Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Day 93 - Hatch Charts

As a heads up, I've been toying with the idea of moving to a different blogging service. While I like the use of blogger.com, I think the use of Word Press may offer me some better opportunities in the future. Currently I'm posting on both sites, but I think by the end of the year I will be using strictly Word Press. If you'd like, you can visit the new site at: www.365flyfish.wordpress.com

I was reading an article in one of the fly fishing magazines that I either purchase or subscribe to today. The article was on identifying the big autumn caddis hatch. The article goes on to detail the prime hatch for this caddis is during the months of October and November. The issue that I was reading is the November/December 2009 issue of American Angler. It just came out within the last few weeks, and I find it rather funny that the article they published would have been of more use in the previous issue. Oh well...

The article did get me thinking about the seasonal emergence of flies. In case you don't know, many of the bugs and creepy crawlers that anglers try to imitate have a pretty good seasonal clock. Like my dog the Wonderpup knowing that it is 7:00 (breakfast or dinner time) so do mayflies, stoneflies, caddis, midges know the seasons of the year. It really is pretty amazing when you think about it. You would think that weather related events would cause serious detriment to this schedule, but they (as far as I can tell) only affect the hatch mildly.

With this in mind, you would think that I would study the hatch charts and prep my fly boxes with the correct patterns for the correct seasons of the year. You'd be wrong if you thought that. In fact, you'd be wrong if you think that I have a hatch chart. I thought maybe I did, but when I reviewed my bookshelves I was found to be without. Curious and curious-er.

Part of my problem maybe that I'm self-taught and never really gave an inkling towards this idea. It could be that I've lived in four states in the last ten years. Or it could be that I find hatch charts boring and would rather tie on a general searching pattern than to come prepared. More than likely it is a mix of these and a few other that are unnamed and unidentified.

This isn't to say that I walked into a trout stream entirely clueless. I know enough to stock my fly boxes with Blue Winged Olives in various sizes and Elk Hair Caddis in various sizes. I know that certain nymph patterns almost always produce. I know that if I head up to the Bois Brule around the middle of June I should have a variety of Brown Drake flies ready to throw (and that it occurs during the late night hours of fishing). I know that after July a hopper pattern might be an effective pattern to tie on. Midges usually work well during the winter months. So I guess I have general ideas on what to tie on, but I couldn't really tell you when the Acentrella (family Baetidae) hatch is occurring.

So what does this mean? In short, I should probably bone up on some hatch charts if I want to step up my fly fishing game to the next level. Maybe that will be my New Year's Resolution for the upcoming year, that and to spend more time on the water. It can't hurt, and at least I'll sound smart the next time I bump into an angler on the stream. After all, you can't show off to the fish so you might as well show off to your buddy.

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