Underwater World of Trout Part Two | Feeding Lies

Underwater World of Trout Part Two | Feeding Lies


In Feeding Lies, we look at the many rise
forms and takes In Feeding Lies, we look at the many rise
forms and takes on the surface and below. The large variety of food available to trout. Trout feeding under many different water conditions. What gives them the ability to hold their position in fast water? The lateral line, swimming muscles, fin control,
a segment on trout biomechanics will make that clear. How they accelerate! A pecking order in wild and stocked
trout. A segment on hydrology – how water
moves beneath the surface. Feeding Lies are places where trout go
only to eat, and also places where at times the food
is concentrated, as in the foam lines of larger rivers.
We find feeding lies in riffles and in very shallow riffles. In front of rocks or obstructions, and behind rocks. In the tail end of pools. in eddies. We also find feeding lies in fast water in the middle of the water column. Whoa! Why would trout want to fight that current, let alone feed? I see it all the time. How do they do it? If you’ve ever seen a seagull or a hawk
on a very windy day, they will hold their position without
moving a wing. The air is doing all the work. Those aerodynamic principals of air apply to the hydrodynamic principles
of water. Trout have that fusiform shape and those
pectoral fins that jut out just like wings. They have the ability to hold their position in that fast water
and play off the currents and turbulence, the water does all the work. They use very little swimming motions they are being tossed around and their
fins can adopt different angles. They expend very little energy and they
feed at the same time. Dr. James Liao, while at Harvard University
made high speed movies of rainbow trout swinging from
side to side in a pattern called the Karman gait
named after Theodore Von Karman, a famous fluid hydrodynamicist. It showed that trout in a turbulent stream such as this use fewer muscles than trout in slower moving streams
as we will see in a later segment. The body flutters, gently, like a flag
flapping in the breeze. The trout are relaxed and ready to capture
energy from vortices generated by the current to hold their
position. Most hatchery bred trout and juvenile
trout are the exception. They eat all the time and just about
everywhere. Then there are sheltering lies. That’s where trout go only to find shelter. Under deadfalls, in undercut banks, refuge from avian predators
like herons and ospreys and anglers like us. This is a sheltering lie under a huge boulder.
I have filmed here many times before, and always thought
that this was a trout’s safe refuge. Let’s go underwater and see what I mean. There is a large space beneath the boulder where I always see many trout. This day I only found a single trout. The larger trout were not to be seen. Well, they were safe from predators that attack from above
but no trout is safe from underwater predators,
mink, otters, eels. This trout got away this time, but it’s only a matter of time before it falls prey to this watersnake. The rock is a safe haven no more. Then there are prime lies.
They are a combination of feeding lies and sheltering lies.
That’s where a trout has it all, both food and protection from predators.
We’ll see examples of these lies throughout the video. Let’s now look at what trout eat. We’re pumping the stomach of a
rainbow trout, and what we see are tiny midge pupa,
some still alive and some with a gas bubble in
their shuck. A trico nymph, a trico spinner, a blue winged olive and a black fly. In their nymphal state trout eat them. In their adult state they eat us. If we look we can find a species of baetis or blue winged olive spinner
hidden on the stream bank, hanging upside down
under vegetation or under rock ledges as we see here. Then, crawling into the water, where air retained between their wings holds
them upright, while they oviposit on the stream bottom. My good friend, Don Douple, who films aquatic insects
in all stages of life, is credited with these clips. You fly tyers take note, it shouldn’t be too hard
to tie an imitation of an olive in this stage of life, should it? After completing their only purpose in life the spinner is let go from the bottom and
fall upwards, to the surface. They lay under the film, meanwhile
puzzled anglers fill their fly patches with failed attempts,
trying to match the hatch they cannot see. Meanwhile the trout sip and boil beneath
the surface undisturbed until the hatch is over. Our spring creeks are chuck full of sowbugs or cressbugs and fresh water shrimp or scuds as seen indicated here. These crustaceans are a very important
food source for trout. Lift a rock and we see crayfish, swimming nymphs, crawling nymphs, black salamanders, black leeches, brown leeches, chartreuse and green mottled leeches.
