Phryganea Grandis

Many flyfishers are looking for the time when the big mayflies, E. Danica and E. vulgata, start to hatch in late spring and early summer. The image of a big newly hatched mayfly dun swirling down the stream or standing on the surface of a small lake, is for many of us the true picture of what flyfishing is all about. And it is great fun to see, when also the biggest fish lower their guard and start chasing those big flies. But in Stillwater, there as time that are even more fun to experience and that’s when the big Caddis flies begin to show, running the surface to safer ground.

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The Mayfly

Not mayflies as such – but the mayfly, the E. Danica and it’s stillwater relative, E. Vulgata are hatching now – or will be in a matter of days. Writing a blog can be many things and repetitive to a degree is one of them. There are seasonal highlights that deserve a spot on the blog every year and I believe we’ve covered the big mayfly hatch every year since the blog began.

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Pop-pop-pop

There are many fly fishers and many have different tastes and preferences. Salmon on the hitch, grayling on a deep nymph, trout on streamers and so on. But I think all fly fishers enjoy visible, vicious takes on the surface, whether on a foam beetle or a popper. Right now is perfect pop-pop-pop-time.

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Old Wets

To me there are few flies that embody the whole essence of “a fly” as old, classic wet flies. There are plenty, hundreds, to choose from and I’ve featured some of them in previous posts. A few decades ago, most new fly tiers began with a Red Tag and once the basic techniques were in place, next on the agenda was learning to tie feather wings. Usually the subject was a March Brown wet. It’s simple (until you get to wings), catches well and challenges the fly tier. Hen pheasant wing slips aren’t hard for the experienced fly tier, but they’re not the easiest either.

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Gary Borgers Strip Nymph

The fly on the blog today features two legends in one. We maybe close to Christmas and far away from the trout fisher’s high season – the Danica-hatch, but it’s never too late to prepare, and probably never too early either. And if it goes as it usually does, Danica-season will be upon before we know it, so here’s a little inspiration to look at.

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Jigs and zonkers

It’s not uncommon for new flies, styles and patterns to emerge from combinations of other well established ones. Some turn out really well – some not quite as well. But when you combine the superior mobility of a zonker with the basic principle of the upside down properties of a a jig hook, I say we’ve got something good.

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Caddis nymphs

Like may fly nymphs and the nymphal- or larvae stage of any insect, the adult part of the life cycle is the shortest. The large mayflies can live for days, the smallest perhaps only for a hours. Caddis are generally the same – the larger species can live for several days, the smaller just a few days. After mating and egg laying they both die and become spent spinners – a stage off the life cycle the fish know well, since they are easy prey, unable to escape.

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