Late evening river hatches?

Discussion in 'Fly Fishing Forum' started by IveofIone, Jun 12, 2013.

  1. What is your best guess? Last October I spent a few days on the St Joe and towards the end of the day a tremendous amount of feeding broke out on some long smooth glides. I fished the same glide two evenings in a row without a great deal of success. Fish were feeding just under the surface and bulging the water with the occasional splashy rise. I tried everything I could think of but only caught a few fish.

    Now fast forward to last week and I found another one of those long beautiful glides on the NF CDA and fished it for two evenings in a row. The feeding was a frenzy and looked exactly like what I had seen on the St Joe last year. I did a little better this year but am a long way from figuring out the hatch. A size 16 PT nymph took fish on successive cast and I thought I might be onto something. That action quit as quickly as it started. I can't see anything on top of the water and looking into it I can't make out anything that is emerging but the fish are just going crazy.

    Next week I'll be on the St Joe again looking for that killer glide that will torment me and am also looking for any suggestions borne of experience. A lot of guys have theories but I would like to hear from someone that has BTDT and perhaps even figured it out. If you can't be there to coach me perhaps you can render some suggestions that would help shorten the learning curve?

  2. Ive, have you tried soft hackles? That might work if you were able to discover the fly or color of it that was hatching.

    I should add this falls in the "theory" category.

  3. PM incoming
  4. Let me know if splashy rises means caddis.
  5. zen beat me to it. i'd try a few sizes/colors of soft hackles dead drifted as well as swung for sure.
  6. Ive I have been there and tried a lot of things, they are obviously feeding on emerging insects hence the bulge instead of seeing noses. Here is what I have done. Put on a size 12 or 14 yellow stimulator and about 24" of 5x leader. Attach a #18 or 20 BWO emerger or a Griffiths Gnat size seems way more important than color dont use flotant on the gnat get it to sink. The trick is to watch the stimmie, in my experience these fish will take the fly so lightly that you will never feel it or see it. If that stimulator does ANYTHING out of the normal raise the rod and see if there is a fish there, if not let the drift continue. I will sometimes lift the rod 3-4 times in a long drift and then mend a little and let it go again. The other thing that I have done is to go to 12' leaders, the extra tippit laying slack on the water does not seem to bother the fish but you really get a drag free drift as it slowly uncoils and straightens out. The extra slack tippit sometimes makes it harder to hook the fish but it dramatically improved the number of takes.
    It take good eyes to see if that stimmie moves or changes direction in poor light conditions I will go to a #10.
    Good luck!
    PS here is where I fished today Hiked into a 10,500' high lake. rainbow lakes ans nature trail 2 033.JPG
    Codioos, Steve Call and McNasty like this.
  7. Back when it was worth going to Montana I used to fish the Madison with the same evening display. Finally thought "lakes" and fished size 20 chironomid pupa and especially emergers with some success. The BWO advice comes very close and might be a closer ape.

    try this:
  8. +1 on the chironomid. I found very similar conditions one night on the Bitteroot some years back, and was dumbfounded by the amount of activity and the lack of any takes. The following day I spoke with a friend that was familiar with the area and scenario, and he told me to try a chironomid about a foot below an indicator. I wasn't catching them hand over fist, but once I found the version that they liked, I ended the evening with a decent amount of big cutthroat to hand in a pretty short amount of time.
  9. Sometimes you just gotta go "small". In October, my guess is that a very small BWO in 20-24 might have done the trick, and/or emerger that small. As for this time of year, probably a very small small midge of something or other.....big help, huh Ive? They say "bigger is better", but NOT in this game! I agree with the other above posts. Also, when I fished the St. Joe, usually in early fall, I had good luck with BWO's and just a all gray dun in size 20.
  10. your killing me with this thread. I wont be there until July. of course by then the tube hatch will be going strong and i will have to scout for quiet water (CDA river).
    tried the small soft hackle on the Madison many years ago with good results.
  11. A soft hackle has worked for me, again behind the stimulator. but it has to be small and sparse. #18 and 20's, I tie these on #16 2x short hooks so there is more gape and eye diameter but a shorter hook length, better hook-ups and way easier to tie on for these old eyes.
    I tried the "artificial" indicator rather than the Stimulator and my success went way down, and besides you do catch the occasional fish in the "indicator" fly. I think that the fish my be curious about the big bug but at the last minuite take the emerger. I have been in places when the light was just right and have seen fish come up to the stimulator refuse it and turn and take the #20.
    jesse (still waiting for the Rocky Mountain run-off to end)
  12. Sounds like the fish may have been feeding on a micro caddis, hatches of which are overlooked by many fisherman. A small (as is #20-24) soft hackle tied with sparkle/antron yarn dubbing might well make the fishing seem easy. Have some of them in grey, brown, olive, gold/straw, purple mixed with brown, and black. All with partridge hackle in brown or grey to compliment the color of the body.

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