top of page

Week of April 21st: Grateful Anglers

It’s still poetry month, so here is “Pied Beauty” which makes mention of trout:

Glory be to God for dappled things –

   For skies of couple-colour as a brinded cow;

      For rose-moles all in stipple upon trout that swim;

Fresh-firecoal chestnut-falls; finches’ wings;

   Landscape plotted and pieced – fold, fallow, and plough;

      And áll trádes, their gear and tackle and trim.

All things counter, original, spare, strange;

   Whatever is fickle, freckled (who knows how?)

      With swift, slow; sweet, sour; adazzle, dim;

He fathers-forth whose beauty is past change:

                             Praise him.

Gerald Manley Hopkins had to have a trout in hand in order to see those “rose - moles all in stipple” and it is the dots of color that make each species unique and beautiful.  The poet gives thanks for “dappled things” or things with spots and patterns. This is a sentiment I concur with - it is differences and contrast in size, shape, and color that attract my eye; fall foliage and spring blossoms are other examples of beauty created by virtue of contrast. I do love a bleak winter landscape and green leaves in summer, but the more going on, like motley patterns on a brown trout or the black to white fin edge on a brookie, the stronger my visceral reaction. 

I think trout appreciate a bit of segmentation and clearly they differentiate between shape and size when selecting their next meals. The change in water flow, clarity and temperature are also differences to look for to see if trout may be moving.  The increasing variety of food allows trout to be more selective.  If you catch a hatch that trout are keyed in on, you know how true this can be.

Guides, customers, and my own experience this week show that patience is as required as your nippers.  According to reports, many fish were caught but there was a consistent report of flashes of activity with slower stretches between.  On Friday evening I happened to be fishing during a “bloom” of blue winged olives.  One minute there was nothing happening and I was thinking to pull stumps. Then, slowly, and then all at once, the air filled with small olives.  I put on a green and tan WD-40 and three fish came to hand in quick succession - moving from the river bed in quick upward darts.  Then it stopped and didn’t start again. 

The dry fly activity is where you can find it - no reports of consistent or predictable hatches yet. Massive caddis migrations are happening, but most of us are still thinking subsurface flies when you see them on the wing.  Streamers can change up the pace when they seem to be “off” and you don’t notice much happening.

A second round of Hendricksons should be up early this week with a few days near 60 but the overnight swing is playing havoc with nights into the 30s.  Soft hackle or wet flies can compete with a La Fontaine for most looks from fish The bubble wing Hendo emerger is still a popular choice.  When a good hatch is ready to go, find your spot before 2 pm when they usually pop.  Blue Quill, mahogany duns, and Adams may fool a few.

Let’s all take a moment and be grateful for the spotted and beautiful gifts from Nature around us.  

We should also show gratitude for the vendors, organizations, musicians, and crafts folk for a GREAT Trout Fest 2024! T-shirts will be available in the shop - the first print was sold out before I could get mine!  

Thanks to the Beates’ for bringing everything and everyone together! It was a lot of work and we are grateful!

See you out there.

Roy B.

Hare's Ear Wet #12, Hare's Ear #12 - 14

Hendrickson Ephemerella subvaria Light Hendrickson/ Red Quill #12-14, Hendrickson Emerger #14

Quill Gordon Epeorus pleuralis Quill Gordon #12

Grannom Brachycentrus numerosus & B. fuliginosus Peacock Elk Hair Caddis #14-18, Henryville Special #14-16, JK's Caddis Pupa #14-16, Cased Caddis #14, Partridge and Peacock Soft Hackle #16-18, John Kavanaugh's Grannom Emerger #16

Blue Quill Paraleptophlebia adoptiva Blue Quill #16, Blue Dun #16

Adams Parachute #16, Grey RS2 #16, Pheasant tail #16

Baetis species (levitans, etc.) Adams Parachute, BWO, 18-20, RS2 #18-20 Pheasant tail #18-20

Spotted Sedge Hydropsyche spp. Tan Elk Hair Caddis #14-16, Green Rockworm or JC's Electric Caddis #14-18, LaFontaine's Sparkle Pupa #14-16


bottom of page