Lenice "Mays"

Discussion in 'Fly Fishing Forum' started by Al, Apr 9, 2002.

  1. Al

    Al New Member

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    Was at Lenice this afternoon and a Mayfly hatch came off at about 1:30 p.m. that was much like Chopaka. Was amazing and the fish thought so also. They were aggressively rolling and jumping out of the water after the Mayflies as they skittered across the water.

    If we had some dry flies, or even thought it would work, it would have been the thing to try. As it turned out, I landed 8 nice ones on a olive green damsel and one on a Chronimid. And, lost a bunch of others. All were 19-21'". There were very few Chronomids coming off today, but they will with a sunny day.

    The water is getting a little warmer and the fish more active so good times are acoming!

    Al :pROFESSOR
     
  2. Scott Salzer

    Scott Salzer previously micro brew

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    We saw a few mays on Nunnally over the weekend but the fish were not keying on them, just taking the occasionally. We did get a few fish on an adams and and emerger pattern. We hit the may hatch last year about this time and it was amazing. What were you doing out there without dries????
     
  3. Preston

    Preston Active Member

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    That's what I've been waiting for. I was there last Friday and only saw two Callibaetis all day. Guess I'm gonna have to haul back over the mountain again this week.
     
  4. ray helaers

    ray helaers Active Member

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    If you don't have any dries during a lake mayfly hatch, a good tactic is to fish an unweighted hares ear, pheasant tail, or other more specific callibaetis nymph (Jensen's is a good one, and I have two if anyone's interested) on a long leader and floating line, in the top foot or so of the water column. Grease the leader about half way, cast into an area of activity, let the fly sink a bit, and retrieve with a VERY SLOW hand twist (go as slowly as you can stand it, then slow down a little), so the fly moves smoothly and steadily.

    Actually, this is a good tactic even if you have some dries with you. Trout can get pretty snotty during a good calibaetis hatch, especially if its a sunny, glassy afternoon, and refusal after refusal in the middle of all those rises can be pretty humbling. The moving nymph seems to force a decision out of the trout, the underwater leader doesn't offend the fish as much , and you cover a little more territory with less casting, so you're less likely to move fish away from you.

    I've never tried it, but I don't think trolling the nymph would work. First, I don't think you could troll slowly enough, and second, you'd likely just spook the risers.
     
  5. Preston

    Preston Active Member

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    I've found emerger patterns, like the Chopaka Emerger or a Quigley Cripple tied in Callibaetis colors, are almost always more effective than patterns that imitate the dun. The fish rarely refuse them and slurp them down avidly right through the hatch.
     
  6. ray helaers

    ray helaers Active Member

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    Yeah, I've found emergers to probably be the most effective too (I use a pretty simple CDC-winged/zelon-shucked emerger in grey/olive). Though I actually have had pretty good success from time to time on parachute and "thorax" duns. But I have made the nymph work when I was pressed for flies, or when something about my fishing seemed to be turning the trout away from my emerger or dry.
     
  7. Preston

    Preston Active Member

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    I went back to Lenice yesterday (April 12). The Callibaetis hatch was still sort of sporadic though it went on for most of the day with occasional peaks; 10:30, 3:00 and about 4:30. There still don't seem to be large enough numbers coming off to get the fish looking up big-time. During the lulls there were always a few fish sipping midges and I took my (oddly enough) first-ever Lenice brown on a black, thread-body, size 20, trailing shuck parachute midge emerger.
     
  8. ray helaers

    ray helaers Active Member

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    I'm interested to know what size mayflies you're seeing. Back in the day when I used to fish chopaka every year, I tried to make a rather close study of callibaetis. I think of the callibaetis as a May/June hatch, but it is an interesting bug, with usually two and sometimes three broods per year in most of its habitats. So usually most lakes will have a late spring hatch, and then a summer hatch that most people don't see because most of us are ingnoring the lakes during the summer. The lakes that have three broods will have an early spring hatch (I know Lenore has one, and apparently so does Lenice).

