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Thread: Snails

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Sacramento County
    Posts
    38

    Default Snails

    I've often read about aquatic snails being a part of the menu for certain fish but I often overlook or forget about them since I've never seen them until I was reading a book by Ralph Cutter recently, and doing some research on different sunfish besides Bluegill and came across the Redear. Does anybody know if there's any of importance in the valley or in the Sierras? And if so are there different species? How big and what color? Do they tend to be sub-surface? Do they float or are do they kind of have a neutral buoyancy? Also do you think some of our terrestrial gastropods end up in the drink at any point or regularity?

    Trying to add some new things to my arsenal, so I'm a bit curious. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Now in Redmond OR
    Posts
    405

    Default

    Hey JR,
    I can't offer any specifics regarding the Valley or the Sierras other than I've cleaned a few trout that had snails in their bellies. So they definitely eat snails. When I lived in Australia and fished Tasmania a few times, we often used a fly called the Red Tag to imitate floating snails. It's an old pattern, simple to tie. Short shank, dry fly hook. A very short tail (tag) of red wool or yarn (maybe an 1/8 inch). Wrap a fat, tubby body of peacock herl. Then wrap three or four turns of brown or black hackle for a collar. Grease it with floatant. Watch for fish cruising the shorelines and edges of weedbeds of lakes and ponds.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Fremont when not out there
    Posts
    142

    Default

    While fishing the Picacho drainage in Chile a few years back, we had a stellar day of throwing streamers on Lake Copa. The lake is accessible by either helicopter or running the river from upstream in jetted pontoon boats from the Austral Highway- a true wilderness experience in Patagonia. For our time frame, which was suppose to be dry fly season. It rained for most our trip, 9 out of 11 days. Throwing streamers was not what we had anticipated, but one must go with what the circumstances provide. The forest canopy grew right down to the shoreline. If you jumped off on shore and walked in 10-15 yards, you would disappear in forest. Deadfalls along the shoreline provided plenty of structure to fish to. Never had I felt more like a bass fisherman while targeting trout then when throwing those streamers to structure, whether trees or large submerged boulders. Al Smatsky, my boat partner for the day, hooked up on a very nice rainbow. When he brought it to the boat for the hero shot, I noticed that the anal area of the trout was protruding. As I centered the viewfinder on the fish held up for a photo, the sagging anal area on the fish became readily apparent as a 2 1/2 inch in diameter oval shaped snail popped out under gravity while being held out of the water along with back pressure of the anal plug. The foulest smell from trout shit was everywhere around Al, his clothes, his boat bag, you name it. I could swear that fish was smiling from Al's assist in helping things along even before being released back into the lake. We got the photo and Al cleaned up best he could. Snails? I bet that snail was picked up off the bottom of the lake. How it worked its way through the digestive system is beyond my imagination.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Truckee, CA.
    Posts
    956

    Default

    Twenty-five or so years ago, before Davis was "improved" by the Pike planters, and "saved twice" by CDFW. there was a time..........
    I tied small snails and fished to rising football-fish. (I miss this....)
    Tied a little gray marabou to dangle like a shuck off the back, and twisted loco foam like a spiral shell, with the point near the eye.
    They do float at some point in their life cycle, perhaps near the end.
    For those who fish Pyramid, take a close look at the shore......it's covered with their shells.....
    Makes me wonder..........

    Jim
    Last edited by bigfly; 07-20-2016 at 09:40 AM.
    Bigfly guide service helping fly fishers since 2002.
    Truckee river and Northern California waters.
    https://bigflyguideservice.wordpress.com//

    For best results, fish on the fish's schedule, not yours....

    BF

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Placer County
    Posts
    967

    Default

    I, too, miss the Snail "bite".

    I really believe the snails were integral to the full recovery of the lake's ecosystem. The proof was the look and feel of the fish's bellies.

    How difficult would it had been if, prior to the 2nd treatment, DFW harvested the Davis Lake snail by the thousands, quarantined them, then restocked them into the lake after the 2nd treatment? If I had to choose one particular important staple to the Davis Lake fish, it would be the snail.


    Quote Originally Posted by bigfly View Post
    Twenty-five or so years ago, before Davis was "improved" by the Pike planters, and "saved twice" by CDFW. there was a time..........
    I tied small snails and fished to rising football-fish. (I miss this....)
    Tied a little gray marabou to dangle like a shuck off the back, and twisted loco foam like a spiral shell, with the point near the eye.
    They do float at some point in their life cycle, perhaps near the end.
    For those who fish Pyramid, take a close look at the shore......it's covered with their shells.....
    Makes me wonder..........

    Jim

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