Warmwater Hatches

Guest Blogger: Mary S. Kuss, Life-long avid angler, licensed PA fishing guide, founder of the Delaware Valley Women’s Fly Fishing Association

Brandywine Creek

The concept of “hatch-matching” dominates modern fly fishing for trout. This is largely thanks to the late Ernest Schwiebert, who coined the term in his seminal book Matching the Hatch, first published in 1955. Other, earlier authors had touched on the subject, but not in quite the same way or under the same circumstances. Fly fishing in the United States was in the midst of a sort of “dark ages” in the 1950’s, as the popularity of spin fishing spread like wildfire. When the “fly fishing renaissance” got under way in the late 1960’s there were very few books available on the subject. Schwiebert’s little book was quickly resurrected and went through numerous reprints over the years (my own volume, circa 1972, was the seventh printing).

Historically, warmwater fly fishers have rarely taken an interest in hatch matching. A notable exception occurred in the 1980’s, when a Texan by the name of Jack Ellis launched a fervent crusade to lure warmwater fly fishers away from “the yellow popper.” Ellis published a newsletter, advocating a hatch-matching approach to fishing for bass and panfish. He argued that warmwater species were worthy of the same level of respect and even reverence that fly anglers accorded to trout.

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Pseudo Hatch Matching

Guest Blogger: Clay Cunningham, Cody WY, former National Park Superintendent
If you fish often for trout on a variety of rivers and streams, and you wanted to match every mayfly hatch that might come off in a summer; you would need many different flies in several sizes. You would also have to be knowledgeable of the many different species you might encounter at different times of the day in order to accurately match the hatch.
Here is a way to be equipped that reasonably matches many of the mayfly hatches of the season with a realistic number of flies. This method is less expensive and easier to accomplish for those that tie their own flies. But, judicious selective buyers can also be prepared as well.
The system requires six different color choices and three different hook sizes. I use Mustad hooks because they are less expensive, they work and odds are you might lose them to obstacles or large fish before they can be declared no longer useful. However, when any of those flies get chewed up by many fish being caught, don’t throw them away because for some unknown reason chewed up flies often leads to more strikes by trout. Each one of these patterns should be tied on a size 12, 14 and an 18, dry fly hook such as Mustad’s R50NP-BR hook. Size is important too, which is why you need these three sizes. Similar dry fly hooks from any other manufacturer work just as well.

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