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Old 05-31-2017, 08:45 AM
Bucksnort Bucksnort is offline
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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?
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Old 05-31-2017, 12:15 PM
Pinetopbob Pinetopbob is offline
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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.
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Old 05-31-2017, 02:23 PM
Bucksnort Bucksnort is offline
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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?
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Old 05-31-2017, 02:39 PM
aztightlines aztightlines is offline
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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.
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Old 05-31-2017, 06:00 PM
Pinetopbob Pinetopbob is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bucksnort View Post
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.
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Old 05-31-2017, 08:31 PM
Bucksnort Bucksnort is offline
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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.
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Old 05-31-2017, 08:32 PM
Bucksnort Bucksnort is offline
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Pinetop, when fishing with nymphs under a bobber, how deep are you? Are you near the bottom?
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Old 06-16-2017, 09:06 AM
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MudBug MudBug is offline
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I was at Big Lake last weekend. Stopped by after a family Reunion just to drag some flies behind a casting bubble from shore for a couple hours. Once the sun went down, leaving just enough light so kind of see a midge hatch sent the fish in to a feeding frenzy. They were rolling on emergers all around the area I was fishing. Mostly small fish (4" - 6") but I saw some very large fish in on the feast too.

I ran back to my truck and grabbed my 1WT and caught 7 or 8 of the little ones and missed a bunch more because it was too dark to even see my fly. None of the big fish got fooled.

I was surprised at how big the midges were. In the dark I couldn't make out what they were but I took a picture of my pants legs, which were covered in them and later looked at the pics and the were giant midges.
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Old 06-16-2017, 01:47 PM
Litespeed1 Litespeed1 is offline
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...no matter what, they are all bobbers!
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Old 06-16-2017, 02:38 PM
Bucksnort Bucksnort is offline
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Litespeed1,

They're all bobbers - too funny. I refuse to use LOL, oops.

And speaking of bobbers, uh, I mean strike indicators, a retired Army sergeant from Ft. Carson, CO, by the name of Ed Marsh, was given credit for pioneering indicator fishing in the 70s. Ed Dentry, who was the outdoor writer for the Rocky Mountain News, gave him this accolade. I met Ed once at a Sportsman's Expo and thanked him for teaching me, in a round about way, how to nymph fish with cork strike indicators. Actually, he taught a good friend who taught me.

In those days, strike indicators were frowned upon, and still are, by a lot of fly fishers. While nymphing on the Platte near Deckers, many years ago, I struck up a conversation with a man and his son. I accidentally dropped one of my indicators. The kid picked it up and said, "here, you dropped your cheater".

A long time ago, I had a subscription to Fly Fisherman Magazine. In one of the last issues I received, there was an article by a contributing writer, John H. Sullivan, about strike indicator fishing. The title is something like, "Let's face it....: strike indicator fishing is not fly fishing". I still have an electronic copy of the article. Actually, I think he was a dry fly purist and didn't like anything that resembled a nymph. He wrote about how anyone with a nymph and an indicator could accidentally bump a trout on the nose and catch one.

I was a bit miffed because I thought this article belonged in the op-ed section and not the "how to" section so I wrote a letter to the editor. They did not publish my letter but someone from the magazine called me to tell me Mr. Sullivan had been writing articles for the magazine for along time. He also said that most of the anglers at the magazine use dries, nymphs, streamers and whatever else it takes. Oh well.

Here is another quick story about nymph fishing. I was in Cheesman Canyon one hot summer day. I was sitting on a large boulder in the river playing a nice rainbow when two dry fly anglers approached, fishing up stream. They could see I was playing a fish. As they walked by, one said so I could hear, something like, "you kill more fish nymphing than with dry flies". I've yet to figure out that one.

I am what you call a fly purist. I will fish dries, nymphs and streamers.

Last edited by Bucksnort; 06-16-2017 at 02:40 PM.
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