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-   -   Insects in AZ Lakes (http://www.azflyandtie.com/flyforum/showthread.php?t=15525)

Bucksnort 05-31-2017 08:45 AM

Insects in AZ Lakes
 
For my first AZ fly outing, I went to the Rim, thanks to the advice from Payson Lazer Line. I visited four lakes, Woods Canyon, Bear Canyon, Willow Springs, and Knoll, but fished only two because my grandson was with me so I didn't take my pontoon boat. He and I caught some fish from Woods from a rented boat.

Most of Colorado's high mountain lakes would not have trout without being stocked. I assume there are few if no fish in these lakes because of environmental conditions which probably affects insect life - no bugs, no fish.

While visiting the Rim lakes, I did not see one trout rise to the surface. Is this because there is a lack of insect activity or was I just in the right place at the wrong time?

Pinetopbob 05-31-2017 12:15 PM

Take your toon over to Carnaro soon and fish the damsel hatch that is going on this time of year.

You might get lucky and see the entire lake explode in a feeding frenzy. Happened to me once and I'll never forget that 10 minutes.

Bucksnort 05-31-2017 02:23 PM

Wow! Thanks for the information. How long do you think the activity will be like this? I'm not planning to head east until first week in July, which will probably be after the flurry, when a fly fishing pal will come to visit me. Based on your description, I'm assuming you are catching them on the surface. If so and if I can be there at the right time, I can finally use the handful of damsel dries I've had for a long time.

I've never been at a lake when trout were taking them on the surface. I assume the damsels are taking them while laying eggs because damsels hatch by crawling out on vegetation or on the bank. I've never taken a trout on a damsel nymph but I've seen trout take them.

What say you?

aztightlines 05-31-2017 02:39 PM

Damsels, especially the nymphs, are a big deal in our lakes.

Normally, midges are prevalent...sometimes callibaetis, baetis and some caddis. Of course, terrestrials later in the season.

Pinetopbob 05-31-2017 06:00 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Bucksnort (Post 169987)
Wow! Thanks for the information. How long do you think the activity will be like this? I'm not planning to head east until first week in July, which will probably be after the flurry, when a fly fishing pal will come to visit me. Based on your description, I'm assuming you are catching them on the surface. If so and if I can be there at the right time, I can finally use the handful of damsel dries I've had for a long time.

I've never been at a lake when trout were taking them on the surface. I assume the damsels are taking them while laying eggs because damsels hatch by crawling out on vegetation or on the bank. I've never taken a trout on a damsel nymph but I've seen trout take them.

What say you?

Damsels might still be working the first of July and you should have some nymphs under a bobber.

Bucksnort 05-31-2017 08:31 PM

On the two occasions where I encountered trout eating damsel nymphs, I tried presenting my pattern to them without activity.

The first time I was in a float tube on one of the Delaney Buttes lakes near Walden, CO. I was a just a few yards from shore and near submerged vegetation. Water depth was maybe three feet with excellent clarity. I could see nymphs clinging to vegetation and crawling on the bottom and I could see trout taking them from the bottom and a few that were swimming. There were no adults laying eggs on the surface. I believe I had the right pattern but I'm betting my nymph was lost in the bunches of damsel nymphs.

The second time was at a small lake (Lilly Lake or something like that) just outside Leadville, CO. It's a very popular lake with a restriction of flies and lures only and I believe it is catch and release. Some anglers fish from float tubes and toons while others, like me on this day, walk the bank. I found a similar situation as with the Delaney Buttes Lake. Again, I could see trout taking nymphs but not mine. I am an excellent tumbling, fast, pocket water nymph angler and do very well in still waters with non-damsel nymphing but damsels have skunked me.

After the two events with damsel flies, I loaded up with adults and nymphs but I've not pursued damsels much so there lays my lack of experience with them.

Bucksnort 05-31-2017 08:32 PM

Pinetop, when fishing with nymphs under a bobber, how deep are you? Are you near the bottom?

Bucksnort 05-31-2017 08:34 PM

AZtightlines,

You mentioned terrestrials. Last week, when fishing Woods Canyon, we were catching tiger trout on a number 8 foam, yellow and sometimes green rubber leg hopper pattern.

kad1979 05-31-2017 08:54 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Bucksnort (Post 170000)
AZtightlines,

You mentioned terrestrials. Last week, when fishing Woods Canyon, we were catching tiger trout on a number 8 foam, yellow and sometimes green rubber leg hopper pattern.

Hey now...you said you didn't see one trout rise to the surface. But you were catching them on hoppers. LMAO. Just giving you a hard time. :) Be curious to hear the rest of the responses as I am heading to a white mountain lake next weekend and don't fish stillwater much. And have been tying my butt off for the trip with callibaetis, chironomids, damsels, etc... size 12-14. Fingers crossed my work has not been in vain. :ROFL:

Bucksnort 05-31-2017 10:39 PM

Kad1979, when I said no fish were rising, I meant none other than to our flies. I expected to see trout rising everywhere to which I could cast some sort of nymph or dry fly. My favorite way to fish for trout in still water is to cast to rising fish.

As I said, I may have been at the right place but the wrong time. My philosophy has always been, although I didn't adhere to this much when fishing new water, is to fish still water all day from early morning to late evening. This way, you know what the trout will do early morning and late in the afternoon when trout are more active. To fish a lake in mid day when activity is at a minimum is to deprive yourself of a good day of fishing.

Here is a good example. Sometime around 1980, a friend and I walked to Little Echo Lake near James Peak, Co. We were at about 12,000 feet. We arrived very early on a Saturday morning and found fish rising everywhere so we fished from float tubes and caught 12" to 14" lake trout left and right. The next morning, after suffering through a horrendous hail storm, we didn't see any surface activity so we waited until late in the afternoon when trout began rising again. The point is, had we arrived mid-afternoon, we would not have seen any surface activity so we may have departed for more fruitful water.


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