02-27-2012, 02:42 PM
Re: March patterns??
Good advice from Rip Tide on the little black stoneflies-- and great looking flies from Madjoni--- as always
As I remember from one of your earlier posts you're from PA right?
If so, fishing conditins cam be pretty tough in March with cold, rainy/snowy weather, high water levels and off colored (muddy) water and cold water temps in a lot of streams, especially in freestone streams fed by run off-- (better conditions in spring creeks that are fed by underground water tables with more constant year round temps and less suspended silt)
Although there may be some hatches including Blue Wing Olives (size 16-20) and Midges along with some Early Black Stoneflies (size 16) you might want some bigger streamer type stuff to swing along the banks in high water.
You also might want to consider getting ready for the explosion in hatches that start in April once the water temps start heading into the 50 degrees--- generally the fishing conditions and hatching activity will be a lot more reliable-- especially from mid- April on through May and June.
Although timing will vary a bit from year to year and on individual streams, the big deal hatches in PA you're likely to run into starting in April (and often continuing for several weeks) :
Blue Wing Olives size 16-20 starting around April 1, but will continue throughout the season (many different species of mayfly that hatch at various times through the spring, summer and fall can be imitated by blue wing olive patterns). Pheasant Tail Nymphs in the right sizes are a great way of imitating many slender mayfly nymphs including Blue Wing Olives, as well as Blue Quills that also start hatching in April and the Sulphur mayflies that will be hatching in May and June. Any dry with a brownish-olive body with gray wings is a good match for the duns, and a rusty spinner imitates most of the species of mayflies lumped into the common name "blue wing olive" when they return to the water after mating to lay eggs, fall spent on the water surface and die.
Black Caddis (size 16) starting around April 1 and running through first week in May. Patterns include a larva pattern with yellow body and brown thorax, for the emerger LaFontaine's Black Deep and Emergent Sparkle Pupa patterns and for adults any size 16 caddis style dry fly with dark brown body dark dun wings.
Blue Quills (size 18) starting around 2nd week in April through mid May. Pheasant tail nymphs, for the dun a Blue Quill or Adams
Grannom Caddis (size 12) very important, hatches in large numbers throughout PA, running from beginning of April and running through beginning of May. Larva build flat sided chimney cases out of sticks (dark cased caddis), to imitate the emerging pupa a LaFontaine's Brown and Bright Green Emergent and Sparkle Pupa patterns are very effective, but so is the classic Lead wing Coachman wet fly. Adults can be imitated by any size 12 or 14 caddis dry with a greenish body and brown wings
Quill Gordon (size 14) runs from mid April through mid May Fat heavily weighted hares ear nymph fished near the bottom in fast water, mayflies in this family (Epeorus) are unusual in that the "emerge" out of their nymphal skin near the bottom of the stream and swim to the surface as their wings are taking shape-- fishing a Quill Gordon wet fly below the surface is probably the most effective pattern for this hatch. The duns can be imitated by different styles of dries with a creamy olive body and gray wings as well as the classic Quill Gordon Dry. A Rusty Spinner is a good imitation for the adults after mating.
Hendrickson (for the female) and Red Quill (for the male) in size 14 for both, start hatching in mid April and run through mid May. Another big deal hatch, wide spread and hatching in large numbers. Nymphs can be imitated by a dark brown hare's ear style nymph with a black wing case. Female duns have a light pinkish tan body and gray wings, males have a dark reddish brown body and gray wings. Classic Catskill style patterns like the Hendrickson and Red Quill may be less effective than patterns that sit in the film like thorax style dries and Comparadun variations with the same colors. A Rusty Spinner is also is a good imitation for both the males and females after mating.
These hatches can be the most memorable of the season-- you may want to start cranking on them now so you can start tying in April for the next big bunch of hatches you'll be getting in May. There's also a lot of info on these hatches out there on the web to google as well as a variety of effective patterns to try that are designed to be fished for these hatches.