Small flies can result in big catch
December 5, 2008
The catch of a lifetime for each angler comes along for those who pursue their sport with a passion. For fly fishermen, these big fish can be sometimes caught on some very small flies.
Sometimes fish will feed exclusively on tiny insects because they are the most abundant food form available. They subscribe to the old pounds of meat law. That is, they eat the most of whatever allows them to expend the least amount of energy. Put simply, a fish could not survive long if it had to give up more calories pursuing its prey than it took in by eating it.
This is why fish will eat flies and some of them can be quite small, tied on hooks from size No. 20 or smaller. Most flies that fly fishers use to imitate aquatic insects are hooks that range from about a size No. 10 to an 18. Even these flies seem small to most folks who do not fly fish.
It takes some skill and a lot of luck to land the fish of a lifetime on a fly such as this. If you are persistent and fish a lot, you will get your opportunity to land a truly large fish.
Last week, Truckee angler Stefan Mcloed decided to go fishing with a friend at an undisclosed location on the Truckee River (not the Fly Casters). He was apparently in the right place at the right time and enticed a nice fish into hitting his offering.
Stefan was born and raised in this community and is an ardent angler.
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He was fishing in a deep run with a size No. 16 nymph. The fish hit the nymph, and while it seemed like a nice fish, it was not until the fish saw the angler and vice versa that the battle really began. Once he saw the fish, Mcloed knew that he had hooked the fish of a lifetime.
Mcloed estimates he needed about 15 minutes to land the fish.
Once landed, his friend took some pictures with Stefan’s new camera. As you all can see by the picture running with this column, it is a very nice fish. It was laid out against the net ” which is 30 inches long ” and it spanned the length, so the weight was estimated at about 10 pounds. It was certainly a prize fish for any water, but it was on our home water, the Truckee River.
The fish was caught and released safely back into the river to be caught again by some lucky angler. Mcloed spent at least 10 minutes reviving the fish to ensure a good release. Many anglers do not take enough time to make sure that the fish has the best chance of survival. This is particularly true when the water is warmer during the summer months, since warm water does not support as much oxygen.
Was he a happy angler? You bet he was!
As Mcloed stated: “It was the single greatest moment of my fishing life.”
Congratulations, Stefan, this is certainly a very beautiful fish!
– Bruce Ajari is a Truckee resident and regular fishing columnist for the Sierra Sun and other area newspapers.