‘Wind hatch’ on high lakes 
a challenge

Fishing terrestrial insect patterns isn’t limited to small streams where the encroaching brush grabs your rod, clothes and hat on each cast.

Granted, there may be more land-grown insects on those creeks where the stream-side vegetation hangs well out over the water, but even lakes can offer great dry-fly fishing with ants, beetles and other terrestrial insects.

“Take a beetle pattern with you when you go up on Grand Mesa, and you’ll always be successful,” said Phil Timms at Western Anglers Fly Shop in Grand Junction.

Those lakes, especially early in the summer when many of them still are full, are brush-lined and usually have an inlet stream (or ditch) feeding water and water-borne insects into the main lake.

On a recent evening, an angler stood about 20 feet out into one of Grand Mesa’s lakes, slowly watching the parade of ants and other small bugs drifting along on the lake’s quiet surface.

Every few minutes, as the “hatch” continued around the lake, trout would rise rhythmically, sipping the bugs off the surface as careful as any spring-creek trout you’ll ever see.

Many anglers overlook the range of fishing provided by lakes and ponds and commonly forget fish will still find and eat terrestrials out in the middle, where they’ve been blown by the wind or carried by unseen currents.

On that recent night on Grand Mesa, a “hatch” of winged ants was falling from the sky, providing an unexpected bounty for the rising trout and an hour’s worth of spot-and-cast fishing.

Fish rose until it got too dark to see, and once the moon was above the trees, the fish rose to the silhouettes of tiny insects.


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