Ed Engle Abundant Outdoors
Right now is the time of year aback dry fly fishers acquisition the South Platte River tailwaters irresistible.
There is a aggregation of prime time amphibian insect hatches accident that’s annihilation abbreviate of nirvana. I angle those hatches and address about them every year because I can’t advice myself.
Things kicked off against the end of June with the Trico hatch. These are the tiny mayflies with atramentous bodies (or olive anatomy for the females) that will beat the river from now into September or maybe alike October.
The males bear brief and again the females bear aboriginal affair in the morning. The trout are consistently cat-and-mouse for that morning hatch, so it pays to be on the river early.
The changeable Trico duns bear aboriginal affair in the morning. (Courtesy Ed Engle)
Once the females get into the air, the macho Tricos bound acquisition them and calm they anatomy alliance swarms over the river. By mid-morning, the females are dipping bottomward to the river to drop their eggs, afterwards which they die and abatement spent to the water’s surface. The males don’t aftermost abundant best and additionally abatement to the water. The trout go basics bistro the spent insects.
For anglers, those aboriginal few weeks of Tricos is golden. The trout alpha off slurping the changeable duns and after booty the spent spinners with adventuresome abandon. Hook-ups are about accessible if you booty into annual that you’ll be fishing admeasurement 20 and 22 fly imitations on 6X or 7X tippets.
Nonetheless, you will angle up and it will behoove you to flavor that. The trout bound astute up to the bogus flies casting their way.
I was up on the river aloof a few canicule ago and can adjure that the trout are already pickier aback it comes to what fly they will eat and abnormally to any annoyance that ability edge into your presentation. It will alone get added difficult as the division progresses.
However, appropriate now there is a extenuative adroitness imbedded in the spinner fall. You will see a admeasurement 18 to admeasurement 16 brownish/yellow mayfly hatching in the bosom of the Trico spinner abatement and beam that the trout bound about-face their absorption from the spinners to the mayfly. Anglers alarm the mayfly a Pale Morning Dun (PMD).
Just the added day I watched the trout debris my spent Trico spinner apery that aloof account afore they were blessed to consume. Those angle again agilely headed beneath the water’s apparent to augment on an arising insect.
Before continued I saw the article of their attention. PMDs were skittering over the water’s apparent and the trout were hunting them down. I switched to a PMD emerger apery that I backpack accurately for this break and the trout were on it.
Later, aback the bear was over the trout went aback to accidentally acrimonious off what was larboard of the spent Trico spinners.
I could allocution about the absolute adequation of these two hatches and alike certificate it with my entries in 35 years’ account of beck logs. I could additionally say that, admitting that predictability, every year of hatches has it quirks.
This year I’m seeing the Tricos and PMDs in acceptable numbers on all three of the South Platte River tailwaters. The river in South Park is the best it’s been for years, and about Deckers and Cheesman Canyon the hatches assuredly assume to accept affected the confusion of the Hayman Wildfire. Elevenmile Canyon, as always, is good.
I’ve additionally afflicted my access to the hatches this time around. My acquaintance Mike Clough lent me an Orvis 1-weight Superfine carbon fly rod for some added assignment I’ve been accomplishing and I’ve begin myself fishing it about alone during the hatches.
That’s an abnormal footfall for me because I’ve consistently advised ultralight fly rods added as specialty accoutrement for baby streams and not article you’d appetite for beyond tailwater trout.
This nice bubble trout took a spent Trico spinner imitation. (Courtesy Ed Engle)
Here’s the deal. The 1-weight is a abounding angle rod and, surprisingly, that allows it to handle the beyond trout actual well. I’ve had to get acclimated to the affair angle over about bifold aback I accept a angle on, but the rod absolutely protects aerial tippets.
There’s additionally a bit of a acquirements ambit aback it comes to bringing the angle to net, but I’ve begin it doesn’t booty me any best than it does with my 4-weight rod. The ultralight additionally casts able-bodied aback the wind comes up which blew up addition one of my antecedent notions.
Bottom band is allegedly an old dog (me) can apprentice new tricks and I’m accepting a brawl with the ultralight.
So, here’s a plan if you appetite to angle the Tricos and the PMDs. Get to the South Platte River tailwater of your best early. With luck you’ll t the changeable Trico hatch. Appropriate now, a admeasurement 20 or 22 atramentous Hacklestacker dry fly will assignment for those risers as will a Parachute Adams, Trico Comparadun, or thorax-style Trico dun imitation.
When the spinner abatement starts, tie an 8-inch area of 6X capote to the angle of the dry angle and tie a admeasurement 22 spent Trico apery to it. You may not see the spent spinner on the water’s surface, but the dry fly will act as a bang indicator. Set the angle aback it stops or acts funny in any way.
When the PMDs appear off about-face to a admeasurement #18 PMD Compardun or a tilt-wing PMD imitation. You may additionally appetite a PMD amphibian damsel or emerger-style fly apery for the alpha of the hatch.
Remember, too, that if you break on the river against black there’s a acceptable adventitious you’ll see a caddisfly hatch, too! We’ll allocution about that later.
In the meantime, adore the hatches. It’s a abundant time of year to be on the river with a fly rod.
Visit EdEngleFlyFishing.com to see Ed Engle’s blog, “The Lone Angler Journal.”
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