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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