Fooling fish that are keyed into on of Stillwater fly fishing’s nemesis organisms
There is a slight sinking feeling that occurs when we watch a cloud of matter slide rapidly through the tube of the throat pump.
Daphnia are small plankton that are found in a variety of environments, and a readily available food source for rainbow trout when insect emergences are not present.
Daphnia by themselves are nearly impossible to match as a fly angler, but even attempting to match them individually would be a futile effort at best.
A solution to this?
Instead of vying to match the non-existent hatch, a more considerable option in getting rainbow trout to eat your fly would be to simply get their attention.
With the recent surge in popularity of UK flies like the blob within North America, catching fish when they do not want to be caught has never been easier.
Early-season Stillwater fishing often means cold water, little to no bug activity, and fish that are moving in a fairly docile manner.
An excellent method for catching fish in circumstances that are not in favour of the angler involves a sometimes unconventional approach.
Flies that create stimulation such as gaudy, bright leeches and fluorescent attractor patterns will often produce results when a more natural approach will not. Fish that are devouring Daphnia are likely eating them out of necessity rather than excitement.
Hanging Blob Patterns
Fishing “Blob” flies under a strike indicator allows a static presentation of something that loosely resembles a cloud of Daphnia. Even if it isn’t a perfect representation, we cannot argue with the fact that it simply works.
Fish are able to hone in on these flies from a long distance, and are often inclined to sample them in the only way they know how: with their mouths.
This is a very similar setup to what we would use for suspending a micro-leech under an indicator, and pay close attention to where fish are marking in the water column on your depth sounder.
Next time you are totally stumped by fish that are chalked full of Daphnia patterns, experiment with vertically suspending flies that you may not usually consider.
This is an effective approach in the early window of Stillwater fly fishing season, which we are luckily experiencing right now!