September fishing is the time for water boatmen

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If you really want to catch nice trout while fishing in a lake in September, you’d better have a great pair of legs.

Well, I guess that explains why September can be a tough month for me!

Wait a minute. I won a Great Legs contest in college. I probably still have that trophy somewhere. Does that count?

Hardly. To be more specific, your fly needs a great pair of legs and the reason is to imitate vertical movements of water boatmen.

These insects have a long pair of legs that extend out sideways like a pair of oars.

Water boatmen swim to the surface, trapping air in a tiny bubble. Then they swim downward back into the cabbage to feed.

In fall, there are mass vertical migrations to the surface where their wings dry and they take flight, searching for a mate.

These mating flights generally happen around mid-September so now’s a great time to tie a water boatman on your tippet.

Studies in British Columbia have shown up to 20 percent of the fall diet of a trout in an inland lake is water boatmen.

Fly tiers can find some great patterns on the ‘Net. Others can use Super Glue to attach legs to a small shrimp or nymph.

Rubber bands, soft paint brush bristles, and feather fibers make great legs.

Now go catch some trout!

Jerry Smalley’s Fishful Thinking column appears weekly in the Hungry Horse News.

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