By Kirk Deeter
I've had this hunch for many years now, but I don't think there's any "scientific" way to prove my theory. So I'm doing the next best thing: I'm tossing the topic up for debate on FlyTalk.
I think all species of trout are not, in fact, timid, tiny bug sippers by nature. I think the reason that many trout gravitate to itty-bitty RS2s, and Barr Emergers, and Black Beauty midge patterns in some places is because the trout have had the snot pounded out of them so hard by angler pressure that they're almost afraid to eat at all, and they focus on the most consistent, readily-available sources of micro-protein.
Think about it: If you got the tar beat out of you every time you ate a T-Bone steak, but only every once in a while when you ate a handful of granola. Well, you'd be a nuts 'n berries fan soon enough, wouldn't you?
To back my theory, I offer the following: I once watched no fewer than 19, 20-inch-plus rainbow trout eat my mouse fly patterns off the surface on a sunny afternoon. Of course, I had to take a flight to Anchorage, Alaska, a regional hop to King Salmon, Alaska and a 30-minute bush plane ride to find a river where this would actually happen.