June 5th, The Storm

June 7, 2009

March Brown Mayflies

Trout StreamAfter cleaning up dinner Friday night I took my sister’s fiancee fishing with me. We left the campground and fished a stretch of water that I visited recently, we arrived alittle after 7:00pm and left around 9pm. Joel fished a spinning rod, I put him on the deep holes but I had a feeling he might not catch much with the number of mayflies around. I saw fish rising when we arrived and I rigged a #14 Light Hendrickson dry fly and let loose on a pair of rises near the tail end of a run. My eagerness resulted in two poor casts which put them down. I waited tried again, nothing, they kept rising. I tried switching flies, seeing multiple #12 March Brown’s around I tied on one and tried again. Nothing. 

I moved downstream, I saw the rising begin to pick up more and more. I felt like they would more easily take my imitation the more excitedly they were feeding and that was partly true. I lost two takes and after that nothing would look at my hackled March Brown pattern. I moved downstream and waited trying to help Joel take one on a spinner. I put him on a hole I knew might hold a trout willing to feed on a bait-fish imitation rather than a fly but to no avail. I watched the trout rise more and more, I tied on a #14 Para-chute Hairs Ear pattern. I had an initial strike and a poor hook set denied me the fish, I moved back upstream as it grew darker. The March Browns were thick and seemed they were getting thicker. 

Brown TroutBrown TroutBrown Trout

I positioned on a run and cast upstream and across careful to leave slack line for a good drift. The trout were willing now, I’m not sure if it was the Parachute pattern or not but it was working. I picked up five trout before the fly was mangled beyond use. I would have spent more time fishing but I looked around me and saw something truly amazing. Thousands of Mayflies were all around me, so thick they were crawling on me. March Browns, Light Hendrickson’s and  Caddisflies of varying size were all present. I plucked several out of the air around me easily, I caught one small Light Hendrickson with a bright Orange egg sac on the end, just sick man. I took pictures and just watched slightly slack-jawed. I spent twenty minutes in the storm and then headed out. Some of the remnants followed me back to the campsite on my gear to be seen for the next two days, very cool. Note: I left some of the images fullsize to express the magnitude of the event, I apologize if they load slowly.

Mayflies/Caddisflies

 

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Brown Trout

Fished for two short hours and the Light Hendrickson’s were everywhere. I fished one dry fly the entire time, never lost it and it took a beating and still took fish, close to a dozen, maybe more, one really nice brown and a bunch of 12-14in others. Things are starting to really pay off for me, three casts in and I was onto some serious action. Light Hendrickson’s must be going strong on other area streams, keep a look out for the larger March Brown too. 

Hot Damn! Trout WaterCaught some time on a Southeast Minnesota trout stream with a friend of mine, we left a bit after noon to hit water in search of rising trout. Got on stream and saw a few Light Hendrickson’s, I figured they’d been coming off for a few hours prior to our arrival. I checked the rocks and I’m finding fewer Ephemerella nymphs which is leading me to think this hatch will be over soon on this stream. We both caught several on dries working out way through a jungle of Parsnips, stay away.

The last time I hit this spot I lost a Swimming PT to a trout that struck in a riffle next to exposed tree roots, not expecting to get dragged in, I didn’t get a chance to turn the trout before he broke me off. Today when we went back I wanted a chance to see if I could pull out what I thought might be that fish. I saw the a rising fish holding in the same spot, far up the run almost under a downed tree. 1st, pass, 2nd, pass, 3rd, there he was, sure enough in less than 8″ of water was a beautiful 15″ Brown just waiting to smack my fly. I pulled him back right away and kept him from the roots and landed him in the riffle downstream. Took photos and let him take off. We fished the first dig for another hour and hiked out to hit a questionable second spot. 

Brown Trout

New to both we weren’t sure what to expect. After a short drive we parked and assessed the situation, picked bugs and took a water temp. At 12:30 on the 1st stream the water temp read 61 degrees when I took it and at 3pm on the second stream I read almost 60 degrees. I found few mayfly nymphs of any kind, just the scant Ephemerella there were a bunch of 1st instar Beatis, almost too small to tell what they were. We saw a few March Browns hatching so be on the look out for those. Caught a few on streamers, little rising at 3pm on the second stream. Enjoyed a beautiful day in the sun, and the good company. I’m home now working on larger March Brown dry flies for next week should the opportunity arise. 

