A Good Drift

June 9, 1982

A good drift

Conditions couldn’t be much better. Water flows on all the rivers are perfect for waders and should remain there throughout the weekend.

The West Branch has come alive with mayfly hatches reported all the way up river to Big Eddy. They’re mid-day hatches that bring big fish out of hiding. Blue-wing olives, Hendricksons, and Red Quills are the order in which they show. There will be daily hatches you can set your watch by for a week or more.

One thing to remember while fishing mayfly hatches – “A good drift is better than a good cast.” After they emerge mayflies drift along on the surface film like tiny sailboats until they take to flight. If your imitation has a tiny bit of drag, fish won’t give it the time of day. If it floats along pretty as can be over a feeding fish get ready because all eyes are upon it and someone’s going to eat it every time if it’s the right imitation. Don’t drift a fly to a feeding fish more than a time or two if it does show interest. You are not going to convince a fish to eat something it doesn’t want. Cut it off and try another fly. Size and color do matter and fish can be very picky.

The East Outlet and the Moose River on the other hand have seen most of the mayfly cycles finish. Caddis should be popping any day now. They have already begun on the Roach River.

Hatches are about a week behind what we might consider as normal. It all depends on weather, which controls water temperature. The sooner things warm-up the sooner hatches begin. This season’s stagnate weather patterns have held things up by at least a week. Nothing progresses when its 40 degrees at sun-up and 48 degrees at sun down. Over the years we have seen mayfly hatches as early as the 15th of May and as late as June 10th. Hatches march to a different drummer and are amazing little creatures we find fascinating. There is nothing more exciting than fishing the hatches. Finding a feeding fish, tying on the right imitation then making the perfect drift that fools the fish you have been watching is as rewarding as it comes. It leaves you sitting all by yourself on a rock somewhere with a grin from ear to ear. What could be better? Oh the caddis are coming soon to a river near us, when everything changes once again.

Have a great weekend