That’s why different colored woolybuggers are so effective. Tiny crayfish, most often anglers see the big crayfish
because the small crayfish this size are a large part of a trout’s diet. Here is a nymph that crawls to the streamside to transform into its adult state
which is a beautiful iridescent blue or green bodied damselfly. Whoa! What kind of creature is this? Well, it also crawls to the stream bank
to transform, and trout just gorge themselves on them what must be a very tasty morsel. I was on the river bank one day
when hundreds of these invertebrates got the cue,
the time for metamorphosis is here! They were everywhere, on the vegetation, my waders, my camera bag. Give up yet? Well this one just broke
free of its nymphal shuck and is starting to distend from a body that
was just half the size. Do you recognize it now? Sure, it’s
a dragonfly! Crawling past the shape it once looked like,
just a few minutes before. This one just burst out of the back of its
nymphal shuck. Drying its wings and moving out like a
B-29 on the tarmac. And off to eat a million mosquitoes and perhaps someday ending up in the belly of a trout. A large adult stonefly, of course trout take the overwhelming majority of
these in their nymphal state. The sculpin is a favorite food item in the
diet of larger trout. Up to 4 inches long and certainly the
master of camouflage. How many fly tying materials would it take
to match this camouflage? Probably all of them! With all this food to eat, why do trout take leaves?
By the term “take” I mean to take it into their mouths,
not necessarily swallowing it but also spitting the substance back out. You can compare these actions by what we do when strolling down a path, kicking a rock or pulling the leaves from
a twig for no reason at all. Like a trout, is it a reflex? Or an impulse? How many of you watching this will go to your vise and tie
a willow leaf imitation? On the top of the display is a twig that
will tumble down, the trout will take it and then eject it. Hmm….First it’s a leaf fly and now a twig fly? Watch the larger trout, its eyes will shift. She sees something in her forward field
of vision. She will take and eject it in a spit second.
If that were your fly would you have known this happened? This clip was included in my video Discovery and I just had to include it at this time. She takes a clump of vegetation, shuffles it around in her mouth,
and ejects the vegetation. We’ll talk
about this later. There must be something very tasty in
all this mush, because the trout came back for seconds. Here is a large brown trout in a prime lie. The water is 4 feet deep next to this bank
of vegetation. This is why they call them…..brown trout. In this eddy the trout is feeding in the reverse current, feeding in the drift. The trout takes to the right and oh-oh, it appears as though there is
something wrong. It has taken something into its mouth
and trying to get rid of it by pulling water in its gills and forcing
it out of its mouth. All clear! And back to feeding. We can become mesmerized by the
underwater world, the colors of the trout, its surroundings,
but now we’re going to take a more pragmatic view of the trout
so that we can better appreciate this salmonid. We’ll spend the next few minutes on trout
biomechanics. Biomechanics being the study of how mechanical
laws relate to, in this case, how trout move around in the water.
That was a yawn. A trout’s body mass consists of over 80%
swimming muscle, and the body is coated with mucous for
two reasons: to prevent infection and disease, and to
minimize drag. Scientists have found that the combination
of two things: that slime coating that covers the body and the jet action of the water that is expelled from the gills at all times
minimizes drag by 65%. Both these factors contribute to the lubricant
effect that allows trout to hold their position in swift and
turbulent water. We’re going to see how a trout controls
pitch, yaw, and roll. Pitch is up and down, yaw is left to right,….. and roll. In order to understand this we’ll look at
the function of all the fins. Starting from below the head, the
two pectoral fins, behind that, the two pelvic fins,
the anal fin, the caudal or the tail fin, the adipose fin, and the dorsal fin. One question, what does a trout use for a rudder? What did you say? …..The tail? Well, that’s what I thought also. Let’s look at the dorsal and anal fin, these fins work in conjunction with each other
To keep a trout from rolling, something like a sailboat.
This is a wild brook trout, note the perfectly formed fins. These worm-like designs are called vermiculations on the dorsal area.
On this trout they are mirrored on the dorsal fin. This is the dorsal fin of a male wild brook trout.
