Tuesday, December 28, 2004

Earth Eater

Earth Eaters

A beautiful Earth Eater

Earth Eaters are often seen but seldom caught.

They can be seen in groups of two to six, foraging for food at the bottom of the reservoir. They like picking up mouthfuls of sand and pebbles from the substrate and sifting through it for food, sometimes also through their gill flaps.

Breeding pairs to are also a common sight and it is only when breeding that they are very territorial. However, they are very selective and tend to ignore most flies casted to them. Sight casting and stalking a pod of Earth Eaters can be a very frustrating experience.

Catching an Earth Eater has become a challenge to some fly fishermen. Others find trying to catch them a waste of time.

Breeding pairs, being very territorial, as usual are the most easy to catch of the the species. Just parade a hooked Peacock Bass, that you have just caught, around their nest and allow the Earth Eater to chase it or even attack it for a minute or two. Then release the Peacock Bass and move your fly towards the breeders. One of them will attack your fly and get hooked. If you have a friend fishing with you, then get your friend to parade the intruder while you introduce your fly into the breeders’ strike range.

Earth Eaters have a very small mouth. So flies used to catch them must also be small. I had caught Earth Eaters on Charlies tied on size 18 to 22 hooks. They like shrimps. But there are reported cases when they were caught with nymphs. I am more successful on very small white Charlies.

A baby Earth Eater

Casted ahead of aswimming pod and let the fly sink to the bottom. Retrives are made in inches at a time. Just enough to give the fly a little twitch, to disturb the substrate for the Earth Eaters to take notice and move over to investigate. Remember to leave the fly on the bottom for them to pick it up.

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