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Vail Vailley fishing report

Miles Comeau
Vail, CO Colorado

What is the trigger mechanism locked deep within in trout that tells them to eat lots of tiny mayflies and midges or to eat giant cased caddis, grasshoppers and even mice?

Every expert or even wel-rounded angler has his or her theory and or explanation as to why trout feed they way they do.

One of the biggest thoughts is that trout are opportunistic feeders. They want the greatest reward for the least amount of effort. Therefore if it is more rewarding to sip tiny emerging pale morning duns than crash the surface for giant spent caddis, they are going to eat the tiny flies. More food for less energy or less food for more energy, you be the judge.



Secondly, spawning has an effect on trout. They don’t necessarily have a larger appetite, but they are more likely to chase smaller fish off of their spawning beds that might try and eat their eggs, like a streamer imitating baitfish.

Spawning, part II. Being that trout are opportunistic feeders, they will eat the eggs of other spawning fish. In the fall, whitefish and brown trout are spawning. You can expect to see rainbow trout eating these eggs and vice-versa when the rainbows are spawning.



Get in the lane. Fish in moving water like to feed in lanes. They want to feed where food is going to be abundant. This is a current where an insect can fall from trees, get blown off of the banks into the feeding lane or stir up insects in aquatic stages that are already in the water.

Seasonal opportunity: Depending on the season, summer versus fall, spring, winter, will determine where the fish will be. The warmer it gets, the deeper you can expect to see fish in the heat of the day. When the weather is cool trout will feed in shallow water, especially when hatches are happening.

New hatch versus old hatch: if it’s new and abundant, then they are probably going to key in on that, as opposed to what is already there. This is not always true though. Trout are picky eaters and if the opportunity is greater they will stick to what requires the least amount of energy to eat.



On our local waters: Keep it small for mayflies and midges. Foam is working as well. Fish know the big freeze is coming and are packing on weight. Threatening brown trout with streamers is great way to stay entertained on the water. Besides, who dose not like throwing streamers?

In general, since the waters have not been fished as hard in the last month or so, fish are less sketchy and more likely to eat with the upcoming winter around the corner.-

Miles Comeau is a guide for Alpine River Outfitters in Edwards. He can be reached at 970-926-0900.


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