I’ve been at the fly tying bench lately working on orders. I’m currently tying a few Green Drake imitations. It got me thinking about three important hatches I’m really looking forward to this year…Green Drakes, Salmonflies & Golden Stones, and Caddis. Are you looking forward to a favorite hatch? Yes, my mind wanders a little as I tie flies and thought about what flies I’d select if I only had two dry flies for each hatch. OK, it isn’t two flies, but six total!
For me, Green Drakes are my favorite hatch of the year.
These are big bugs, size 10 – 8 on my local waters.
My favorite dry fly to imitate the natural is a Sparkle Dun, which is no surprise if you are a regular here at RiverKeeper Flies.
The Sparkle Dun fly isn’t new by any means. I came up with a color scheme a few years ago that works for me. And the fish seem to agree.
Here is the other color I like, a gray/olive body.
I believe it’s successful because fish think it’s a cripple and can take their time moving to eat the fly. The tail emulates a nymphal shuck, so the fly is stuck and can’t fly away. Newly hatching duns float on the surface, drying their wings in preparation to fly. We watch fish follow these bugs before rising to eat them. It’s an incredible sight to see!
Sometimes they fly a short distance and settle on the water before trying to take flight again, making them an easy meal.
My other fly is the RiverKeeper Soft Hackle Cripple.
This fly imitates a crippled dun floating on the surface with its wings caught in the film. I’ve seen many naturals like this and fish key on them at times.
About the same time Green Drakes start hatching on the Metolius River, I hear about Salmonflies and Golden Stones on the Middle and Lower Deschutes River. I’m torn which hatch to fish.
It’s always exciting to find a few nymphs along the shore beginning to hatch. Here are the Salmonflies.
And Golden Stones, the smaller male is on top of the female.
My favorite fly these days to imitate a Golden Stone is Clark’s Lady Stone.
Adding a tail to Clark’s Golden Stone is a wonderful way to imitate a female with an egg sac.
Purple is always a great color for a Chubby, but I think if I had to pick one fly, I’d stay with a Norm Wood Special. There’s something about the wing color and profile the fish seem to like. It’s an older fly pattern you might not find these days in your local fly shop, which might be one of the reasons it still works so well…not everyone is fishing the fly.
We’ve been fortunate to fish the Madison River, MT during our summer fly fishing road trips and found terrific Caddis hatches with lots of rising fish!
Two of my favorite adult fly patterns are an X Caddis…
…and Iris Caddis. Both flies have been really effective, with the Iris working best at dusk.
Those are my six flies. What are yours?
Enjoy…stay safe, go fish!