PMD’s, baetis, and sulphurs on the Spring Creeks

We've had some great dry fly fishing on the creeks lately!

We’ve heard that the PMD hatch has already peaked and numbers are going down, but I was out there guiding clients on 7/11 and found a variety of bugs coming off… Even as early as 8:30 in the morning we saw PMD’s emerging.   Also coming down the pipe during the day were size 16 caddis, size 20 black caddis, size 22 midges, and a few size 20 sulphurs, and even some size 20 gray baetis duns!  The PMD’s were by far the thickest hatch, varying in size from 16-20.  Our best dry was a size 18 René Harrop Biot Body Cripple, which is basically a sparkle dun with an orange biot body and an olive thorax.   The naturals are a pale olive -almost yellow, but we were getting a lot more refusals than takes on high riding imitations of the duns.   So on the next fish I caught, I did a  little stomach pumping – using a stomach pump that is much like a little baster.  You shoot water down the trout’s throat and suck back up the stomach contents.  If done with care this doesn’t hurt the trout at all but gives you a great look at exactly what that particular fish was eating.   As one would guess it was mostly PMD nymphs and emergers rather than duns!  Harrop’s darker olive short wing emerger was a perfect imitation rather than his lighter version that looked closer to the naturals.  But the darker emerger was the ticket to catching the more selective fish.    Another stomach pump revelation  was seeing that this  fish had been eating lot of size 18 dark baetis nymphs!  This story matches what the guides have been telling us, seeing baetis dries in the afternoons, which is really odd for so late into the season!    In the mix of stomach contents I  also found quite a few long, translucent midge larva.   Light tippets are often the key to catching more fish, and on this day  7X tippet was the ticket – we have some new Stroft tippet material in the shop this year that is amazingly strong.  It mono instead of fluoro and not only tests stronger than GrandMax, but floats better for dry fly fishing.  Stop by and pick some up – you’ll be amazed!

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