The trout has been released and is resting on the stream bottom. Lets now focus on the caudal fin. Watch how the undulations of the
body muscle increase as the trout accelerates from a dead stop. And then the caudal fin launches the fish forward. Dr Louise Milligan of West Ontario University has done research on the sprint speed of
rainbow trout and found that a trout weighing just over
a pound, from a dead stop can reach the speed of almost 22 miles an
hour in one second. Well, let’s look at a brook trout accelerate
in real time. That was fast, wasn’t it? Watch in slow motion as the trout does a complete 180⁰ turn, and accelerates. Notice how the pectoral and pelvic fins are flush against the body. The caudal fin is responsible for thrust and direction. Let’s watch this large brown trout accelerate out of sight. It is difficult to watch pelvic fins go through their movement,
but here we can see how they fold up close to the body,
and then flair out to control pitch. I couldn’t cover fin functions without
covering the lateral line system. The lateral line consists of many hair-like
sensors called neuromasts most of us are familiar with the superficial
neuromasts that can be seen along the lateral line. This next illustration shows that there are also canal neuromasts
located around the eye, over the snout, down to the lower jaw and over the head. The system can monitor temperature, detect variations in current flow and depth, sounds and vibrations, like the sound of an angler walking on gravel. The system is sonar like, in that it can detect the echoes of a fishes own motions. It orients them so they don’t collide with foreign objects
or other fish when in close proximity. It filters out the sound associated with turbulence
and at the same time picking up the tail-beat frequency of a
swimming minnow or a fluttering insect on the surface or below. This complex system also enables blinded trout to find and capture prey
and live for years. Due to the minute scales on a brook trout,
the lateral line is very visible. We can even see the pores that lead to
the neuromasts. Let’s look at the pectoral fins, the two
fins just under the head. They are the work horses of all the fins. By the way, the pectorals are the rudder. They are responsible for controlling yaw and pitch, and they are the primary fins used for braking. Here is a larger brook trout, the pectoral
fins function independently of each other. If these fins were deformed or debilitated in any way
you can see how it would effect their ability to feed
under water conditions such as this. We’re coming back to the sculpin for
good reason. Note the pectorals, the leading edge is
lower than the trailing edge. The current flow plasters the fish to
the bottom. This is called reverse hydroplaning, and trout
practice this to some extent. These are wild brook trout, and this is how they hold their position in very slow moving water. All their fins are moving, but primarily their
pectorals, dorsal and caudal fins. I’m going to brush through a few illustrations
on the subject of salmonids and fluid dynamics. Those that
choose can come back to this section. We’ve covered the function of all the fins
except the adipose fin, that fleshy appendage between the dorsal
and caudal fin. Does it serve any useful purpose? Research by Reimchen and Temple a few years ago,
found that adipose fin removal on juvenile rainbow trout,
resulted in reduced swimming efficiency as compared to unclipped fins. Drew Jamieson, a pilot and flying instructor
for 16 years in the Royal Air Force, and now a fisheries scientist, compares
the adipose fin on salmonids to vortex generators, a row of vertical surfaces
on the wings of some jet aircraft. Drew explains that the secret to minimum
drag is to keep the boundary layer which is that layer of
water that is less than 1 mm thick next to the skin, to keep it attached to the
skin for as long as possible. The adipose fin reenergizes this
boundary layer. Without it, the flow separates imposing
drag on the fish, and reducing the effectiveness of the tail
in the turbulent flow. So much for that non-descript little piece of flesh called the adipose fin. I was moving my camera upstream when
I came upon this trout, and the entire scene just didn’t seem
to make sense. A trout in this turbulent fast moving water. My next thought was, this trout is hooked! And
the leader is caught on the bottom! I repositioned myself so I could push my
camera into the leader to free the trout. Before I could move the camera, the trout
dashes off to the right and then returns. This trout wasn’t hooked! It was holding its position in that fast water. The trout came back to that exact position, the focal point,
where it expends the least amount of energy. Just like the seagull and the hawk on
that very windy day, this trout in slow moving water is expending
more energy trying to maintain position, than the trout
in that fast moving water. I know this trout maintained this position
for more then 15 minutes, but I still don’t know why he chose this
