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Surface Feeding Percentage

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#1 Wildnative



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Posted 26 March 2005 - 11:58 PM

I have read in several periodical publications and in several fly fishing books, that a trout will eat 80 to 90 percent of its food subsurface (nymphs, emergers).

Do you feel this is really true on all waters, or are there waters where trout feed on the surface more?

And, if trout do eat such a high percentage subsurface, why are we able to catch them on the surface even when a hatch isn't happening?

#2 steeldrifter


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Posted 27 March 2005 - 12:40 AM

Yes I believe that statement to be true. The shear amount of food that is avaliable to a trout subsurface is stagering if you have ever used a net under the surface to collect nymph. If you havent then give it a try this summer and kick over a few rocks then see whats in the net, you'd be amazed.

"Why do they still feed on the surface when theres no hatch?" .....

Usually the only fish that will feed on the surface when there is no hatch going on is the smaller little "dinks" not the larger trout. So I would say the smaller fish are just so full of energy they will take whatever looks like food without careing about expelling the energy. The larger trout usually wont feed on top without a hatch.


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#3 appalachian angler (tn.)

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Posted 27 March 2005 - 12:58 AM

A good pair of polarized sunglasses will tell you where they are at in the water column. It seems that when a good hatch is going off, the predominate trout have the best feeding lanes where there is a two-tone in the current, and they can get lift with minimal effort. I have noticed the risers pick up with the heat of the hatch, and the trout seem to wait till the flys are clustering up. then they can get 2ormore for the price of one rise tongue.gif

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#4 flymaster


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Posted 27 March 2005 - 04:30 PM

Hey AA me and you have discussed the holston tailwaters before correct? Would you still think that a river with such a great hatch would still be that high of a %. I bet it is high but I wonder if it would be less subsurface than like out MTN streams. I am sure it would be. But still the big pig fish will be feeding uder but with an ocassional rise to raise my blood pressure!

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#5 Joe Hard

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Posted 28 March 2005 - 09:59 AM

Where I fish the trout only feed on the surface for a percentage of the year, and most times it is the smaller fish. the larger prey on them.
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