To the punch line – probably the best day in terms of numbers, size, surface orientation and length of hatch on a certain inland river yesterday. Period.
On the water at 11:30 to cool, overcast skies and a breeze that failed to muster up much of anything, only hinting at its presence as night came on and departure time was at hand. The blue winged olives emerge all day. One of the days where the hatch seems to wax and wane once or twice, with the “slow downs” being probably the best catching because fewer bugs on the water. Interestingly, there was never really a magic carpet of bugs on the water and few could be seen in the air, but I was focused on heads nosing out of the water rather than counting flying bugs. Seemed like most fish in the river were looking up and much of those stationed up in the broad tailout of calf-deep water that made for easy wading, spotting and working. I’m still trying to figure out how much these surface feeders actually move. It seems they slowly work upstream at a pace commensurate with the density of bugs emerging. Lots of bugs and the fish work upriver meticulously slow – giving the appearance of feeding on station. Fewer bugs and they seem to rise one place and are never seen again unless that’s the same fish 15 feet up and to the right.
Classic dry fly fishing where time gets lost in the mix and before you know it, 11:30 turns to 4:30 and the sun is dipping to the horizon. What happened?