particular lie. Before we move on in this segment
I would like to explain. We’re going to see wild rainbow trout,
juvenile and adult. In small streams their par marks, just
like wild brook trout, are sometimes still apparent into their 3rd
year. We’re looking down on a wild trout stream
from 15 feet in the air. We’re going to find out where the trout
are holding and feeding in this pool. Of course, before I shot these clips I had already located the trout. Where do you think they are? Here is side view, we have a little of everything here, shallow water and deep water, fast moving water and slow, riffles and obstructions to the flow. I’m now going to take my camera underwater and pan upstream on the left side. Here’s the obstruction. And here we see the first trout, holding
in fast water. Upstream a little ways we see two more. Just swaying in that current. And feeding. By the way,
these two trout, were holding right next to this rock. We are now at the head of the pool. This is a juvenile trout, they do feed
all the time. My camera may have dislodged a
few invertebrates. This trout is feeding in the drift. Take notice after each take, it comes right back to the foraging site or focal point, that exact point where it holds best, expending the least amount of energy. This is our first example of a pecking order. The larger trout has dominance and the subordinate calmly moves out. Each trout knows its place in that order. This is a large fast flowing river in
a western state. Not many people fish close to the bridge
and the parking lot. I suppose they think it is fished heavily
and they go either upstream or downstream. We’ll look at this area just above the bridge. It was a hot day, over 90⁰ in the middle
of the afternoon. My brother Joe took 5 trout up to 17 inches,
and I came back the next day, and took 3 trout….and at midday! Allow me to digress for a minute. Doctor Bob Bachman, who researched wild
brown trout feeding behaviors over a period of three years in a spring creek has found that these trout spend 86% of daylight hours in a sit and wait state
searching for food in the drift. Most of my filming takes place between
10 am and 3 pm and I also find trout feeding throughout
these hours. Yet rarely do we see anglers on the
water at 12 noon. These boulders are about 12 feet apart. There
is a deep chute in the middle that spreads out to the tail end beneath
the bridge. All 8 trout were taken fishing from the gravel
bar on the left side and casting upstream. Unless the nymph was
drifted through this area, below the white water, there were no
other takes. Of course, this feeding lie will change under
higher or lower flow conditions. But I know for sure the next time we fish
here Joe and I will flip a coin for this spot. Research by Doctor Louise Milligan has also shown
that after fighting a rainbow to exhaustion and releasing it in moving water that
forces the trout to use its swimming muscles actually clears
up the lactic acid build up within 2 to 4 hours
compared to 8 to 12 hours when released in still water. Well, that’s no problem on this river. Joe is explaining that from the lie created
behind the rock that he is pointing to downstream to the lie…. in front of this boulder, a distance of about 20 feet
he caught 6 trout. So never pass up the fast water. I placed my camera under countless waterfalls and have always seen trout. It’s a prime lie, the water is well oxygenated, and there is lots of food. Trout are always breathing in water, exchanging carbon dioxide for oxygen. And with the water comes minute particles of debris, so trout, at times, must clean out their gill rakers and gills. Water is forced in and out of the gill plate openings and the mouth. This action loosens and discharges the debris, and…..this is a pecking order, the first
in line is the dominant trout. It takes and misses, and number two trout takes. Sometimes it pays to be number two, ….but not always. In wild trout streams, I’ll often find the deeper pools with a population of
young of the year, and up to 3 year class rainbow and brown trout. This brown trout has a bluish spot on the gill plate behind the eye. I’ve noticed this on most fluvial wild brown trout, but, rarely on hatchery bred trout. Some with just a blue smudge and others
with a more defined blue spot. But, as of yet I haven’t read anything
on the subject. All wild trout have perfectly formed fins,
much larger than hatchery bred fish. While on the topic of fins, specifically
the anal fin….. This is a mature brown trout. Research shows
that this concave shaped anal fin identifies it as a female. All immature brown trout exhibit a concave or falcate shaped anal fin,
and mature female brown trout retain that same concave or falcate shape. But, in sexually mature male brown trout, a change takes place
and the anal fin takes on a convex shape. Here is a spawning pair of brown trout. Since only the female cuts the redd, we know that this is the female. And…..here is her mate, the male. This is the reddish adipose fin of a fluvial wild brown trout. Doctor Bachman has found that here in North America, no other salmonid
