Luck would bestow an opportunity for fishing the last two nights. Early May is a great time to fish, but recent rains had elevated the waters making dry fly fishing difficult. Early in the week, my son and I tried our luck on a small creek with little success. Even though we had been wet wading the week before, the rain and cold temps forced us to use waders. The high water also made it less likely for fish to rise.
This week the weather looked favorable for dry fly fishing, the cool temps and no rain looked promising. Indeed, the water had dropped and cleared considerably by Monday. I tried a section of the Davidson knowing that this time of year there are evening hatches and spinner falls on the lower section of the river. I arrived at the river at 5:30. The show was in full gear as bugs, fish and even birds joined the action. I had two takes in the first five casts. There were a few types of bugs on the water, but the main attraction was a pink mayfly. My first thought was a Hendrickson, however this one had a cream thorax and barred cream legs. Unfortunately, I had arrived too late and the show ended soon after I arrived. I vowed to return.
I shared the experience with a friend of mine Mike Mahalas and it didn’t take much for him to agree to come out the next evening. I adjusted the plan, and suggested that we try and get on the river between 3 and 4. He agreed. I was able to leave a bit earlier and arrived around 3:30. I walked down to the river to see if anyone was there. The area was vacant, but there wasn’t any bugs or fish rising either. I walked back to the truck and suited up. Mike arrived with his sons Nick and Xan. After suiting up, we walked to the river. The hatch was on and the fish were everywhere. Again, the pink mayfly was there, big and bright floating down the river were disappearing down the throats of trout left and right. This time however there were BWO and even a stone fly or two buzzing around. It was clear to see which insect was the choice, rarely did a “pinky” get by the fish. We split up, Mike and Xan were put in the best spot so Xan could work on catching and playing some trout. I headed upstream and Nick went downstream. There were anglers upstream, so I turned around and walked past everyone. I found a familiar pool with some risers and worked into position. Armed with the pattern I tied on the tip of the leader I proceeded to catch 2 big browns and a smaller rainbow. I wish I had my camera, but it was a good thing I left it in the truck. I step in a deep hole and down I went. Man, that water was cold.
I rejoined the group as was able to catch two nice rainbows on the same fly. Everyone was catching fish and the hatch turned into a spinner fall, and the fish switched over to spinners. Nick managed to catch a dun and a spinner. I had to leave since my feet felt like blocks of ice and I made squishy noises with my waders. In all, I hooked and landed 10 trout on a dry and missed many more. It was one of the rare times the Davidson would have a hatch so big that all the fish in the area would join in. I hope my waders dry out for tomorrow.
Mike and I were not sure what kind of mayfly it is. I had not seen this bug before. The closest guess is a Epeorus vitreus.
Fly of the evening: E. vitreus
- Pink abdomen with cream thorax and hackle.
- Light dun wings and tail.
- Tan thread.
- Size 16-14
- Pink and cream abdomen
- White hen wings
- Orange and cream thorax.
- Barred ginger hackle