Autumn On The EB

Autumn On The EB

Monday, April 16, 2018

Mayfly Pointers, The Comments Section And An Update

Joe C said...

You certainly nailed that one Ken. I do a lot of small midge nymphing using Gamakatsu C12BM barbless midge large eye hooks. I fish them in sizes 26 to 30 and always use 5X tippet because I can with the large eye. It has never seemed to affect the amount of takes I get plus I can quickly bring the fish to net and get them released without exhausting them. Joe C., July 8, 2015 Ageless advice from a very good angler!

Mayfly Pointers

We are rounding into the first of the major mayfly hatches here in New England. By early May the water temperatures will warm significantly and  insects will start their hatching process.  The first of the large Spring mayflies is the Quill Gordon.

The QG has the misfortune of being misidentified as it's cousin, the Hendrickson, whose hatch overlaps it.

How to identify it  -
1. The QC is slightly smaller and will hatch a few days, generally, ahead of the Hendrickson. But the big clue is that the Gordon has only TWO TAILS and the Hendrickson has THREE.

The QC is one of the very few mayflies that DOESN'T rise to the surface as a nymph and then split out of it's nymphal shell. It SHEDS the shell on the stream bottom and rises to the surface as a fully formed insect. That is why wet flies, such as the quill gordon, the coachman and soft hackles are so damn effective.
2. Look for the first week of May and a water temperature in the mid 50's to get these flies going.

3. Look for a mid day emergence  and a late afternoon spinner fall. (make arrangements to be there. This is a special time)!!!!

4. If the river flows are not heavy you will not need to use any weight with your fly. The emerging hendrickson nymph is imitated nicely by a partridge and olive soft hackle. Quill Gordons live in strong riffles, hendrickson in not-so-strong riffles.

5. As with most surface rises during "the hatch" the target of the trout is NOT the freshly hatched dun but the struggling emerger who is trying to break through thesurface.  They are very easy pickings!! That is why traditional dry patterns with tails and hackles are being replaced with creations such as Bob Wyatt's DHE emerger and Klinkhamer style flies with a criss-cross hackle. Save your tails and parachute styles for the spinner fall!

Your Comments - Take a minute and go back over the last half dozen posts and read the comments. You will find tons of advice from the readers and all of it is good!  Our comment writers are not afraid to name streams and even sections of streams!!!!  It really is a "blog within a blog"

River Update - The Swift below Rt 9, in the opinion of many, SUCKS!!!  I saw a total of 3 trout looking down into the Tree Pool the other day.  In the meantime some Greater Boston trickles have  received brook, brown and bows ALREADY. Remember, the Swift is a flagship river in Massachusetts for the wading angler and should get more consideration.

P.S. I got 2 inches of snow last night!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Mark Boudrieau said...

UGH. I'm on vacation next week and was planning an outing to the Swift. Perhaps I need to check out other rivers, like the Deerfield, which is such tough wading.

Millers River Flyfisher said...


Keep an eye on the stocking reports DAILY. Regardless of the 2 inches of rain today this river's flow should be fine. If we get fish we will have something other than casting practice!


Mike said...

Shawsheen in Andover was stocked on 4/5, got shutout 3 times until Sat afternoon. Got 3 rainbows on softhackles.

Millers River Flyfisher said...


And Saturday was a warm day. Maybe that's all it took!