Norm M Posted December 30, 2016 Report Share Posted December 30, 2016 I am reading a book What Trout Want, The Educated Trout and Other Myths by Bob Wyatt . So far as I've got his argument is that trout don't get educated to fly patterns and thus become selective in the flies they take thus necessitating even more perfect imitations of natural foods . One point is that poor presentation is more of a factor than a fly imperfectly tied . Another is that trout due to the size of their brain are incapable of having acquired a conceptual grasp of what it means to be genuine or fake . He further states that when speaking of fish feeding selectively from a animal behaviorist point of view it isn't a matter of choice, suspicion or taste but about efficiency, getting the most nutrition with the least amount of energy expended . " Trout are fundamentally no different from any other fish . Out there in the fish world, selective feeding isn't about scrutinizing, choosing and refusing. It's about zeroing in on the most abundant and highest - quality food when it's available and eating as much as possible while the getting's good. " " The "selectivity" that biologists observe isn't anything like a trout making fastidious choices between male and female Tricorythodes subimago, or judging an insects correctness of form , or choosing it's prey based on the mysterious color preferences of Ray Bergman's aesthetically refined trout. It's about focusing on prey by it's size and abundance and how it behaves in the water. In the case of prolific and sustained insect hatches , it's a matter of the trout not recognizing anything else as food - a kind of tunnel vision. " "This isn't the choosy behavior of a sophisticated and fussy eater, but the innate stimulus and response of an efficient predator fully exploiting it's niche in the ecosystem. Behavioral ecologists call this predictable response to it's prey the trout's " fixed action pattern" - genetically programmed behavior the fish can't help ." On another point about learning he mentions the exposed hook issue in fly fishing. His point being that even on heavily pressured waters trout have not learned to recognize what a hook is as they continue to be caught on flies with exposed hooks . In something like a fly that is trying to imitate something natural an exposed hook is as unnatural a cue as there could be . On the point of exact imitations he points out that in a book by G.E.M. Skues , The Way of a Trout with a Fly there are ten photos of flies called Blue Duns from different regions of the British Isles . The fly in every one of those photos are meant to imitate the same insect the Dark Spring Baetis Olive yet all are different from each other, none even remotely resemble the natural dun and all work . Here are a couple more quotes from as far as I've made it into the book that I find interesting. " The impression of life is the most important trigger to a predatory response. How we achieve that is more important than just matching relatively unimportant aspects such as color. " " The best impressionistic patterns don't imitate anything in particular but do a good job of suggesting most of the things trout eat for a living." Now to some of my thoughts . Most of us have read in one place or another about bass becoming educated to certain types of lures/ techniques and them losing their effectiveness in those bodies of water where they receive heavy use . Does this really happen and if it does is it a function of how unnatural that lure is . Say the difference between a tandem spin and a smoke colored grub on a plain jig tarnished by dulling the finish in the flame of a cigarette lighter. How many of us have caught the same fish[known due to distinguishing features of the fish or actually seeing it in clear water] multiple times on the same lure ? Most articles say that the older/bigger fish get the most educated to lure/technique . Yet many of the truly large smallmouth I have caught have been on a crankbait . That is a lure type that has seen heavy use on my river for decades . It may be because I was using much larger crankbaits than most. I am fairly certain I caught the same three big fish[distinguishing markings] more than once from the same places with the exact same lure . Quite possibly statically insignificant, I grant, but then are there solid numbers to prove educated fish or rod/reel observation like this ? On exact imitations , I never understood why a photo exact finish on a lure would be better at catching a fish than say a countershaded one . After all one is purporting to be an exact replica of a fish that years of evolution have designed an appearance to disguise it from predators while the other stands out like a sore thumb . The first, I always believed was designed to catch fisherman's money more so than to catch fish . I have one photo finish lure, a Rebel Bluegill that I bought because I liked how it looked and it was in a bargain bin[ I can be a sucker for bargain bins at times] . That lure sits in storage in the garage because I caught so few fish with it over the 5 years it was in the lake rotation . Could it be that when we can actually see fish turning away or ignoring our lures that it is more likely that we as fisherman are doing something wrong presentation wise than how closely the lure actually looks like real forage ? I think that things like size, profile/shape, vibration , flash and possibly scent are more of a factor in presenting cues that lead to a bite than exact imitation as long as we get the proper presentation in depth and speed control . Blow those two factors and you won't catch them . Some might argue that when fish are in a highly competitive feeding mode with other fish you can be a bit sloppy with speed/depth control. I would argue that in that case the fish have just expanded their strike window and you did match those two factors . As far as color goes , I don't think it's much of an issue with river smallmouth. They have a very limited amount of time to instinctively decide can I catch and eat that without expending too much energy. I believe that is the major factor in pushing the eat/no eat button. I also believe that the factors I listed above are more of a factor than color in the cues for the eat/no eat button to be pushed. I seriously doubt they have the mental capability to decide that lure is red and I'm not eating that color today . All thoughts pro or con gladly accepted and taken into consideration . Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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