has this distinguishing feature. The red or orange spots on the adipose
fin are a strong, if not definitive distinction between
hatchery reared and wild brown trout. Unless the hatchery trout are fed a special diet,
or unless they survive long enough and eat enough
natural food to color-up, brown trout of hatchery origin rarely if ever
have red markings on the adipose fin. Can you identify these trout, which are male,
which are female, which are wild and which are not? Linear dominance hierarchy is a scientific term for a pecking order. We’re looking at a pecking order of three wild brown trout. Number 3 is in the foreground. Watch as another moves in to
displace number 2. Number 2 knows its place and moves out
without hesitation. Number 3 the last in line
accommodates the new number 2 and cautiously moves backwards. Number 2 then takes its place, but then moves upstream towards number 1, the dominant trout’s feeding lie. And then backs off. A pecking order is set
at intervals throughout the year, and the largest trout usually gains
dominance and acquires the preferred feeding location. Autumn is my favorite time for filming, the summer algae blooms are gone,
and the water clears. As you can see, the trout also get to experience
the autumn colors. Then for some unknown reason we’ll see
number 1 dash back into the pool and clear everyone out. I’m going to pause for a moment, have you ever thought about how a trout brakes? How it stops? Most anglers haven’t. Well, think about this, you approach a wild trout stream and spook a trout. You see it shoot across the stream like a bullet. Well, you know it won’t crash into a log or the stream bank. Of course, trout must have the ability to stop on a dime. I’d like to show you how a trout accelerates and brakes. The trout will enter the scene here. This is a trout that had accelerated and is coming to a stop. It then accelerates
then immediately applies its brakes and stops again in the middle of the pool. Let’s watch this in real time. Fast, wasn’t it? We’re going to watch
it again in slow motion. We see a trout coming to a stop, braking, its pectoral fins flared out. Then for whatever reason it again accelerates. The body muscles together with the caudal
fin will propel the fish forward. Now the trout takes the shape of a bullet, its
pectoral and pelvic fins folded against its body and launches forward,
and in a microsecond it starts to brake.
We see the pelvic fins extend, and the pectorals are fully flared out. The body bends, the dorsal fin forms a cup as does the caudal fin. The trout comes to a complete stop. It certainly took me a long time to explain
what it took the trout a fraction of a second to do. All this in less than a second
and within the space of 24 inches. In the next two segments we are focused on
unusual and perhaps amusing feeding behaviors that I observed in
hatchery bred trout. We’re watching a large rainbow trout in
the 5 to 6 pound range, feeding. The haze we see is caused primarily by light being scattered off all those
air bubbles and other impurities. The trout are
feeding on midge pupa. And here it is. The creek also holds a plentiful supply of cressbugs. This trout certainly is not camera shy. This rainbow trout will tolerate a brook trout
in its feeding lie, but it is off limits to other rainbow trout. A yawn, and then the attack! That other rainbow was just a little too close. Both trout are now targeting the same food item
which is slightly below, and to the right off the screen. They both dip down and it wasn’t the rainbow trout that took the food. A female moves into the lie, the male shows dominance
and she quickly moves out. This behavior can change from pool to pool
and creek to creek. Here is a brook trout that took up station
beneath a much larger rainbow trout. Can we call this a sheltering lie? Aha! But the rainbow does not tolerate the
brookie, quite a contrast kto the previous segment. The brookie stands its ground. But another swipe by the rainbow changes
its mind and it doesn’t return. Here is a large rainbow trout that shows
indifference to a smaller rainbow taking directly in front of her. Circled is a piece of bark, we’ll watch the larger
trout take it into its mouth and immediately eject it, and it’s gone! Bingo. We’re going to spend the next few minutes on hydrology, or specifically, how water moves beneath the surface. What you see here is a steel rod that I drove into the stream bed. There are strips of cloth attached every inch and a half along its length. The purpose is to indicate the direction of current flow
beneath the surface of the water. About 6 feet upstream is a vegetation
covered boulder. Would you believe me if I told you that just
beneath the surface in this area, the water is actually flowing upstream? Here is a view from directly above, need I say anything? Let’s take a look beneath the surface, as you see,
just below the surface, the water is flowing at a high velocity.
