|Biggest fish of the day.|
|Rock Worms - tied on a DaiRiki 135 #16 with Danville 70 denier red thread wrapped over two strands of UTC micro orange stretch tubing, and coated with Sally Hansen Hard as Nails..|
I did not get one hit on a midge - neither did Jeff. As I've never seen it before red was the fly color of the day. If I was a better naturalist I would have thought to pump the stomach on one of the fish I caught to see what they were feeding on. I'd bet money they were stuffed with annelids - or were they stuffed with midge larvae? Most of the fish, including my biggest fish of the day, took a smaller worm pattern which was tied on a size 16 Dai Riki 135 hook. By the way, the biggest fish I caught 22" and it was the largest one I've managed to catch for some time at Gray Reef. The flush and the pending spawn are bringing bigger fish up to the dam.
I have often been resistant to fishing worm patterns, but yesterday, to match the hatch, a worm was de riguer. It's pretty much the only thing I could get any fish to look at though I did hook two on a green leech. The red "rock worm" is a standard pattern at Gray Reef and it produces fish on a regular basis. Some guys fish almost nothing else. During the spawn, a worm is often teamed with an egg - this rig is commonly referred to "Bacon and Eggs." The standard Gray Reef Rock Worm pattern is usually tied in a larger size than the ones shown above. Yesterday, with the fish so keyed in on red, I eventually rigged up with with a larger rock worm above the smaller one on the point.
On the web you can find the Rock Worm pattern referred to as a San Juan Worm; this just shows an unfortunate ignorance (or indifference) to fly pattern history and nomenclature. Unfortunately this usage seems to be taking hold - I talked to someone yesterday at the Reef who had a Rock Worm tied on and told me he was fishing a San Juan Worm. For those who may not know, a San Juan Worm is a fly pattern developed on the San Juan river in NM. It is a bit of ultra-chenille tied on a hook. It looks nothing like the N. Platte Rock Worm. Personally, if I ordered half a dozen San Juan Worms and a package of Rock Worms showed up instead (or vice versa) I'd be miffed. Not all worm patterns are San Juan Worms.
I've always been a bit puzzled as to why the Rock Worm is such a popular pattern at the Reef. Sure it brings in some good fish throughout the year - but so will a Gold Ribbed Hares Ear nymph. I caught my largest trout ever (measured at 27") on a GRHE drifted deep on the south side of the Gray Reef dam. I suspect it was taken for a crane fly larva. A day like yesterday is not enough to convince me that a Rock Worm is always the way to go at the reef - but I could see how some people might get that idea. It seems to be common knowledge that the flush is a good time to fish and so it was as crowded yesterday as I've seen it in a long time. That means a lot of people got the rock worm message.