Whereas I’ve but to see my first trout rise of 2023, I do know it can occur quickly—the photograph above was taken on Could 1 final 12 months—and I’ve seen loads of photographs from different elements of the nation the place mayflies are already popping. The subsequent six weeks ought to function the most effective dry-fly fishing of the 12 months in Vermont, and I’m able to spend as a lot time on the water as I can.
I’m undoubtedly a kind of anglers who believes that presentation trumps imitation with regards to fooling trout, so I do the overwhelming majority of my fishing with a small variety of flies. For mayfly season, I like patterns which might be designed for various sorts of water, are seen even in failing daylight, and might be tied in a wide range of colours. I virtually all the time fish tandem rigs—dry-and-emerger or dry-and-spinner—to extend my possibilities of getting a strike and enhancing visibility. Right here’s my primary choice, which covers virtually any mayfly hatches I’ll encounter within the close to future.
Parachute Adams (sizes 12-18)
No shock right here. The Parachute Adams works nice as each an imitation of a mayfly dun and as an indicator sample for the smaller fly tied behind it. At nightfall, that shiny white publish can imply the distinction between success and failure. In a pinch, you’ll be able to even trim the hackle to make it appear to be a spinner.
Sparkle Dun (sizes 18-22)
I discovered to like the Sparkle Dun once I guided at Hubbard’s Yellowstone Lodge in Montana within the mid Nineteen Nineties. The fly sits low within the water, so it’s excellent for gradual, flat stretches of river the place the trout are further cautious. It’s my go-to for something smaller than a measurement 18, and it really works as an emerger in these tiny variations. Altering the colours of the physique and tail assist you to imitate all kinds of bugs, and a wing tied in brightly coloured deer hair may also help with low-light visibility.
Light Cahill (sizes 12-18)
Within the Northeast, there are a bunch of enormous, pale mayflies that hatch in spring and early summer time, and the Gentle Cahill works for all of them. It’s additionally very buoyant if you apply floatant, so you’ll be able to fish it in tough water with out it sinking. I usually use this as a looking sample at nightfall, when fish may additionally mistake it for a caddisfly or small moth.
CDC Mayfly Emerger (sizes 16 and 18)
For a basic mayfly-emerger sample, this one is hard to beat as a result of it’s simply so buggy wanting. I normally fish it on an 18-inch dropper line of 5X or 6X, with a Parachute Adams above it.
Bread Line Emerger (sizes 16 and 18)
For lighter mayfly species–mild Cahills, sulfurs, and the like–I swap to a Bread Line, which presents good distinction between the physique and the trailing shuck.
Rusty Spinner (sizes 12-18)
Night spinner falls present among the greatest alternatives to catch huge brown trout as a result of the dying mayflies present a simple meal and the low mild makes the cautious fish really feel secure from predators. The Rusty Spinner covers most mayflies, and the bottom line is to maintain it proper within the movie, which makes it laborious to see. Plus, takes might be extraordinarily refined. Because of this a extra seen prime fly is usually essential.
Phil Monahan is Managing Editor of Model Content material for Orvis, and he’s been modifying this weblog since 2010.