What They Eat....
In spite of all of the regional hype and hoopla, I'm not real big on fishing terrestrials. I do pack a few simple hoppers to the river. A few small black beetles too. Ocassionally I'll even knot one on. Ants? Never fished them. Of course I've tied a few. For a recent high country trip I tied a few more. You see, I've never fished dry flies for high country trout. Why bother I thought. Too much work. Those fish will usually eat anything.
But I'd read that golden trout were fond of ants. And, on the first afternoon, with fish rising, I put the little ant to work. Now, I'd seen no ants around the lake, nor any other bugs floating on the surface. But, enough of something was getting the attention of those goldens.
As it turned out, I could have packed a single fly for the first day of fishing. Not one pattern, but rather, one measly fly. A dozen or so scrappy willing golden trout enthusiastically ate it. It seemed odd sitting lakeside, drying the fly after each fish, applying desiccant, maybe a little goop too. But the little fly held up and continued to do its job, floating like a cork until the next jewel swam by and added it to its dinner.
The ant is back in my makeshift high country fly box. And, it looks like it can hold up to a few more fish. Perhaps another golden trout or two are in its future. One thing for sure, fly float and a few dries will be staples of my high country fly fishing arsenal.