Change of location can help the frustrated angler
Last week I wrote about the use of small flies and the frustration of using flies that had been successful in years past. The challenge is trying to find out what insect the fish are keying on and imitating the proper stage of that insect. As I discussed last week, this can be extremely challenging.I was beginning to lose a bit of confidence in myself after several days of very tough action. The cure: Try and find some less selective fish.This required a change of location from the Little Truckee River to the Truckee River. The small change in location proved to be abundantly more successful.While the fish appeared to be keying on the same insects, the flows in the Truckee River were much higher than the low 51 cubic feet per second flow in the Little Truckee, and that seemed to make all the difference in the world.Using the same flies that I had used in the Little Truckee to imitate the same emerging blue wing olives, I was able to fool a good number of fish. This was quite a change in the success over the previous several outings.Low water conditions in the Little Truckee and the amount of fishing pressure on it seemed to be the primary cause of the super selective fish. With low flows, the fish have a great opportunity to inspect the flies that are floating by them. This allows them to determine a fraud much easier.The main Truckee was flowing more than three times the level of the Little Truckee. Even with the same hatch occurring, the fish have less time to inspect the fly that you are using. As a result, they must make a quick decision to accept or reject the fly.Obviously, because of the success, the lower flows were a large part of the reason that the fishing was tough on the Little Truckee. Why else did they take the flies so readily on the Truckee?The other part of the problem is that the Little Truckee is a smaller body of water, but gets an extremely high concentration of angler usage. With this increased usage, the fish see just about every fly pattern imaginable. On waters such as the Little Truckee, precise imitations and presentations are necessary.On a bigger body of water such as the Truckee River, the same number of anglers does not have the same impact. Thus, the fish do not see the same number of flies.If you are a regular angler on both of these bodies of water, you will know what optimal flow levels are for both. Knowing this will increase your success as an angler. It will give the angler a good chance of selecting a body of water in which he or she may have the best opportunity to catch fish.Challenging yourself is fine if that is the frame of mind that you are in, but if it gets too frustrating, change your location for success. This is always good advice when it comes to fishing! With the General Season closure on Wednesday, California anglers will have to wait until next spring to fish the streams. If you have a Nevada license, give the river on that side a try. It can be very good this time of year.Bruce Ajari is a Truckee resident and regular fishing columnist for the Sierra Sun and other area newspapers.