01-03-2012, 02:55 PM
Re: spring flies for the mountains in nc
The hatch chart Jackster posted is a good guide--
Try tying stuff in the order that they appear in the hatch chart-- starting with the patterns for when you think you'll actually be getting out on the water. For example you'll want to tie hopper patterns at some point, but you won't need them till August, so you'll be better off tying stuff for April and May now. I would also try and prioritize the "big deal" hatches like the Hendricksons, Grannoms etc that tend to be widespread and last several weeks in your area on the streams you plan to fish-- a good local fly shop if you have one, should also be able to suggest key hatches and patterns to focus on.
If you don't have a local shop for info, here are some suggestions...
The Blue Wing Olive and Blue Quill in size 18 are both dark bodied mayflies with grayish wings-- you can often get away with using a using a BWO for Blue Quills if it's the right size (18) or a 18 Blue Quill for a size 18 BWO. Or you can use a size 18 Parachute Adams for both. But you'll have other size 18 BWO's hatching throughout the season (BWO's consist of many different mayfly species) so you may as well tie BWO versions.
Quill Gordons are another big early season hatch-- these are unusual in that they emerge on the bottom instead of the surface-- swinging a winged wet like Quill Gordon Wet can be more effective than the dry fly Quill Gordon version. The Quill Gordon hatch can be hit or miss.
The Hendrickson hatch is a big deal throughout the east, in terms of the number of bugs, length (it usually lasts several weeks), and widespread occurrence (most of the waters throughout the East). It also tends to happen when the weather takes a turn for the better and it's not as cold out as during the earlier season when the Blue Quills and Quill Gordons start. Have imitations for both the lighter colored females (Hendrickson pattern) and darker colored males (Red Quill pattern).
Grannom caddis are another widespread early season hatch. Wet flies (like the Leadwing Coachman or a soft hackle like the peacock and partridge) and dries like an elk hair caddis with dark olive brown body and dark gray deerhair wing size 14 would be good to have in April and early May.
May is when a lot of the hatches start popping and is usually better weather to fish. March Brown, Gray Fox, Sulphurs, Isonychia and Light Cahills are widespread. The Eastern Green Drake Hatch is rarer and harder to time, but it's worth having some of these huge imitations if it happens on the waters you fish and you plan to be out in May/June.