Fly Fishing for Trout Home
User Password
or register.
Scientific name search:

> > Did you ever wonder

David82ndMay 31st, 2017, 6:57 pm
Upstate,New York

Posts: 63
As we stand in our rivers , waist high water have you ever thought to youreself " I know there are trout in front of me , I see them at times , I'm sure they see me in passing , when I'm casting and mending I think many times " how many times has the trout in front of me seen this fly before?
The exact trout I'm watching in a rise , or watching go through a riffle , how many times has he seen the same flys, the same routine ? It sounds funny but I would be naive to think I'm the first guy to cast a mayfly into the run in front of me , or to bounce that pheasant tail along the rocks above me in the current lol , I can only imagine the trout ,lol. Oh great here comes a " frenchy , oh look there's a zebra midge , look this guy tied one in " purple ,lol. I guess my mind wanders at times when I'm in the river ,must mean I'm relaxing ? But honestly I do wonder what those trout keep laughing about
TaxonMay 31st, 2017, 9:33 pm
Site Editor
Royse City, TX

Posts: 1348
No David, I don't recall ever having had such thoughts when standing in a stream. :-)

My thoughts tend to run more along the lines of: What type of imitation should I use in this situation, and how can I best present that imitation in such a way as to induce a trout to accept my offering.

Best regards,
Best regards,
Roger Rohrbeck
David82ndJune 1st, 2017, 2:58 am
Upstate,New York

Posts: 63
Lol, agree as well,all this goes in hand /w my thoughts lol , I just put a humorous spin on the technical thought process,
PartsmanJune 1st, 2017, 3:49 pm
bancroft michigan

Posts: 420
David, yes I have pondered the same questions as you. Here in Michigan our streams get hammered hard, many of them are open year round, which includes steelhead fishing. Fish see all kinds of junk go by them, it really amazes me a lot in how fish can be very discerning about what they most of the time. But sometimes I wonder what goes through that little brain.
WbranchJune 2nd, 2017, 6:12 am
York & Starlight PA

Posts: 2733
I don't believe trout have the ability to think. I do believe trout are creatures that follow defined precepts for survival. They need to eat and they need to feel safe when they feed and have a place to escape to when they feel threatened.

Obviously they aren't that smart at all because if they were we would never be able to catch them with the pathetic flies we cast at them. If they were "smart" they would easily be able to discern between what is real food and what is imitation food with a painful hook attached to it.

I do believe they acquire the ability to want the food (fly) to be presented to them in the same manner a real food item is in the water. Also they can be selective and usually won't just eat whatever you throw at them. It would be extremely unlikely to catch a trout rising to #18 Baetis on a #12 March Brown.
Catskill fly fisher for fifty-five years.
TimCatJune 2nd, 2017, 1:16 pm
Alanson, MI

Posts: 121
One of my favorite fly fishing books is by Bob Wyatt, called "What Trout Want: The educated trout and other myths". His viewpoint, which I agree with very much in my limited experience, is that the trout are not as smart or intelligent as many anglers would say. Check it out. It's a great read.

I do believe there is a little bit going on in their brains but not much. As mentioned above, if they were so discerning then we would never catch them with those curved hooks sticking out of our imitations.
"If I'm not going to catch anything, then I 'd rather not catch anything on flies" - Bob Lawless
WbranchJune 2nd, 2017, 3:58 pm
York & Starlight PA

Posts: 2733
I agree 100% with TimCat's comments and those of author Bob Wyatt. Some fly anglers give too much credence to the fallacy of trout having a brain advanced enough to "think" through aspects of their lives.
Catskill fly fisher for fifty-five years.

Quick Reply

You have to be logged in to post on the forum. It's this easy:
Username:          Email:

Password:    Confirm Password:

I am at least 13 years old and agree to the rules.

Related Discussions

TitleRepliesLast Reply
Re: Some more FISH PORN!!!
(2 more)

In the Photography Board by Jesse
6Jun 14, 2011
by JohanB
no hatch
In General Discussion by Artk
Re: Beautiful fish of the South Fork
In Fishing Reports by Squarehog1
2Sep 18, 2020
by Red_green_h
Re: Fish Report : Holy Waters
In Fishing Reports by Brian314
4Jun 1, 2022
by Brian314
Re: new member
In General Discussion by Epeirce
1Mar 5, 2008
by Jjlyon01
Re: Todays exam....guess the bug
In General Discussion by Kroil
9Mar 13, 2008
by Martinlf
Re: Midge Video
In the True Fly Family Chironomidae by JAD
5Mar 4, 2010
by Martinlf
Re: fly selection for beginners and pros alike
In General Discussion by Trtklr
3Apr 29, 2009
by Trtklr
Re: November Steelhead Report
In General Discussion by Wiconisco37
5Nov 15, 2008
by RleeP
Re: itzy-bitzies!
In the Identify This! Board by Wiflyfisher
6Aug 9, 2007
by Martinlf