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Seasonal hatch information, bugs and flies to use.

Fly Fishing Hatch Charts


Trout eat a host of aquatic insects, terrestrial insects, other fish, crustaceans, leeches, worms, and other foods. The food items that are most important to trout and fly fishers are the aquatic insects that spend most of their life cycles underwater in rivers, streams, and stillwaters. They grow to maturity underwater and transform to flying air-breathing adults that mate in the air above our favorite waters.

This movement from the water to the air exposes the insects to predators such as trout and birds, and often causes a feeding frenzy. This event is called a “hatch” and is the situation all fly fishers search and hope for onstream.

During a hatch, when insects emerge en masse, trout become so focused on this one food item that they will often eat nothing else. This is called selective feeding.

“Matching the hatch”—another common term you’ll hear in fly-fishing circles—is the act of choosing the right fly and presenting it in the correct manner to fool selectively feeding trout. To do this you must be able to identify the insect, be familiar with its behavior, size, shape, and to a certain extent color, so it’s important to have a working knowledge of the most important types of insects: mayflies (Ephemeroptera), caddisflies (Trichoptera), midges (Diptera), and stoneflies (Plecoptera).

Don’t worry, you don’t need to know the Latin names of each type of insect but it may help later on when you learn to discern one type of mayfly from another and want to accurately describe the insect to fellow fly fishers. A good text on identification is Hatches II by Al Caucci and Bob Nastasi, but a more up-to-date guide may be, which would be better named as because the web site is almost entirely devoted to current freshwater insect identification and information.

During your journey to becoming an expert fly fisher, you should make a habit of picking up rocks from the river bed and examining streamside bushes to identify the important insects in that stream. Some fly fishers eventually evolve into amateur entomologists and take and keep samples of the insects they see onstream with the idea of tying flies that more accurately imitate them.


Late Winter/Early Spring Hatches

Insect                                             Suggested Fly Patterns

Midges                                                  Jujubee Midge size 20-24                                  Griffith’s Gnat


Blue Winged Olives                            Micro Mayfly size 18-20                            Thorax B.W.O. size 18-20


Early Black Stoneflies                         Zebra Copper John size 16-20      Black Elk Hair Caddis size 16-20  

Black Caddis                                          Bird’s Nest size 16-20                    Black Elk Hair Caddis size 16-20


Blue Quill                                              Parachute Adams size 16-18     Soft Hackle Pheasant Tail size 16-18


March Brown                  AK Best Eastern March Brown size 10 – 14  Hunchback March Brown size 10 – 14


Hendrickson                                                          Light Hendrickson size 14-16           Pheasant Tail size 14-18


Quill Gordon                                                             Quill Gordon Dry size 12-16       Hare’s Ear size 12-16


Late Spring/Summer Hatches

Green Drake                              Green Drake Paradrake size 8-12   Lawson’s Green Drake Nymph size 10-14


Yellow Drake                                               Yellow Stimulator size 10-14    Red Fox Squirrel nymph size 10-14


Light Cahill                                                Light Cahill size 12-16                               Hare’s Ear size 14-18


Yellow Sally                                                  Hairy Yellow Sally size 14-16               Iron Sally size 14-16


Golden Stonefly                                       Chubby Chernobyl size 6-12   Rubberleg Red Fox Squirrel size 6-12


Sulphur                                                    Parachute Sulphur size 14-18  Mercer’s Poxyback Sulphur size 14-18


Hoppers                                                       Point Guard Hopper size 8-12   Thunder Thighs Hopper size 6-10

Beetles                                                            Hi-Vis Foam Beetle size 12-16          Fat Albert size 10-14


Ants                                                             Hi-Vis Ant size 16-20                      Cow Killer Ant size 16-20


Inchworms                                                 Inchworm size 14-18                              Green Weenie size 14-18


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