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Not many fish brought to the boat last weekend. Tried everything and everywhere. Only managed to catch one on a dragonfly nymph casting on a shoal and lost another trolling a leech on my way back to the cabin. My dad and bro had one each and lost a couple on chronies and trolled leeches. They got so desperate they started trolling flatfish as someone at the campsite reported some success but had no luck regardless.

Lots of damselflies, mayflies and one or two caddis were seen.

Witnessed a lot of fish congregating right along shore in 1 to 3 feet of water. around 15 in one spot and 5 or so in another spot close to where I caught my fish. All these fish were dark including the fish I caught. I guess spawners? They were not too interested in anything I threw at them... scuds, damselflies, leeches you name it. Not even too worried about my presence. I have never seen this before ( at least in the three years I have been fishing up there). Anyone have any info on this behaviour. I dont know much about trout spawning behavior in lakes where there are no rivers or creeks to migrate too.
 

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Thanks for that report. That brings me to the same question. I was up at a lake near Merritt last week too and there were lots of fish hanging around an area. You could sorta see em swimming around and when a loon swam by you could see lots, like maybe 15-20 fish scatterring everywhere. So I casted to them, and ended up playing a bunch of fish, landing 2, and getting snapped off by a huge fish...6lbs plus. But they were all colored up and the last fish landed deposited a wack of eggs all over my u-boat. Felt like maybe I was harassing these fish, so I left. Is it wrong to sight-cast to fish? I mean they say watch where fish are, and cast to em, but this felt like shooting fish in a barrell....excuse the pun.......hope I haven't hijacked your report VANISLEALOHA but I am curious too as there isn't any creeks around that lake either to spawn in...

Any thoughts?... :confused:
 

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Most lakes contain sterile fish now, so that type of activity (pre-spawn staging) that you folks describe is less common now a days.

I have heard that even triploids (sterile fish) will at times display spawning like behavior even though they physically are unable to reproduce.

I think there may be some validity to this as on a recent trip to a lake that only contains triploids there were small pods of large fish staging in full spawning colors near shore. They must have been hold overs from pre-triploid stocking, naturally recruited or triploids displaying spawning like behavior. It is hard to say what was actually happening.

As for fishing around staging fish, I would suggest that it is up to the individual, most interior lakes were previously barren and trout were introduced. They were introduced for the sole purpose of being used by sportfishers.

Personally I will not intentionally target a group of spawners, as BentRod suggested moving on will be the right move for me in this situation.

That said just because you catch a couple spawners does not mean you should move on right away. On a recent trip to the Cariboo we were ancored fished chronis at 12 ft in 13-14 feet of water and hooking lots of chrome 1-3 pounders.

After a few hours of that the fishing slowed down and we started hitting mostly big staging fish in the 3-6lb class. The stagers were in the area for about an hour, we each landed a couple and enjoyed the tug of these larger fish.

The spawners moved on and then a group of large chrome fish moved into the area and then the fishing was good for large, chrome, acrobatic fish. We continued to catch fish untill the 5'oclock chroni bell rang and the fishing slowed down. Needless to say we were glad we had held our positions :)
 

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vanislealoha said:
Not many fish brought to the boat last weekend. Tried everything and everywhere. Only managed to catch one on a dragonfly nymph casting on a shoal and lost another trolling a leech on my way back to the cabin. My dad and bro had one each and lost a couple on chronies and trolled leeches. They got so desperate they started trolling flatfish as someone at the campsite reported some success but had no luck regardless.

Lots of damselflies, mayflies and one or two caddis were seen.

Witnessed a lot of fish congregating right along shore in 1 to 3 feet of water. around 15 in one spot and 5 or so in another spot close to where I caught my fish. All these fish were dark including the fish I caught. I guess spawners? They were not too interested in anything I threw at them... scuds, damselflies, leeches you name it. Not even too worried about my presence. I have never seen this before ( at least in the three years I have been fishing up there). Anyone have any info on this behaviour. I dont know much about trout spawning behavior in lakes where there are no rivers or creeks to migrate too.
Quick question - did you try using a throat pump? We often find that's the key to discover what the fish are selecting off the menu. This year at Heffley, it was a bit more difficult finding the right chironomid - but once we found it, the fishing was on fire. In addition to colour, size is important - this year the size was very small. I realize that sometimes, no matter what flies you have, the fish are just "off", or they are eating something that is difficult, or impossible, to imitate. An example is when you find water fleas or phantom midges in the throat pump and nothing else. Then it's back to the leeches and dragons, etc.

