TROUT LIES


Written by Bob Melrose.

There is an old saying among fishermen that "all fishermen are liars except you and me , and I'm not so sure about you". In this weeks tips we will tell you about the trout's lies. Those fish lie too, but it's not about stretching the truth but where they live.

There are three trout lies and learning to recognize them will lead you to more consistent success when fishing some of our beautiful streams and rivers here in BC.

Trout are constantly under attack. As eggs they are gobbled up by older brothers and sisters, squawfish(northern pikeminnow), dollies and whitefish, birds, bears and mink all love those fresh eggs. As small fry they have to learn to survive predation from other fish, kingfishers, herons, mergansers, mink, otter, loons etc. As they get bigger they now have to worry about ospreys and eagles and of course the frying pan. It's a tough life and that is why to survive to catchable size they need a Sheltering Lie. That is where the trout feels safe from other predators. It could be in that log jam, an undercut bank, a pocket in a rapid, a dropoff into a deep pool, wherever that trout feels safe from attack from above and below the water. It is where the trout spends most of his time.

The Feeding Lie is where he eats. He will leave his Sheltering Lie if he feels safe in early morning or late evening and move to an area that concentrates his food. It may be a shallow riffle at the head of a pool, a side creek, a seam that doesn't offer him the protection but the promise of food that is easy to grab. A trout in a Feeding Lie feels more vulnerable and in most cases will feed there only if it does not feel threatened. Movement, vibrations from footfalls, a bad cast etc will send him quickly back to cover. When casting to a trout in a Feeding Lie think about where that fish's Sheltering Lie is, because as soon as you hook him, guess where he is going to go. Position yourself accordingly. No use standing on the jog jam casting to a fish that once hooked is going to dive into that very same log jam.

The Prime Lie is where all the trout's needs are met. The Prime Lie offers protection from above and a good seam or current to bring food readily available. The Prime Lie is where the biggest trout in the pool lives. He is like the bully in the rooming house, right at the head of the table. He will chase all other fish from that spot.

Learning these lies lets you concentrate on the productive 10% of the water and avoid the unproductive 90%. It is like reading a book, getting to the good parts right now and avoiding the fluff.

Many streams open on June 16 and the balance open on July 1. Check the regulations for your favorite piece of water. All streams in Region 6 and 7 are single,and barbless hook only. This really cuts down on hooking mortality as over 90% of fish caught in BC are voluntarily released to fight another day.