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How are the hatches?


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I've had the blessed opportunity to fish almost daily this week in western Wisconsin. I've had fun and have caught some nice trout, but it's been about 98% nymph fishing. Hatches have been just about impossible to find. Is anyone else having similar experiences, or am going about it altogether incorrectly?

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Boy I'm glad someone is getting out everyday. I on the other hand have been working far too much and haven't hit the streams in a week or so. Last time I was out I hit the mother of all BWO hatches. I would suspect that due to this cooler weather some of the greater hatches are being stunted somewhat. The hatch that should be starting up very soon (if it hasn't already) is the Sulphur hatch. March Browns should also be starting as well. I'm not sure of the time of day that you are hitting the water, but after checking my notes from years past, the time to be out right now would be later in the evening to dark. Say from about 7:00pm to as late as you can stand it. There also may be a early morning spinner fall as well.

Just a couple of thoughts.


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You need to get south (southeast MN). The Light Hendricksons (sulphurs) are just getting going. the last time I was out, I had cream midges, LH, March Browns, and some BWO's going. Not many fish rising, but there were lots of bugs around.

I would point to the monsoon like and cool weather for your lack of hatches right now.

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Your mention of cream midges and BWO mayflies make me wish I'd originally asked, "How's the dry fly fishing?" because, while I've seen tons of cream midges and substantial numbers of craneflies, I haven't found numbers of rising fish. It is true that in most years we would be making the transition to evening fishing now, particularly with sulphurs out, but what I've not seen are the mid to late afternoon caddis hatches or anything of the size 14 or so, tan-bodied mayfly that's variously referred to as a light Hendrickson or a PMD. I think the persistently cool and rainy weather has delayed the hatches.

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I was on a western Wisconsin stream Wednesday night and found some nice dry fly fishing, but not in a way that I might have expected. I saw Yellow Sally stoneflies, a single March Brown, several PMD/Hendricksons, a couple of sulfurs and a few BWO mayflies, but none seemed to appear in sufficient numbers to inerest the fish. Then, shortly after 8, fish began to rise in slightly broken to riffly water. They rose pretty vigorously, so I thought they might be taking emerging duns, but after a few pattern changes without much success, I thought I better take a look around. It was then that I saw the size 16 or so spinners in the air. I think the fish were taking the female spinners as they dipped their abdomens to the water to release their egg sacs. I caught a number of decent fish on a size 16 rusty spinner.

One of the misconceptions perpetuated by most of the fly fishing magazines is that an angler can identify fish rising to spinners by their "quiet, sipping rise." This is certainly sometimes true, but it's definitely not the only way fish take spinners, particularly in water that's not dead slow.

I think spinners are also responsible for fish rising randomly in flatter water at last light.

Sometimes it pays to pay attention and to go with your observations rather than to play it by the book!

Good luck out there!

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I had a similar experience last Saturday. After seeing many rises, some very excited rises, and not having a ton of luck getting them to hit my fly, I checked the foam line. Same thing. The feeding lane was filled with size 16 sulphur/lt hendrickson spinners. I didn't have any spinner patterns on hand.... crazy.gif

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