Feeding Frenzy

Discussion in 'Fly Tying, Trout Fishing' started by spinner, Feb 16, 2013.

  1. spinner

    spinner Staff Member

    It was early September and a bright sunny day. John and I were fishing one of my favorite haunts and stumbled on a large pod of brown trout under a bridge. There must have been 100 browns under there and a couple were decent sized. John threw the kitchen sink at the browns with nary a whisper. I threw a spinner in there after John and picked up one stupid brown and the hole shut down after that.

    About 40 yards upstream of the bridge was a farm yard and some Holsteins were curious and walked down to the water's edge to watch us fish. Their curiosity was short lived and they walked in to stream to drink and feed.

    There was a spring up there and lots of watercress. The cows had a sweet tooth for the watercress and were seriously chowing on it. John was breaking down his rod and we were about to leave to the truck when it happened.

    The pod of trout under the bridge went absolutely nuts. The surface was actually churning with feeding trout. John went in below the bridge and gave the bridge another try. He still was stonewalled.

    John got really excited and shouted : "Wait a minute!" He scooped up something off the surface of the water. His smile was enormous. I asked what it was. He was hurrying to put a fly on from his box he had not tried before and ignored my questions. He put a little floatant on it and cast up there.

    Immediately he caught a decent brown. I counted his casts. He casted 20 times under that bridge and had a hit on every cast and landed 17 browns. The browns totally ignored their pod mates fighting and being pulled out of there. It was a serious feeding frenzy. As quickly as the trout turned on they shut down. John and I were left there scratching our heads. John casted in there for another 30 minutes and no takers. The strange looking "big" worm like larvae were not floating by anymore either.

    John showed me the fly he was using. It was a Soft Hackle, Partridge & Yellow.

    Tying instruction for the fly:


    John told me the big bug he snagged off the surface was an aquatic Crane Fly Larvae. The worm transforms in to one of those huge Mosquito looking bugs. The adult crane fly when emerging is an easy meal and a giant meal. They are thrashing to discard their old forms on the surface and trout obviously like them.The soft hackle imitates the long spindly legs of the adult crane fly.

    Adult Crane Flies can get up to 2.5 inches long. Lots of folks think they are huge mosquitoes and kill them. Adult Crane Flies don't live long. They procreate and die.


    John was not satisfied. The adrenaline rush he had gotten from this 17 browns was still coursing through his veins and he still was up to the challenge. We sat down stream side and talked. John was stumped. Then a light bulb went on. He said to me: "What is different now than earlier?" Other than the two obvious things of no trout on the line and no bugs floating by.....where were the cows???

    They had eaten their fill of water cress and moved out of the water. John told me to go upstream and be a cow in the water cress. I humored John and went up there and waded and trashed around in the watercress.

    It was like a switch turned on. The action under the bridge was on again. John was at it again. The trout literally tore apart his fly and he had to switch to the same fly in orange. John and I lost track of how many browns he caught. It was close to 50 and he never moved an inch.

    Crane Fly aquatic larvae are gray and plump with ridges and look segmented. Aquatic crane fly larvae eat decaying vegetation or small invertebrates. They are called "leatherbacks."