Tricos!!   Leave a comment

Tricorythodes….That insect name can strike fear into the heart of any fly fisher.  The “Trico” is a small mayfly that has the distinction of being one of the toughest to catch fish.  It is frustratingly beautiful to fly fish during this hatch.  So many bugs, fish that are dialed in to one particular stage, and precise casts and drifts make this a very solid challenge.  You master this and you are a great fly fisher.

The Tricos or Trikes are coming off in hoards on the South Platte in Deckers.  The males (black body) typically hatch in the late evening or at night.  The little gray females hatch in the mornings and join the mating swarms to mate and fall spent.  What you have are thousands of dead bugs floating spent on the surface.  The fish love it, anglers not so much.

You gotta’ read the rise.  Typically, early in the hatch you can pick up a few fish on the surface throwing a gray bodied dry fly that mimics the female dun.  You will see smaller fish producing splashy rises on the surface chasing the emergers and duns, you can bring a few to net with a well drifted matching dry. I usually, depending on the skill of the angler, opt to throw a rig under an indicator that consists of a small pheasant tail, a gray or black RSII, and a still born or drowned trico pattern.  Concentrate on the swing portion of your nymph drift.

As the hatch cranks up and you begin to see fish slurping on the surface, this is where you earn your keep.  You’ll notice that most of the fish are situated in one slot and rarely move more than a few inches left or right to eat.  You’ll also notice that feeding fish have a cadence.  You can time them.  Your job is to present a dead bug, in one slot, on time.  It isn’t easy, but it’s a blast!

I like to lengthen my leader a bit, down to 6x tippet, but I try to not make it so long that it becomes a detriment for my angler to manage.  When these fish get to guzzling, it seems you can dance on their heads without spooking them, so I like about an 8 ½ foot leader.  At the end of that leader I will tie a single dry fly.  You can get away with a double dry rig, but I have found a single rig to be much more effective because 2 bug dry rigs tend to multiply the drag and turn away fish.  Find a guzzler, line it up, time it up, and start working.

In any particular slot you may find a dozen gulping fish.  Break down the slot, fish the back portion first and work your way forward.  Too many folks try to fish the entire slot, in my opinion; you’re wasting your time, because a long the drift is nearly impossible to control.  Instead, find a feeding fish at the end of the slot and work 3-4 feet in front of it to a couple feet below it.  Shorten the distance of your cast above the fish if the fish is eating in a fast cadence.  You may not be able to see your fly so if you think you’re close, and the fish eats, set.

Speaking of the set, try to “lift” on the set against the direction the fish is facing.  Throwing 6x tippet after doing some nymphing earlier is a recipe for a set that is too forceful.  I always warn my guests about this, but we typically manage to snap the first fish off on the set……

Find yourself a good trico hatch, and go have some fun.  Remember, Fear No Water!

Also, A HUGE thank you to Kirk Deeter for a great review of my book in TU’s Trout Magazine!


Posted October 3, 2012 by duaneredford in Uncategorized

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