Sunday, May 6, 2012

Bank Sippers

The vast majority of a trouts feeding time finds it hunkered down near the river bottom searching for food morsels adrift in the flow of the river.  There are a few exceptions to this such as when larger fish forage near shore for minnows or when sufficient insects are hatching and the fishes attention turns to the narrow band of water that intersects the air.  This meniscus is the trouts best friend in these situations as it proves to be a formidable barrier for the insects to break through.  As such it acts as a wall with which to trap the food and the fish can feed leisurely without having to expend more energy than necessary as its prey is effectively trapped.  Hence the effectiveness of emerger patterns.

Given all of the varied waters that trout inhabit, the situations that entice a trout to feed on top, while not rare, does require a certain set of circumstances that are not always present.  This makes surface feeding fish somewhat of the exception and something special for the fly fisherman.  This explains why certain rivers are well know to dry fly fisherman and others are not.  There is one subset of these surface feeding fish that gets my attention like no other and that is the bank sipper.

The bank sipper while not mythical remains a special fish mainly due to the fact that it is invariably an very nice specimen.  Bank sippers generally feed within a foot of the bank in an area where the current flows a bit slower than the main current, which provides the food  as an never ending conveyor belt.  The bank offers some kind of protection such as a tree, bush or just steepness.  This cover allows the bank sipper to feel safe and to feed.  Just because the fish is close to shore doesn't mean that the water is deep sometimes the water barely covers the fish's dorsal fin.  The distance and numerous currents between the fisherman and their quarry.present formidable challenges for the angler after these fish, but the rewards are worth the effort.


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