Rise forms or the way a trout moves water when it feeds on the surface can
tell you something about what a trout is eating. Often, trout eat emerging
insects just under the surface, which looks like a rise, but often just the
back of the fish breaks the surface and not the mouth. This is often called
a bulging fish and is usually not accompanied by any bubbles. A rise
followed by distinct bubbles is a sure sign a trout took something off the
surface. Generally, the bigger the rise, the bigger the insect the fish has
taken. Very splashy rise forms are often made by smaller, more enthusiastic
trout and often the smaller the fish, the more commotion it makes. The
rises that go unnoticed by many anglers are often the most important ones.
Even a large trout can take an insect from the surface with very little
commotion, just poking its snout above the surface and inhaling a fly by
Look for dark heads poking the surface film or little winks in the water.
These trout will often surprise you by their size. You can usually tell a
big fish by the deeper sound it makes when it rises. Plus, a larger fish
moves more bubbles and foam aside when it rises. So, it pays to spend some
time, observing fish feeding before you even make a cast or even pick a
fly. A little observation can pay off in a most satisfying day.