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Discussion Starter #1
I was up on the other slope this past weekend doing some work on a family property. We wrapped up, had dinner in WP, and there were a few minutes of daylight left. It looked like I was seeing a trail-head and decided to grab the 3 wt. I managed to wet the line and even caught a fish! Wow, its been a while. I was using a parachute adams but I also had a cdc midge.

Just up from where I caught this one I saw a trout sipping on the surface, kind of porpoising. I tied on the midge below the adams and tried for the rest of the day light but never got that trout to show any interest. It was cool watching it feed but frustrating that I couldn't get a strike. I didn't carry any other flies downwith me but, if I had, what would you have used?

 

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Nicely done! That's a decent fish, and sticking one with just a little bit of daylight to work with is solid.

If it wasn't obvious what might have been hatching/emerging, it would be tough to say what that fish was feeding on. If the fish was taking something just below the surface, I'd assume some sort of midge emerger or mayfly emerger patterns fished in the film would have been your best bet.
 

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Thanks - I couldn't see much but the fish was gently coming up and its head, back and dorsal fin would come out of the water, even it's tail sometimes. But never a splash or sound from it.
 

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I keep a mosquito head net in the back of my vest. Handy when you are starting to lose your mind due to the little bloodsucking bastards. But I use it more often by putting it over my net and using it to collect whatever is floating in the water column.
 

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It may not have anything to do with what you were throwing. It sounds like one of those huge and wise fish that just don't fall for anything...
 

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Could you see the fish? Did it come and count the wraps of thread on the fly, then ignore it?

Are you confident you had a drag free drift? That is one of the first things I change especially after hookin a fish and then not have any success.
 

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I'll keep trying to perfect my drift, it is one thing I'm conscious of. Executing is another question.
Thanks everyone, I'll have my full set of flies if I get a chance to go back or when i encounter the situation again.
 

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Thanks - I couldn't see much but the fish was gently coming up and its head, back and dorsal fin would come out of the water, even it's tail sometimes. But never a splash or sound from it.
JF

If this was the consistent rise, then the fish was probably taking something in the surface film, or more likely an inch to 3 inches below the surface - emerger, nymph etc.

Each rise form tells a lot about the fish and what stage its eating the bugs. Those splashy rises are typically chasing caddis or mayflies on the surface that are struggling and might get away. The delicate sips are cripples/ duns/ spinners on the surface. And the Head, dorsal, Tail rises are typically chasing mergers or nymphs.

That is (in my opinion) the toughest of the stages to fish. The other two its a matter of matching the bug and presenting well. In the emerger stage, you have to perfect something in the film, or a couple inches below. Tangler's suggestion of the bent hook/ black body is a good suggestion. It is similar to a fly called a Klinkhammer that is a very effective patter for emergers.

My suggestion is a dry with a dropper behind it. Based on the time of day you said and the situation, I would have fished a size 18 black Elk Hair Caddis as the dry. Then ran about a foot of 5 or 6x tippet with a Pheasant tail or something else in a size 18 to 20 nymph off the back. Would have taken my floatant and greased the tippet to float until the last 4 inches or so giving the nymph enough tippet left to sink a couple inches.

Now once all that didn't work, I would have put on the biggest ugliest streamer and scared the crap out of that fish, then cussed and went to look for a fish that was more aggressive....
 
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