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PostPosted: January 4th, 2018, 11:04 am 
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Joined: December 2nd, 2001, 1:00 am
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Location: Ellsworth
......I was thinking as I was tying up a batch of #24’s Red Thread Midges yesterday what my favorite hatch is, and I just can’t decide.

My top three was as close as I could get to a decision. I’d have to say that on the Paradise Valley Spring Creeks PMD’s would undoubtedly be #1. Not even close on them.

On the Missouri it’s Trico’s.....and on the Big Horn they’re tied at #1with Black Caddis.

When Shawmut was SHAWMUT! It was undoubtedly the large Cornutas BWO’s, but Shawmut went to hell in a hand basket over a decade ago.

Time to head downstairs to the vise. I can hear #20 Sulphurs calling my name.
Stay safe and warm in this Bombogenesis storm. Let’s hope the power stays on, but the Generator is gassed up and ready to rock and roll if it goes out.

Dave M

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"Fish the West every year. Life is short; and you'll be dead a long time." Chris Hutchins--2009


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PostPosted: January 4th, 2018, 1:53 pm 
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Joined: January 24th, 2002, 1:00 am
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Location: Lyons, CO
I like this one and I love fishing dries more than anything and I'd like to add a corollary:

What hatch have you seen that should be on my bucket list? I'm putting Paradise Valley spring creeks and the Mo and the Horn are all going on the list (maybe I could do those all in a week?). These might be a little different, in that I might not try to hit them again because there are too many fishermen or the hatch is too variable or the weather sucks when it comes off or I just can't seem to catch fish during it:

Here are my 2 worth seeing at least once in your life:
Salmonflies in CO: Damned hard to hit it (usually June), but worth trying, because I've never seen anything similar at all. Giant bugs everywhere. I've hit it once -- I missed by 1 day or 1 section of river last year, with salmonflies in the air at the takeout.

Blue wings below Flaming Gorge on the Green in Utah (April). Seeing a blanket hatch on the Green is seeing more bug biomass being chased on the surface by more fish biomass per square foot than I've ever seen anywhere.


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PostPosted: January 4th, 2018, 2:22 pm 
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pushaw wrote:
I like this one and I love fishing dries more than anything and I'd like to add a corollary:

What hatch have you seen that should be on my bucket list? I'm putting Paradise Valley spring creeks and the Mo and the Horn are all going on the list (maybe I could do those all in a week?). These might be a little different, .


Push.......

A week might be doable to hit all three.......but it would be very dicey. The minimum to me would be ten days. The big problem with trying to hit all three is timing.

The PMD’s peak in late June/ early July on the Spring Creeks. The MO warms up pretty quickly, so you’d want to hit that one by July 15th, IMO,and that would be too early to hit the Trikes on the Horn. You’d hit the Black Caddis ok, (probably).

The Horn coming out of Yellowtail stays cold much later than the Missouri does because Holter is a fairly low dam. Also.......the Bighorn is a six hour drive from the Missouri......if you’re going way over the speed limit.......so you’d lose almost an entire day going from one to the other.

Living out West you obviously are well aware of this........but I was stunned the first time I went out there just how far apart these Blue Ribbon rivers really are from each other. Easterners really have to try to limit windshield time, because it’s really easy to spend way too much time on the road instead of in the river.

The Missouri and the Livingston Creeks are only about 2.5 hours apart......so if you had to ditch one of the above it would be the Horn for me......unless it was afte 7/15, then I’d ditch the Missouri. Hitting all three like we do every year takes a lot of planning......and some years (e.g. last year) we just got $*&#”#on the Horn by high warm water.

The planning is a lot of the fun, though. Good luck, and I’d love to hear how you make out if you decide to do this.

Dave M

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"Fish the West every year. Life is short; and you'll be dead a long time." Chris Hutchins--2009


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PostPosted: January 4th, 2018, 6:15 pm 
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Joined: March 16th, 2013, 11:04 pm
Posts: 575
The beer hatch. 6:00 every day. You could set your watch by it. I've never missed one.


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PostPosted: January 4th, 2018, 6:48 pm 
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Joined: May 8th, 2016, 4:21 pm
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No doubt, it would be the hex hatch. I get one maybe two shots a year and when it's on it's awesome.


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PostPosted: January 4th, 2018, 8:36 pm 
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Joined: February 14th, 2007, 1:00 am
Posts: 1299
Location: New Hampshire
The Danica hatch (3/4 sized hexes) on moving water. Seeing a totally lifeless river light up at dusk is thrilling yet sooooo annoying!

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PostPosted: January 5th, 2018, 9:48 am 
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Joined: December 5th, 2001, 1:00 am
Posts: 5225
Location: Manchester, ME
Dave M wrote:
pushaw wrote:
I like this one and I love fishing dries more than anything and I'd like to add a corollary:

What hatch have you seen that should be on my bucket list? I'm putting Paradise Valley spring creeks and the Mo and the Horn are all going on the list (maybe I could do those all in a week?). These might be a little different, .


Push.......

A week might be doable to hit all three.......but it would be very dicey. The minimum to me would be ten days. The big problem with trying to hit all three is timing.

The PMD’s peak in late June/ early July on the Spring Creeks. The MO warms up pretty quickly, so you’d want to hit that one by July 15th, IMO,and that would be too early to hit the Trikes on the Horn. You’d hit the Black Caddis ok, (probably).