We go down about six inches, the water stops flowing,
and the current flows upstream. Because of the friction with the stream bed, the flow on the bottom is practically nil. Here is a wide angle view. How would you fish this stretch of water, now that you know, or would you? Would you believe me if I told you, that just
beneath the surface here the water is flowing upstream? And there is a large brown trout facing downstream? And camera goes under and there he is! A perfect sheltering or prime lie for a large trout. The water was at such a high velocity, I couldn’t hold the camera steady. Let’s watch it in slow motion. The velocity of the water almost took the camera and struck the trout. Here is an example of laminar flow. Laminar means it is streamlined, just like
the flow patterns in a large pipe. There is minimal turbulence. From the surface to the streambed, we can see how the flow
diminishes as we approach the stream bottom, where again the flow is practically nil. Here is an example of laminar flow
and feeding trout. The trout on the bottom feed in slow moving
water and as we move towards the top
of the water column, the trout are expending more energy. Would you cast your nymph or lure into these rapids? Probably not. This is a wild trout stream, and just below the surface is a fine specimen
of a large wild brook trout holding its position, and only occasionally
do we notice the caudal fin and swimming muscles being utilized. George Lauder of Harvard University found that trout have the ability
to move upstream, without using their swimming muscles. They catch the vortices that spin alternately off the two sides of obstacles. They bend their bodies into wing-like hydrofoils and tack against the current,
similar to a sailboat tacking into the wind. Many of the trout we catch below the surface
are feeding on drifting invertebrates,
and holding in what Gary Borger calls the hydraulic cushion
on the bottom, or just above the bottom, depending upon the streambed structure. This fish is in the slipstream, feeding in the drift, but it moves no more than a few inches to the left or right, and no more than an inch or so above. Moving beyond these margins would result in a great expenditure of energy while moving to and from its focal point or forage site. In order to catch this trout you would have to hit it on its nose or drop it
in its mouth, and even then, if you don’t know it’s there, you won’t even try, but you should! This trout is feeding higher in the water column, and its range is much wider. A foot or more to the right or left and probably
no more than 8 inches above. This trout has a chance to scrutinize its potential food before the take, whereas the previous trout had to make quick decisions, being right in the middle
of that fast moving slipstream. It probably took more substances into its
mouth that were not food, and couldn’t eject it because of the
high water velocity. I see very little evidence of bottom feeding, most feeding is done in the drift. Bob Bachman found that only 12%
of a trout’s food is taken directly off the bottom suckers do pretty well in that department. This trout is feeding in a fast moving riffle. It can also be considered a sheltering lie, because avian predators
cannot see through the surface white water and turbulence. The trout is also an opportunistic feeder, plucking food from a rock and invertebrates
in the drift, but not for long. It abandons the feeding lie for a brown trout. Can we say that brown trout displace rainbow trout
in a feeding lie? No, these are stock trout, and I’ve also
seen it the other way around. This trout is feeding in a very shallow riffle, and as you can see, it is very open to predation, since even the head breaks through the surface. Trout feeding in this manner spook very easily, even while feeding ravenously on trico spinners. Just a tilt of the pectoral fins moves the head upward to take the food. For you fly tyers, take notice of the tricos floating past, the body of the trico is beneath the film while
their wings are floating on the film. Are you still putting floatant on your
trico bodies? Another trout has been feeding upstream,
it is also gorging. In some creeks, this feeding frenzy takes
place from July through October. Is this the dominant trout in this lie? Well, let’s just watch and see. The more dominant trout swims in and attacks the subordinate. It then comes back to take its earned position in the lie, not in exactly the
same spot. Due to its size the focal point is a bit more upstream. Here we have a side shot. This trout has been getting fat on
those tiny morsels, and they’re not much bigger than
a pin head. This is small pocket water, and two wild brook trout are feeding in the reverse current flow. It was November and tiny blue winged olives were present. I watched for awhile, and I do spend a lot of time just watching. Most of that time with my camera in standby mode. The two trout then made a movement downstream
