Amber Lake "mystery hatch..."

Discussion in 'Fly Fishing Entomology' started by Idaho steel, Dec 16, 2012.

  1. Idaho steel Active Member

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    In talking with a number of other anglers recently, something called the Amber Lake "mystery hatch" has surfaced. (Sorry, horrid pun.) When I ask for clarification, I get a lot of shrugs. The consensus seems to be that they're eating something, but no one knows what... Speaking only for myself, I've gotten into actively feeding fish quite a number of times up there, but it's always been pretty straightforward. So I'm curious. Anyone have any insights?
  2. Taxon Moderator

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    Hi Idaho steel-

    My SWAG would be Daphnia, but you should be able to catch a fish, and then use a throat pump to determine what it has been eating. What month or months has this so-called mystery hatch been reported?
  3. Idaho steel Active Member

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    Late spring early summer seems to be when this supposedly takes place. I was wondering about Daphnia myself, as it does explain some things. I'm pretty curious to know if anyone else has heard of this so-called mystery. I've found that during the times I fish for them, they are pretty opportunistic feeders, and even when they do get on something specific, it's never been too difficult to figure out.
  4. jwg Active Member

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    Idaho steel:

    What is the context and implication.

    Is mystery hatch a shorthand phrase to say that catching slow?

    jay
  5. Idaho steel Active Member

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    Well I suppose that could be part of it, but I'm under the impression that there is some food source that the fish key into that no one can identify. I have personally not witnessed this as yet. Initially, I thought perhaps they were taking the piss out. I mean really, a mystery hatch???
  6. Mike Ediger Active Member

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    I have fished Amber quite a bit, and I think what you are referring to (just guessing) is not that uncommon on many lakes. Most summer nights just as dusk is starting, the water just starts boiling with fish. No visible hatch, no bugs on the water, but the fish start going crazy literally every where. I have no idea what they are eating, but you can catch fish on a variety of bugs from nymphs to buggers. Just put something on an intermediate line and have fun. Not that it is a sure thing at all, but I have caught fish during this time on a variety of different flies.
  7. Drifter Active Member

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    I ran into this at coldwater lake (all wild fish) the water would turn alive with sippers out over the deep water (35 to 50 ft.) but I could NOT find a hatch and would just speed troll through them and hook fish. This would happen in the middle of the day and at dusk.

    Now I had seen a very small midge in very light grey in a different area of the lake and also had seen a few "clear" spent shucks so I made a fly to match this small clear looking hatch. It worked very good getting out in front of pods of sippers and casting long light leaders on dry lines in front of them and giving the slightest twitch when I felt they were near. worked very good! I also tied some with small tungston beads so I could let them sink a little and then twitch them up as to LOOK like they were rising. All these flies I put a couple turns of lead wire or a bead to help sink, with just a couple turns of lead they will fish just under the surface so you need to watch the leader for strikes because sometimes they do not leave any swirl.

    Sometimes I think hatches "fail" at the surface but trout still key-in on them. just trying to help!

    Here's some patterns==== sippers 001.jpg sippers 002.jpg sippers 003.jpg sippers 004.jpg tungston softy\'s 006.jpg tungston softy\'s 011.jpg tungston softy\'s 012.jpg tungston softy\'s 016.jpg tungston softy\'s 017.jpg

    They work for me when nothing else will. I simply call them "SIPPERS"
  8. Bob Newman Member

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    Good chance the hatch is the chaoborus chironomid (glass midge). I've run into the hatch at many lakes in eastern Washington. Sometimes the fish are picky and sometimes they will eat anything in sight. Mark's softhackle would match the emerging bug pretty well.
  9. Drifter Active Member

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    Glass midge! that would really be a good name for the hatch I am matching. thank you.
  10. Idaho steel Active Member

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    Mark, very cool flies. Those would do well on the Lochsa in the fall too.

    Glass midges and/or various Daphnia make a kind of intuitive sense.

    I talked to a friend today, and he noted that he's done well on a small parachute adams when fish are rising. I think there's probably a lot of latitude here since none of those jokers have actually seen this "mystery" bug.
    Mark Kraniger likes this.
  11. Drifter Active Member

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    The flies I posted are kinda how the fly developed.

    First just grey dubbing with silky thread rib and partridge hackle.
    then just chrome flat tinsel with partridge
    Then darker partridge
    Then I found some "Christmas tree" tinsel that was small, clear and shinny to wrap the body with. I had to use white thread and wrap the whole hook shank under the body because it was so clear it would show up dark underneath with a darker thread. when I started doing this, it got the transparent look I was after in the body and used only the lightest partridge soft hackles from the cape. the last three flies are what I stuck with. you can also turn them different colors by changing thread color! it gives the fly great depth - like glass!!!

    So this could also be called the Christmas fly :) just the right time of year to post them!!! I got the clear small tree tinsel at Jo Anne fabrics. when coated with nail polish they "pop" and last for a long time.
    Bartfly and bakerite like this.
  12. Bartfly New Member

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    One thing that Mark and I talked about last year was getting one of the kids butterfly nets that they get from dollar tree, the ones with the bamboo handles, and permanently securing them to a golf ball retriever. The extendible handle would allow you to scoop the net through the weeds to see what is hatching and creating the feeding frenzy. Less intrusive than a trout stomach pump. What do you guys think, should we open up a shop and start making these things? Bart.
    Mark Kraniger likes this.
  13. Taxon Moderator

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    Hi Bartfly-

    To sample stillwater macroinvertebrates in a shallow weed bed, rather than using a butterfly net attached to a golf ball retriever, I would suggest using a stainless steel kitchen strainer attached with duct tape to a broom handle. Don't believe either a butterfly net or a golf ball retriever are sturdy enough for that use. But, whatever you end up using, you'd best be prepared for anyone who sees you being rather curious about what you are doing. ;)
    Mark Kraniger likes this.
  14. Daryle Holmstrom retiredfishak

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    Glass Midge Larva

    http://www.washingtonflyfishing.com/gallery/data/500/ice.jpg