The Horn coming out of Yellowtail stays cold much later than the Missouri does because Holter is a fairly low dam. Also.......the Bighorn is a six hour drive from the Missouri......if you’re going way over the speed limit.......so you’d lose almost an entire day going from one to the other.

Living out West you obviously are well aware of this........but I was stunned the first time I went out there just how far apart these Blue Ribbon rivers really are from each other. Easterners really have to try to limit windshield time, because it’s really easy to spend way too much time on the road instead of in the river.

The Missouri and the Livingston Creeks are only about 2.5 hours apart......so if you had to ditch one of the above it would be the Horn for me......unless it was afte 7/15, then I’d ditch the Missouri. Hitting all three like we do every year takes a lot of planning......and some years (e.g. last year) we just got $*&#”#on the Horn by high warm water.

The planning is a lot of the fun, though. Good luck, and I’d love to hear how you make out if you decide to do this.

Dave M


Looking at the waters under discussion in this thread, I go back to my thoughts on a related thread. For those of use who don't often have access to spring creeks or true coldwater/highly altered hydrology tailwaters, hatches are much less predictable and therefore a less important part of our fishing.

As for favorite "hatch", I'll put up three, one that's a classic, and two that are a lot different.

1. Hexes. Closest Maine comes to a predictable feeding frenzy hatch. Challenges are weather and water temperature related. Some years the best of hex hatch on my favorite waters comes so late that not many fish are feeding in the warm surface water, and I don't feel good about fishing for those that are.
2. The spring flying ant fall. This may be the most predictable dry fly fishing I get. Late May/early June, on a hot humid day, especially one with some wind, there will be ants on the move. On the best days, there will be enough to trigger all-afternoon dry fly fishing. Even on the slower days, there will be a lot of ants on the water by early evening, and cruising trout looking for them. Get on the water as soon as the wind drops and hunt for rises. My favorite fishing of the year. I have not seen them much on streams; seems to be a lake and pond phenomenon, and can occur on some very large lakes.
3. The "drake mackerels" in September on some Yellowstone waters. I'm still not entirely sure what insect this is. It's an odd mayfly hatch. I've never seen really big numbers on the water, and from the reading and quizzing of local fly shops I've done I think there may actually be several different insects that are called drakes or mackerels. But is's a big (#10 down to 14) mayfly that hatches in the afternoon and has sporadic spinner falls. When you see them on the water or in the air, the cutts in the meadow sections of the headwater streams are on them. It's definitely not a "set your watch and plan your fishing" hatch, as some days you see them and some days you don't. The terrestrial and attractor fishing on the days you don't see them are good enough, but the short periods when the mayflies are on will make your day every time it happens.


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PostPosted: January 5th, 2018, 10:23 am 
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Joined: October 15th, 2003, 12:00 am
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Location: Bangor
Number 1 in Maine now would be Cornuta- I have hit it pretty solidly the last two years on the Kennebec at both Shawmut and a place upstream of that. Nota ton of fish, but al very respectable;
2. Ants- Reardon- the ant thing is for real.... It has worked for me on the Kennebec and the West Branch to great effect...;
3. I'll will still hold out hope for Hendrickson's somewhere. I work in Southern Maine now so I can check out some waters down here in hopes of finding them.


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PostPosted: January 8th, 2018, 6:03 pm 
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Joined: December 2nd, 2002, 1:00 am
Posts: 519
Location: maine; now Salida, CO
Pushaw, the most dependable hatches I've seen are the Midges in the AM and PM on the Big Horn and BWO sandwiched in between. April into early May. Dave M is right about getting ^&%^&*# by high water tho. I'm hoping last year was an anomaly. Keep an eye on the Snotel site to watch their snowpack.

FYI, we're starting to get some really good BWO's down here in April, too. Through town this is THE hatch now in the spring. Caddis down canyon or up river above Granite.


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PostPosted: January 9th, 2018, 12:29 am 
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Joined: January 24th, 2002, 1:00 am
Posts: 2328
Location: Lyons, CO
Thanks for the replies, y'all --
I've seen the flying ant hatch once up on the Allagash chain in late May about 15 years ago, and I couldn't match it and could not buy a rise, but it was one of the most impressive hatches I've seen in Maine. Now I carry ant patterns...

I've never really hit the Hex hatch in Maine. I've tried a few times and missed. But if my cards fall where I hope, I should be in Maine more often than not when the timing is right and maybe, just maybe I'll get it figured out one of these days.

I've hit Hendricksons some in southern New England -- I had luck fishing the spinner fall, never actually hitting them on dries during the emergence -- I haven't really hit that one well yet. I did have some good days on the Farmington nymphing during the Hendrickson hatch, but I wasn't the dry fly fan I am now at that point.

I think the Horn might be the next of these for me to take a shot at. I think it's maybe an 8 hour drive from me and I've never been. I've hit the Mo, but we fished hoppers.

Baetis -- I've hit your town blue wings pretty much every spring for the last number of years. I like them! Last year was the first day I've floated the Ark in the spring in the last 5 years where we actually put more fish in the boat on caddis than blue wings, but then the afternoon of streamer fishing put all of the dries to shame -- that was my best day on the water last year.


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