Think it’s a “conservation of energy” thing? My pea brain says it’s a possibility. I’ve seen a preferential selection of one species over another during mixed hatches often enough. I think I’m convinced that when one species “pops” off the water and the other has a more leisurely emergence, the slower species gets a preference.
I don’t recall seeing trout pass up a perfect specimen in favor of a cripple. Hard to say this since it requires better eyesight than I’ve got. Still, I often fish multiple flies during a hatch. Used to be the obvious, dry on top, emerger in middle, nymph on bottom. Started trying to see what was going on but usually had the experience that one of the three variations out produced the others by a wide margin. Now can I say that my emergers looked crippled and so where more readily taken? No way man, wish I had telepathy for trout brain preferences but then I guess it would be called “catching” not fishing. “
I really enjoy sharing experiences and “guesses” with you Zeke (and everyone else who shares their thoughts). I need another “experiment” like I need another hole in the head but I suppose the answer might be to wait for a hatch in which the trout key on the emergers and fish that against the cripple. I’m hoping you will be the scientific mind to try this and let me know. LOL LOL LOL
On FlyFlasher.com you can find 42,782 flies from all over the world. Flash your own fly patterns, upload your current work or search for inspiration. The flies are tagged, so you easily can search for them.