One of our guides Wayne Paxton was capturing the moment when they stumbled upon this fish. On our spring creeks, Japanese beetles become very thick along the streamside vegetation in late June/early July. By the middle of July, the fish tune into them and ravenously chase them down. As fish become pressured by anglers eating beetles they will begin to inspect flies and become increasingly selective.
One trick we have learned over the years is that a presentation casting upstream on a slow-moving spring creek to a big trout can result in a very long inspection of a fly that will often end up in a refusal. The ’splat’ of these beetles hitting the water can produce a ‘charge’ of a fish from an undercut, off the bottom, or from way upstream. We noticed that fish that turn downstream from the resulting ’splat’ tend to find the fly and eat vs refuse.
That is why Wayne instructed his angler to cast 1st to the tail of the fish. When the fish did not react, they went to an angle just outside the fish. As you can see he hears it, engages, and almost sips…had the fish not been able to get downstream of the bug to inspect, he may just have sucked it down and turned to head back home…..
Article from Colby Trow of the Mossy Creek Fly Fishing, check them out on Instagram @mossycreekflyfishing.