Matching the Hatch at the Top of the Tent
By: Mark Bachmann
Anyone who has fished the Deschutes for trout during August knows that the most surface action happens during a late afternoon wind, or during the last hour of light. Wind decreases the surface tension at the water surface, making it easier for certain small insects to hatch. Low light means there is less heat so that insects won’t die as quickly from dehydration as they would in the bright mid-day sun.
Low light and textured surface from wind on the water can make identification of hatches very difficult, leaving many an angler standing frustrated as selective trout rise repeatedly within casting range to hatches that can’t be seen. “What the hell are the rising to”, can be the mantra to such nonproductive evenings.
However, if you are camping next to the water, your tent can enlighten your entomology study. Look at the outside of the tent where the inside light shows through. Aquatic insects are drawn to the light, just like a moth to a candle.
Probably the hatch the following evening will be similar, so you can be more prepared, especially if you take pictures with a camera or your smart phone. Taking photos can be key as they can be enlarged for further detail and can also cover for a faulty memory…hm, were they brown or gray, or brownish gray.
On nearly any body of water, big trout are more secure in the low light and are ready to capitalize on the extra insect activity. Late evening is a great time to be on the water, especially if you have the right fly on the end of your leader.