Mayfly Motivation

May 29, 2009

Light Hendrickson Dry Flies tied by the W.F.F.Light Hendrickson Dry Flies tied by the W.F.F. (Rear)Caddis SideMayfly Side

 

Light Hendrickson MayflyThe LandscapeI watched the Light Hendrickson’s hatch again today, I have been trying to watch this from the same section of stream several times during the entirety of this hatch to well, just to watch it and observe. Once again the cattle were around and that combined with almost an inch of rain yesterday made for some transparency issues on the stream today, that didn’t impede the hatch any, I think it prevented the trout from eating though.

I got to the stream and immediately saw several Light Hendrickson’s hatching, I collected a few and took photos, saw no rising trout. I waited for quite a while watching the same spot noticing a greatly increased volume of mayflies. I counted 5-10 pass every 10-20 seconds, this is much more than I observed last week. I expected to see rising trout and after a while and a little hiking to find some cleaner water I did in fact find rising trout. I love watching an excited trout rush your fly from the depths, keeps you on your toes man. I had a blast, caught several but most were small. I was a little disappointed that the hole containing the larger fish was being trampled by the cattle again, this kept the flow very muddy and I just watched hundreds of mayflies hatch without a single rise. I would be getting on stream earlier than you might think for this hatch, I would say to get a jump on it be ready at 10:30am and thats rigged and ready to go.

Sage Flight 8'6" 3wtToday was AWESOME! I got to test the new rod I recently received and with it caught one of the sweetest trout I’ve seen in a long time. I got on stream and took a water temp immediately, cloudy skies made me think it wouldn’t happen today but I was dead wrong. First water temp, 58 degrees. I took some samples and then rigged a larger scud trailed by the usual Swimming PT. I have other flies but this PT pattern has really held it’s own and it represents well the Ephemerella Invaria nymph well so it would be counter productive to not use it in my opinion. I started swinging…

Swimming PT StrungFelt a light take, the new rod felt weird the first few casts. I lost three takes in a row and then saw the first one. Floated right past me and I almost jumped in the creek. I quickly reeled in all the line I had out and headed downstream. I lost that one but knowing that these nymphs hold in fast riffles and let loose to emerge I positioned myself and got ready. 11:28am 59degree water temp. I actually watched several of these flies hatch in the crystal clear water. With what seemed like almost one wriggle most were out of the shuck in the blink of an eye. I caught a few and took photo’s, noticing two different body colors I’m wondering if this wasn’t Invaria and Rotunda hatching at the same time. I saw rising trout a few minutes later and switched to a Compara-dun patter I tied for this hatch during the off season. Never seeing this before I was unsure if my flies were going to work but I tried a lead Trailing Shuck Compara-dun followed by a Deer-Hair Emerger pattern, both took fish.

Light HendricksonLight HendricksonLight Hendrickson

The first on the new rod was small but felt good just the same. A few more followed and I was getting the feel for the new rod, everything about this thing felt excellent. I felt confident casting, this made for a few mis-steps but I was getting used to it. I moved upstream to the real targets. Casting the same two flies I made the first cast count, always a good thing and it payed off immediatly when a beatiful brown launched from below. Took my fly right to the bottom, the fight that ensued made me love this new rod. He went straight for weeds at the bottom and wrapped himself up, I waited, a few minutes later he knew he couldn’t stay there. He ran me downstream and after another few minutes surfaced for good. I wore him out good so I hung around for a few minutes to see him off in good shape.

Brown Trout Release

The rest of the afternoon saw a few sporadic hatching and rising fish, I caught a few more until another nice trout struck and because I thought I could man-handle him I lost both flies and was forced to start over. I re-rigged and took a few moments to take pictures, relax. I trailed my lead fly today with the Deer hair emerger but at one time also with a Swimming PT and both produced trout. I ended up catching only two more fish but I know there will be more of this hatch. On a final note I must say, if your new to this be confident, not cocky but confident. I tied the flies that caught these trout from information from books, the Internet and other anglers before seeing the real thing and it can work. What a sweet time on the water, I will not take this for granted and I will stew on this time for a while to come.