On another note, here's a photo of a spawner from Heffley a few years back. That time, we were into several chromers with a few dark fish mixed in. The ******* tended to "dog-it", while the chrome fish were heart pounding and acrobatic - typical of the Pennask rainbow strain. Heffley is stocked with 10 - 12 thousand yearlings every year, but natural spawning does occur. At one end of the lake, you could see several huge 5 - 6 pound dark fish staging. Very cool to watch. And no - we didn't cast into them! ;)


 

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Took the new boat up to Peterhopelss today with the kids. We had something hit a chromie cronie a couple of times but too slow on the strike.

Saw three shrimp and a damsel nymph at the launch.

I did notice a lot of small hatches coming off throughout the day but nothing took any similar presentations.

THere sure was a lot of something in the water that looked like loose slush. Whether that was some sort of insect or algae, I don't know.

I never seem to get that lake right. Nicola sure had a lot of surfacing fish coming in this morning. I should have listened to the kids and dropped the boat in there instead.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
[/quote]

Quick question - did you try using a throat pump? We often find that's the key to discover what the fish are selecting off the menu. This year at Heffley, it was a bit more difficult finding the right chironomid - but once we found it, the fishing was on fire. In addition to colour, size is important - this year the size was very small. I realize that sometimes, no matter what flies you have, the fish are just "off", or they are eating something that is difficult, or impossible, to imitate. An example is when you find water fleas or phantom midges in the throat pump and nothing else. Then it's back to the leeches and dragons, etc.

On another note, here's a photo of a spawner from Heffley a few years back. That time, we were into several chromers with a few dark fish mixed in. The ******* tended to "dog-it", while the chrome fish were heart pounding and acrobatic - typical of the Pennask rainbow strain. Heffley is stocked with 10 - 12 thousand yearlings every year, but natural spawning does occur. At one end of the lake, you could see several huge 5 - 6 pound dark fish staging. Very cool to watch. And no - we didn't cast into them! ;)



[/quote]

Never used a throat pump before but we had one at hand at times ready for use to try to see what they were snacking on. My brother and dad lost their fish at the boat and I did not have the throat pump when I caught mine so we never did use it.

I think I saw what you are referring to as water fleas. Saw lots of dark specs about 2-3mm diameter darting around in the water. Have never seen these before and was wondering if they were fish food.

As far as staging or spawning trout. I thought i read that trout dont spawn in lakes only in rivers. Can trout successfully spawn in a lake with no streams to migrate up or down? Do the eggs need the highly oxygenated water provided in the moving currents of a stream to survive? Like I think (if i recall correctly my elementary school field trips to the hatcheries) salmon or steelhead trout eggs require. Also when they stage or spawn do they lose the urge to eat as salmon or steelhead do yet may take a lure/fly out of habit or instinct or aggression.
 

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vanislealoha said:
As far as staging or spawning trout. I thought i read that trout dont spawn in lakes only in rivers. Can trout successfully spawn in a lake with no streams to migrate up or down? Do the eggs need the highly oxygenated water provided in the moving currents of a stream to survive? Like I think (if i recall correctly my elementary school field trips to the hatcheries) salmon or steelhead trout eggs require. Also when they stage or spawn do they lose the urge to eat as salmon or steelhead do yet may take a lure/fly out of habit or instinct or aggression.
Your right rainbow trout can't usually spawn well inlakes without sufficient inflow/outflow creeks. This is why most lakes are now stocked with triploids.

Fertile bows will ripen and swim around the shallows looking for a place to dump their eggs, usually they wont find anywhere good in most interior lakes.
 

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No - a scud imitates fresh water shrimp - grammarus or hyalella species - which are many times larger than these fleas. The size of the chironomids in the photo are size 16 - 18 (standard hook length) - so you can imagine how small these fleas are. IMHO, it would be impractical to tie an imitation small enough to imitate the fleas. Just my 2 cents worth... :)
 

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Hey Bent Rod. In that particular instance - none worked. We tried olive with red butts, olive, brown, and chromies with no success. We switched back to stinger leeches and did OK. Later in the afternoon - we headed over to another area of the lake which is much shallower and found that the fish were keying in on chironomids - with no daphnia found in the throat pump. From then on - we found that small chironomids with red butts worked very well - particularly the "collaborator". Chromies also produced.

Sorry - didn't mean to hi-jack this thread. My report is found here - along with photographs of the chironomids with NO daphina as I mentioned above:

http://www.bcfishingreports.com/forum/index.php/topic,7611.0.html
 
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