’t buy a bite, even though I was throwing a trustworthy dry-fly pattern into working trout. Only when I switched to the cripple, which looks like a fly that just cannot quite get out of its shuck, straighten up and fly right … did I finally find the bite.

Make it easy on the fish, and you will make it easy on yourself.

— Kirk Deeter