East side trout diets

Discussion in 'Stillwater' started by jwg, Mar 9, 2014.

  1. jwg

    jwg Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2009
    Messages:
    609
    Likes Received:
    135
    Location:
    West Richland, WA
    Fished lenice yesterday, warm , no wind , forgot to measure the water temperature.

    Water was surprisingly green, so switched out a green leech for a black and gold bugger and started picking up fish. Others were having success with chiros or PT nymph under indicator.

    Sampled fish had mixture of food including miscellaneous chironomids, tiny worms, and small gray scuds. One fish was also full of daphnia.

    Seems like they were foraging whatever they could find and none of the few i sampled were particularly full.

    I will be curious to see how the hatches and diets progress through the spring.

    Jay
     
    Teenage Entomologist likes this.
  2. Kaiserman

    Kaiserman Phil 4:11-13

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2010
    Messages:
    2,750
    Likes Received:
    486
    Location:
    Temporarily on earth, longing for home...
    Yeah, I love this time of year. I can be the dumbest fisherman on the lake (any given lake) and catch fish.

    I think fish after (or near) first "ice off" are in, "If it moves...eat it."
     
  3. troutpocket

    troutpocket Active Member

    Joined:
    May 18, 2004
    Messages:
    1,848
    Media:
    81
    Likes Received:
    433
    Location:
    Ellensburg, WA
    Ira and I fished a couple basin lakes over the weekend with similar results. The weirdest item in the throat samples was bird feathers. Pumped a couple of fish with several feathers and green goop in the belly. Not much sign of wiggly insect life . . . just a few bloodworms, #30 adult midges, and some itty-bitty immature damsel nymphs. Water temps 41-43. No real preference shown by the fish for a particular fly pattern. Just had to find fish and get your fly of choice in front of them.
     
    Irafly and jwg like this.
  4. jwg

    jwg Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2009
    Messages:
    609
    Likes Received:
    135
    Location:
    West Richland, WA
    March 24 Lenice
    Water 48F, has cleared up beautifully, unlike Mar 8 when it was so green.

    fish sampled later morning had a smorgasbord:
    chironomid pupa, bloodworms, a damsel nymph, and daphnia

    A fish sampled in the afternoon had almost exclusively chironomid pupa in various sizes.
    sporadic feeding on emergers in the surface in late afternoon.

    Jay
     
    Irafly, tkww and troutpocket like this.
  5. zen leecher aka bill w

    zen leecher aka bill w born to work, forced to fish

    Joined:
    May 6, 2008
    Messages:
    3,436
    Media:
    41
    Likes Received:
    1,095
    Location:
    Moses Lake, WA
    Phil Rowley wrote a book in 2000 titled "Fly Patterns for Stillwaters". In it he documents the transitional diets of trout for Spring, Summer and Fall. It's worth buying or stealing from your local library. The diet part doesn't matter if one's fishing Alberta, BC, eastern or western WA or any other western area.

    What I've noticed on our local lakes is right after ice off the fish seem to eat the stray leech and bunches of daphnia. It seems to take a week or so (IMHO only) for the fish to really start on chironomids.
     
  6. jwg

    jwg Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2009
    Messages:
    609
    Likes Received:
    135
    Location:
    West Richland, WA
    Afternoon sample.
    various chironomids, green and red worms, a damsel nymph

    Chiro crop sm.jpg


    chiro crop bright.jpg
     
    triploidjunkie and troutpocket like this.
  7. jwg

    jwg Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2009
    Messages:
    609
    Likes Received:
    135
    Location:
    West Richland, WA

    Thanks Zen, I have that book. Just took another look at it.

    I have a friend who once described a detailed spring progression to me, something like:
    tiny chironomids
    big black ones
    smaller bronze ones
    little green ones
    callibaetis hatch came in here somewhere.
    damsels.

    Not sure I remember the details right.

    If others post in this thread, maybe we can put together such trends here collectively.

    Jay
     
  8. jwg

    jwg Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2009
    Messages:
    609
    Likes Received:
    135
    Location:
    West Richland, WA

    Yes I agree about the early Daphnia.
    Things warm up quickly after ice off.
    when the water reaches 39F in temperature, it all has the same density throughout the water column, and our frequent winds turn it over.
    this distributes nutrients from the lower levels to the upper levels, and with spring sun an algal bloom occurs. (Hence the green water Mar 8)
    The daphnia eat algae, so the algal bloom results in a Daphnia bloom.

    Here on the forum people argue about turnover. While it can happen more than once,and we certainly get plenty of wind, the other thing that occurs later in the spring is debris on the bottom floats up as attach├ęd algae grow and create oxygen bubbles to float it up. This is a common eastern washington lake event, but I don't think its real turnover.

    I saw a little of this floaty crud Sunday.

    Jay
     
  9. zen leecher aka bill w

    zen leecher aka bill w born to work, forced to fish

    Joined:
    May 6, 2008
    Messages:
    3,436
    Media:
    41
    Likes Received:
    1,095
    Location:
    Moses Lake, WA
    I wouldn't know about the progression of chronies as I've never thought to track them. My method is to go out, look at the shucks and pick something that matches. If there's no shucks I usually start out with a #14 Chromie.
     
  10. Topstoy

    Topstoy Member

    Joined:
    May 4, 2011
    Messages:
    229
    Likes Received:
    19
    Location:
    Tonasket, WA
    I bought this book back in 2001 and it is my most used fly pattern book. Great instructions as well as a nice write up with each pattern.
     
  11. Jonnytutu

    Jonnytutu Member

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2011
    Messages:
    68
    Likes Received:
    22
    Location:
    BC/Canada, Kootenays
    I don't think all lakes go through the same progression of hatches (especially with chironomids). While most lakes do have mostly the same make-up of bugs I think the ratio is different from water to water. Some lakes have large hatches of tiny green chironomids while other lakes have large hatches of size 10 chironomid hatches (bombers). But with respect to other bigger bugs it does seem pretty consistent.....ie with damsels, dragons, mays, sedges, etc.
     
  12. Lue Taylor

    Lue Taylor Lue Taylor/dbfly

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2010
    Messages:
    455
    Likes Received:
    125
    Location:
    auburn,wa
    Best way to tell what's on a fish diet is to catch one get a good throat sample. Also take in account as to which way the wind is blowing if there's a hatch sure to carried in the direction start at that shore side
     

Share This Page