ALL PHOTOS: Chris Dore
Well the season has definitely changed with daylight savings all done and dusted. Cooler temps have set in, especially morning and evening with some beautiful settled days. I was out fishing with a buddy the other day where we found the conditions to be challenging. The days are shorter, the sun angle lower and the shade dominant, this making for tougher spotting conditions. That said, most of the trout where actively feeding sipping away at the surface which made the fish easy to identify even in the shaded waters.
April and May are a great months of the year for mayfly hatches. I feel this is due to the favourable temperatures and conditions along with the timing of their life cycle. Fishing this time of year can be very rewarding, although a little colder, but with a simple adjustment in clothing you are good to go. This is a great time of year to fish! Trout are in excellent condition right now and have had many months of feeding behind them as they prepare for spawning.
In my experience hatches can be prolific, sporadic, or not happening at all. However, it pays to have all the bases covered when it comes to having the right tools for the job. During a hatch trout can be found actively feeding and are very receptive to the fly which makes for easy fishing. On the other side of the coin, trout that hold in the smooth slow-moving water can be tricky to tempt. A leader and fly landing heavily on water will often see them spooked. This is where a tactful, subtle approach will combat this along with a delicate presentation.
I have listed the following flies which will enable you to effectively represent the different stages of the mayfly hatching as well as my recommended accompanying equipment.
Let’s kick off with the life cycle of flies starting on top of the surface and making their way down into the water column.
Guides Chute Hares Ear – On Top
This represents a mayfly on the wing that has landed on the water. It leaves a great footprint on the water as well as being buoyant and visible via its post. This can be used as an indicator fly and will support a weighted nymph.
Quill Klink- Emerger
This represents an emerging mayfly that is suspended in the surface film before it takes to the wing. The body hangs below the surface and is suspended via the parachute hackle while the hi vis post makes for easy detection.
Soft Hackle PT #16 - Subsurface
On the occasions where fish will not eat your other offerings a subtle unweighted nymph is often a game changer. This Soft Hackle PT fishes a little below the surface and will just about always get a take. This fishes well under the Guide Chute dry or on its own.
What to do when the fish is holding deeper and not focused in the film, or on the surface but is actively feeding?
Kyles Deleatidium - Subsurface
Slim profile, mayfly detail and colouring. This tungsten beaded nymph will get you down further into the water column.
Leader System - Trout Hunter 10ft 4X 6lb & Trout Hunter Evo 4.5x 5.8lb
The 10ft Trouthunter tapered leader is a versatile leader with slightly stiffer material for better turn over. This is finished off with a section of Trouthunter Evo nylon which is a supple low diameter tippet that makes for great presentations.
Tippet Degreaser - Loon Snake River Mud
When the sun is shining this will take away the sheen from your tippet. Rubbing this on makes the tippet less visible on the surface. Perfect for the smooth water scenarios where fishing small flies with a delicate presentation is needed. This a must have piece of equipment for your arsenal.
Floatant - Loon Lochsa
All round performance floatant, perfect on CDC feathers.
Indicator - Loon Bio Strike
This is a hi viz floating putty. Small emerger and dry fly patterns can be hard to see at the best of times, especially in glary or shaded water. By adding a small cigar shape of putty to your tippet or leader this enables you to reference where the fly is and how it is tracking.
Fly Rod - Scott G Series 8’8 #5 4pce
The Scott G Series of rods are the perfect choice because of its medium action and smooth power. This style of rod presents a fly delicately and easily. It also makes a beautiful fish fighting tool with plenty of flex and cushion that will protect the lightest of tippets breaking from any sudden burst that trout can make during the fight.
Fly Line - Airflo Super Dri Elite WF5F
This presentation taper fly line has a fine tip diameter. This allows for minimal water disturbance for a more subtle presentation. The proprietary SuperDri coating gives it amazing buoyancy so you know you’ll get long, drag free drifts that will keep the fly in play for longer.
Well I hope this has given you a little insight into this topic and that you can take away this simple fly formula in order to fish the different stages of the mayfly hatching. Winter is just around the corner, but for now, it’s mayfly time!