Big Bug Little Bug

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This winter I’ve tied more bugs than a handful of winters combined.  With rivers frozen and snow falling my boxes are overflowing.  Over the past few years I’ve resorted to pulling mostly giant bugs for trout because it was the trend, “everyone’s doing it”.  During those times when things got slow (which wasn’t unusual) I’d find myself switching to a smaller fly, if you want to call a 4″ bug small.  In doing so I found that it was more productive in a few ways.  Not only did it increase the volume of fish  it seemed it didn’t necessarily weed out big fish either.  I understand the concept that giant fish eating giant things but they also consume normal meals in between gorging themselves.  The jury is still out for me if giant bugs really are the key to unlocking giant fish.  Here’s a few caught on “normal” size bugs.

Circus Peanut

T2Conrad’s Sculpin

T4Fathead 

T3Fathead


OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERACircus Peanut

5 thoughts on “Big Bug Little Bug

  1. Joe Donati February 5, 2014 / 11:46 pm

    Man I love the spots on that top fish…it’s been a while since I had seen a pic of that one. What a brute!

    • colehatch February 6, 2014 / 8:51 am

      That’s one I won’t soon forget. Was the first true “big fish” I caught and I gotta say probably the best looking. The spots and the size of the head on that guy we incredible.

  2. Brandon Fazalare February 13, 2014 / 12:09 am

    Those are some slabs of butter! I agree on the fly size; If it’s overcast, waters up and colored, and it’s feeding time for the big browns I’m throwing flies around 7″. However, if it’s normal flows, and not “perfect” big fish conditions, I’ve found flies 3-5″ produce better results.

  3. Matt Barthels March 5, 2014 / 12:20 pm

    Just saw this. Good write up man. For me if i’m fishing a really big piece of water with a relatively small fish population and giant fish (ex. the pyle) I like really big flies. I think you have a better chance to get a big fish move to move a decent ways for a bigger meal. In smaller, more fly friendly rivers I usually don’t fish monster flies for long. I think you can cover water thoroughly enough, and get your offering close enough to most fish to that they’ll eat most moderate sized offerings. However, when the fish are on (not most days for me) I don’t think it really matters. I’ve had 16″ fish eat 9″ flies, and my two largest stream browns came on “smaller” flies. Who the hell knows.

    • colehatch March 5, 2014 / 1:06 pm

      Thanks Matt. I think the most accurate comment of everything we both said regarding streamer fishing is “Who the hell knows.”. Great point!

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