|Staples such as bloodworm are an excellent fall pattern choice|
Fall is one of my favorite seasons when it comes to stillwater fly fishing. As frost begins to predominate the daily fall forecasts, trout prowl the shallows continuing to build the fat reserves that will carry them through the long cold winter ahead. At this time use pattern and presentation techniques to suggest staple food items such as leeches, forage fish, scuds, immature dragon and damsel fly nymphs and perhaps the most underrated stillwater staple, chironomid larva (bloodworm).
Bloodworm patterns are one of my favorite stillwater staples to imitate. During the fall months this bread and butter prey item is often on the menu. When I was down in Idaho I spent time on both Henry’s Lake and Sheridan Lake. Sheridan is a private fishery known for its large rainbow trout. I had the pleasure of fishing Sheridan last year and I was looking forward to fishing it once again.
The weather was perfect, bright clear skies and crisp just below zero temperatures to start the day, my favorite combination for fall fishing. Water levels were low and fish were rolling on the surface. It seemed to take forever to get my gear ready and my Yamaha G3 1756 VBW into the water. I loaded my first two students, Dustin and Jared into the boat. Off we went in search of trophy trout.
|Large trout love chironomid larvae|
Floating lines and indicators were the order of the day. Experience taught me that a leech or bloodworm pattern on the bottom with a chironomid pupa on a dropper would be a good place to start.
As three of us were in the boat we all positioned our flies at different depths to quickly eliminate non-productive water. Dustin was into fish in short order. A healthy plump Sheridan rainbow took his small black and red Ice Cream Cone roughly nine feet down. After a spirited fight the rainbow soon lay in the net.
A quick throat pump confirmed I was on the right track. Dustin’s rainbow was stuffed with #12-#10 bloodworm. The 5/8th’s to ¾’s inch bloodworm were writhing like mad. Just a few seconds ago they were moving just above the bottom or within the tube-like homes they construct along the bottom. Trout have no issue vacuuming larvae right from the relative safety of the their homes and if the bloodworm are free and moving about their feeble head to tail swimming motion offers zero resistance to a foraging trout.
|Jerry McBride's Bionic Worm|
|Bloodworm patterns need to be slender to match the naturals|
|Sheridan rainbow loved Bionic Worms|