    Here's the interesting part. Each brood tends to get successively smaller. The late spring hatch tends to be a size 16, and the summer hatch (which can bleed into Sept on some lakes), will tend to be an 18. The early spring hatch (where it happens) can be pretty big, usually a 12 and sometimes an honest 10. The April flies on Lenore are so big they confused me the first time I saw them.

    I've never actually seen callibaetis on Lenice, but I've fished good rises to them on Merry in May and June, the classic 16s. So I'm interested if Lenice is a three-brood lake, which would seem likely, but I was just wondering what size the flies were.
     
  9. Preston

    Preston Active Member

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    I would say that the Callibaetis we were seeing were about 14's. At least that's the size we were fishing. That's the size I usually start the season out with at Chopaka (I've always felt that a smaller size than the natural was better than larger). I have the impression that these are lighter; more gray than the Chopaka Callibaetis which have always appeared quite brown to me. Anyhow, the fish didn't seem to find my choice of colors or sizes objectionable.
     
  10. Al

    Al New Member

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    What we were seeing were about size 14 and one of you was right - they were quite gray in the wings. My partner and I watched ( we weren't doing much catching) as a small group of Mayflies skittered across the water near the cattails. The fish in this one particular area got every one before they flew. I am going back on Monday and will be ready this time with some dries!

    Al :pROFESSOR
     
  11. fishnfella

    fishnfella New Member

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    Fish till ya drop.
    Then suck it up
    and fish the evening hatch.

    I've found that when the mayfly hatches are sporadic at the early stages of the hatch, the fish will be much more eager to take a Nymph sunk over weedtop under an indicator. I fish a Calabaetis nymph with gold beadhead,body and wingcase of wrapped Oak Turkey(mottled white,tan and grey),thorax of peacock herl,and a tail of guinee hen body feather fibres. Deadly.
    For some reason,probably my sloppy presentations, I do poorly on the duns too. But wait for days not far off when the spinners hit the water. The fish take these with reckless abandon just cast out and left...they will find them.
     
  12. dryfly

    dryfly New Member

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    I was thinking of hitting Nunnally this Saturday if I can force myself out of bed at o-dark-thirty. Maybe the warmer (predicted) temps will get the mays going around 1 to 2pm (?)

    Although I haven't hit this great chain of lakes yet this year, I do recall some of the best dryfly action on Nuannaly / Lenice last year in April / May with the Quigley pattern. Size #14 and even at times #12. I think the way in which they ride in/on the water is key.
    The design lends itself nicely - the ostrich sinks tail end down and the elk (or is it deer??) with a tad of floatant keep it "hatching".
    I'd say a second to the Quigley would be the sparkle dun, as they seem more durable than the parachute may patterns after a few catch and releases.

    But I just can't wait for the BEST dry action of all - blue damsels on the wing come June :)) Sigh casting among the shallow weedbeds - the BEST!

    Brad
     
  13. Ron Olsen

    Ron Olsen Active Member

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    Ronbow

    Was at Nunnally Wednesday. Strong early chironomid hatch, fell off at 10 am. Slow until the calibatis began to pop about 1 pm. Like being in the middle of a sailing regatta. Duns, size 12 everywhere. Fish went wild, porpoising all over. Fished a soft hackle calibatis nymph on a dry line over weed beds in 8 to 10 feet depth. Take on every cast. Then it started to snow, followed by hail, heavy rain and wind. Ah, Spring in Eastern Washington. Fishing slowed when the storm hit, and hatch lasted about an hour and a half. After did best with green chironomid in high traffic areas, ledges, points etc. Well worth the trip. :BIGSMILE
     
  14. ray helaers

    ray helaers Active Member

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    Do you mind saying what end of the lake you found the mayflies?
     
  15. Ron Olsen

    Ron Olsen Active Member

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    Ronbow

    Middle of the lake, north side, on the flat, 150 to 300 feet offshore. With the way the wind was blowing, never ventured to either end for fear of getting stuck. Got one of those "lowrider" u-boats that I really need to upgrade to pontoon craft or Power Pac/Abel type raft. Really wish I could demo/rent a few to try before buy! Any suggestions out there?

    Tight lines