where a third trout had come upon the scene. While just a few feet away
the water deepened, and I found that the third trout was a female
that had just begun to cut her redd. The male, is making courting passes. There are two other males, watching and waiting. It is common for these precocious young of the year trout,
to swim into the redd when the larger male, for whatever reason,
leaves for a few seconds. A brook trout is in a prime lie, and on its
foraging site, which is in the slower moving water. Watch as it moves into the fast water to take food in the drift, and the energy expended getting back to its foraging site. This, in contrast to the rainbow trout holding in fast water
and taking food in the slower water. We’re looking through an eddy from the
main downstream flow which is in the foreground,
to the far side, where the current flows upstream. Just to the left of the rainbow trout is a seam that separates
the fast water from the still water. The rainbow is holding position in that
hydraulic cushion beneath the fast water. And taking invertebrates in its forward field. Let’s analyze the current flow in an eddy. Encircled is a piece of vegetation that
is moving upstream where it has just drifted past the
brook trout on the far side. Let’s watch it as it moves upstream, and then reverses direction…. and perhaps, comes around again, and so would the trout’s food. What does this tell us? To a trout an
eddy is like a lazy susan. It also tells us that rainbows prefer
to feed in faster water than other trout, as research has shown,
and as we see throughout this video. We see the rainbow trout move into
the slow water, take an invertebrate, and return to its focal point
in the faster water…. while the other trout mill around, and
feed in the slower water. What would be the proper way to
fish this pool? Yeh, I’m not sure either. Here is a deadfall, definitely a sheltering lie and the most difficult to fish. Not too hard to hook a fish, but a lot harder place to land a fish, ….as you can see by the tippet
following this trout. Jason Borger writes that one of best
big fish lies is in front of a rock or obstruction in that
hydraulic cushion. Research by Doctor James C. Liao, using
rainbow trout under controlled flow conditions, and using a cylinder as
an obstruction to current flow, implied that one of the most energetically
favorable regions was in front of the cylinder as compared to the regions
around the cylinder. A trout does not require a huge boulder
to accommodate an energy efficient feeding lie. As we can see, only a few slabs of rock will do. While Karman gating only certain muscles near the head are activated,
in this instance, while station holding. It is picking off the invertebrates that
drift over the top and along the right side of the rocks. A larger rainbow trout moves in. Notice how the rainbow exerts itself in comparison to the movements of the brown trout. I thought to myself, is it trying to impose dominance?
Why is it here? Well, I found out soon enough. The rainbow trout made a courting pass at the brown trout,
a male brown trout at that, remember, these are hatchery bred trout. Another rainbow arrives on the scene, and they force the brown trout
from the area. Obviously this is a spawning redd,
apparently they left the red for a moment and the brown trout moved in
to what was an ideal feeding lie. Look who’s coming back, Mister Brown! Back to re-capture his feeding lie. Well, that never happened, and the
bows forced the brown out, and they continued their spawning. We’re at one of my favorite rivers for fishing the dry fly,
but like other streams in my video, I don’t mention the name. The hatch has begun, the duns are on the surface,
and the current is concentrating them in the foamy seams,
and the trout start to feed. In larger rivers and lakes, when trout
are feeding on the surface, they do not hold their position as they do
when feeding in the drift. They continually cruise,
sometimes in pods containing dozens of fish. And then selectively pick off the insects
of their choice. Let’s watch how these cruising trout feed. When casting to these trout, you don’t cast to the rise,
you must determine the speed, and in which direction
the trout is moving, to anticipate where to place your fly. I’m scooping the insects up from the surface, what we see are
duns, emergers, and shucks of blue winged olives and midges. The hatch is at its peak. You must be wondering why I’m filming
instead of fishing. Sometimes I wonder the same thing. This is a wild landlocked salmon river. It has the usual freestone hatches
of Hendricksons, blue winged olives, quills,
caddis and tricos. The water is tannin colored,
and this section is very difficult to fish. The water is very deep at the shore line,
with brush and trees at your back. And that brings me to my fishing buddy,
Ron Halick, who called down to me to look at a large
landlocked salmon he is casting to. Well, I placed my camera underwater, and there it was. There is significant color shifting.
