Bruce Ajari: It’s tough to beat fishing with your old pals
The nice thing about fishing is it’s a sport you can do as an individual or with friends. There are times that we all prefer the solitude of a stream and those quiet moments that are just for you.
However, much of the fun is enjoying the sport with a good group of friends. I have a core of friends that I fish with on a regular basis. I always have a great time with them, whether we catch fish or not.
This past week I really appreciated one of the advantages of fishing with them. When fishing with a group, the one big advantage you have is figuring out just what the fish want that particular day.
With four of us fishing, one of us will usually come up with a fly that works well. This past week was a good illustration of that. We were fishing a lake that had a great population of scuds (freshwater shrimp) in the shallows. Though none of us had ever had success using scud patterns in this particular lake, one of my partners decided to give it a try.
The results were immediate, with fish attacking his scud pattern. The good news for us was that he had tied enough to share with his fishing partners. As a result, it was a first for me doing so well in this particular lake with a scud pattern. While I had caught fish before with scuds in lakes, it was usually in the spring when the scuds appear to be larger. The scuds the fish were feeding on in the shallows were very tiny.
The flies that we were using were much larger than the naturals. I guess that sometimes “matching the hatch” is not necessary. The rule of thumb for fly fishers is to use a fly that approximates the same size, shape and color of the original. Size and shape are by far the two most important characteristics while color is the least. Generally, if a fly approximates a light or dark shade that matches the other two characteristics, it will work.
While this is usually the way, I have used larger flies during major hatches and have had success with the larger patterns. The theory here is that there are so many naturals on the water, using a larger size allows your imitation to stand out. I had never given it a shot on scuds before this trip. You can bet I will be trying it again in the future.
So while fishing with friends is always good, fishing with them and being very successful is even better! It certainly had its benefits on this particular trip in the catching segment. Enjoy fishing with friends.
– Bruce Ajari is a Truckee resident and regular fishing columnist for the Sierra Sun and other area newspapers.