Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Tricos in June: Global Warming?

I know, using bug hatches as indicators of climate changes in kind of ridiculous isn't it? Is it?
I personally don't believe I've ever seen tricos in June but talking with a couple other guys, they say they have seen them as early as June 24th in the last couple years. Even so, it definitely shows a resent trend that can't really be disputed. PMD's are almost done and when I started guiding in 2007, we didn't see them until July. Tricos didn't show up until late July and even into August and now it's becoming common to get them in June? That's kind of crazy. And this doesn't feel like just a shift in climate; summers seem to be lasting longer too.
BWO's are almost non-existent in the Fall. We used to get them back in September with the shift in weather patterns. We could usually count on a couple snow storms to bring the water temps down to point where BWO's would hatch but now we don't see them until late October if at all. By that time, most of us have put the rods away and have busted out the shotguns.
So what has that done for the fishing? Well, the dry fly fishing today was good with all the tricos on the water. Fish were happy. Fish were eating and they weren't all that picky. Yesterday, fish were also eating tricos but they were kind of being pricks. It was tough but it really showed how important the right presentation is. Eighty percent on the Mo with tiny bugs is just not good enough. It might get it done on the free-stones but it won't here.
Yes, today restored my faith in dry fly fishing on the Mo. It also restored my belief in the idea that presentation trumps the perfect fly. We didn't get a single fish on a trico even though that's what they were eating. We got them on caddis, ants, and PMD spinners. We never really had to go to the tricos, which is good since my eyes ain't what they used to be. (Throwing a size 22 fly amongst all the naturals floating downstream is pretty tough to pick out.)
So what does the shift mean long-term? I don't know. For the past few years it meant that we didn't have much for hatches in August or September. Does that mean the fishing gets tough? Not really. I still say that some of my best fishing has been in August. Fish are still hungry. They still have to eat but instead of eating real techy stuff like a size 22 trico, they have to forage more for food so you can get them to eat random stuff like crayfish and scuds and as for dries; you might not see fish eating on top but you still can get plenty of action on terrestrials like hoppers, ants and even bee patterns if you know were they fish are and how to read water.
Ok, so I'm not trying to alarm anyone or run around screaming the sky is falling. I'm really just suggesting that times are changing in the fishing world and I'm not sure we can do anything about it in the short-term accept to deal with it. (We could discuss what we could do on a deeper and more political level but that's not what I'm here for.) Some guys are dealing with it by taking most of August off. I choose to adapt and continue to fish. A guy's gotta' eat.
Keep 'em where they live...

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