The colors are not true,` especially at this depth. A beautifully shaped fish, it is feeding in the drift. Let’s see what it is feeding on. It is a large invertebrate, light in color, and any substance that was white
or cream colored that drifted by was either inspected
or taken. Well, we went through our repertoire
of 3000 flies but found nothing there. Later on I read Leizer and Boyles book, Stoneflies For The Angler, and they named one chapter, The Secret Of The White Nymph,
the white stonefly. As invertebrates grow, they shed
their outer skin, and for a few hours before the
new skin hardens and darkens, they have a creamy
white appearance, and fish just love them. And this is true for almost all invertebrates. Since then, I always have a molting
stonefly pattern in my fly box, and cream-colored imitations
of other nymphs. I’m watching trout feeding on
a spring creek. There are caddis on the water. My camera is even with the water surface. Wow, that was close.
I slowly lowered my camera underwater atop a large boulder. Here is the feeding trout, but I’m too close and at the wrong angle,
so I took up another position on the water’s edge. The trout is holding in a perfect lie in front of a boulder, riding the bow wake. At times, the current moves the fish
to its right, but with a flip of its tail it comes back
to the focal point. That ideal point, and confined to
a very small area. The trout must continually adjust
its position, sometimes getting too close to the rock. A take of vegetation, and now, an emerger. As we’ll see, this trout is a very opportunistic feeder,
sometimes taking anything that looks like food. A dimple rise, difficult to see from the surface. Another emerger, this one more obvious from the surface. And here we see, not a fin moving. The current doing all the work. A take on the surface, and the tell-tale bubbles in the ring of the rise. And another. A take on the right in the drift. And another bubble rise. An emerger, with hardly a dimple. Let’s slow this one down, a natural beadhead. A gulping rise, where the trout actually
spits water into the air. I have found that when a trout exhibits
chewing motions of extended duration, it is trying to dislodge
and expel the substance it took into its mouth, as we see here. We have to watch this in slow motion. The trout targets its potential food. We see dark objects in this clump of algae. We’ll see the fish take, and shuffle it
around in its mouth, and then expel the algae from both
sides of its mouth. And as we can see, retaining the food. I see this very often but then I also see this, the trout will take the algae, taste it and swallow it all. Why? Well, all invertebrates start life as eggs. Where? On the stream bottom in algae, and it also contains countless miniscule invertebrates. Salmonids have very sensitive taste buds, not only in their entire mouth, but also on the outside of their lips, top and bottom. Trout feed primarily by sight, but they swallow based upon taste. Remember the piece of bark, well, when trout taste this nutritious algae,
they swallow the whole thing. Here is a change of mind take.
Was that your fly? And….it changes its mind again! Here is a surface take, but it is expelled instantly. Let’s just take in the beauty of this scene. How many colors do we see? Steel black, white, silver, scarlet,
mother of pearl, God had all the colors at his disposal,
but he chose these for this rainbow. Caddis are still on the water.
Let’s slow this one down. What if that were your fly, would you
hook this trout? Maybe not! Let’s find out. If you had cast your fly to this rising trout from downstream,
and there’s your fly, and your line, leader and tippet
were laid down in a perfectly straight line upstream, let’s see what would happen. The snout hits the tippet and pops the
fly away from the fish, and when you set your hook, there’s nothing there. When casting upstream for rising trout,
always use the curve cast where the fly would enter the
trout’s window before the tippet, leader and line. There are many skittering caddis on the water.
The trout will choose one of them for its meal. Now, in slow motion, how many caddis can you see
on the surface? A choice has been made. Is that your fly? Now if that were your fly…. I watched this trout feed for over two hours
while lying in the mud on the shoreline. I have never had a more cooperative
underwater subject as this feeding trout. Thank you, ONCHORYNCHUS MYKISS

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