Sunday, May 13, 2018

Hendricksons part I

The first fish of the afternoon that took a Frenchie
The Hendrickson hatch has finally made it to the Farmington River and last Sunday afternoon was my first chance to get up to river.  It was a rainy, damp day, the sort of day that you don't usually see Hendricksons.  I fished for a while in an faster run that dumps into a long deep pool.  I thought I could nymph the faster water and if a hatch occurred, there might be rising fish in the pool below.

The faster water produced a brown and a pair rainbows.   After spending a winter and spring chasing small wild brook trout, I had forgotten how strong the fish in the Farmington are and the first brown of the afternoon quickly reminded me.

The highlight of the afternoon was an epic baetis hatch.  It wasn't the hatch I had gone looking for but typical of a grey, rainy spring day.  While the fish were largely ignoring the bugs, the swallows were all over them.  I just sat back and watched.  There were so many birds in the air at the same time, that I wondered how they didn't run into each other.  I didn't dare cast a fly into the swirling, darting mass of birds for fear of injuring one.  If you've ever watched the areobatic flight of swallows then you can imagine what it must have looked like!

I finished up the afternoon checking out one more spot and picked up the last strong rainbow of the afternoon.  In a future post on two, I'll have more to say about the Hendricksons.

   

12 comments:

  1. One of my favorite things to do is watch a large group of swallows and their aerobatics. Thanks Mark!

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    1. Howard - I've never seen so many birds swirling and darting through the air. I should have tried to get it on camera!

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  2. There are a few variants to the Hendrickson pattern (soft hackle; comparadun etc.)but the Catskill dry version(ala Art Flick) is a cut above (imho). This time of year, fishing Catskill dry patterns with my bamboo rods, for me is the ultimate in fly fishing. It doesn't get any better.

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    1. John - Catskill dries on bamboo is classic fly fishing at it's best. I actually fish the Hastacks/camparaduns mostly these days but this is the time for fishing big dries!

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    2. Mark - Don't forget the Hexagenia hatch (usually end of Jun or first week of Jul) at the ponds of northern NH. Another time for large dry flies. Some of the Hex mayflies approach the size of a Monarch butterfly.

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    3. John - I've fish a hex hatch a couple of times. Those bugs are insanely big!

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  3. Shifting from small streams and winter fishing into big springtime waters with a lot of bird and insect activity is pretty exciting indeed. Swallows, waxwings, warblers, etc. add an aerial dynamic to the trout fishing. Looking forward to part 2!

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    1. Thanks Walt! We are fortunate to have the changing seasons to keep things fresh.

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  4. Mark,congrats on the good day on the Farmington. It is a wonderful river, especially this time of year.

    I took a vacation day Monday and met my brother and a friend there. Being a week day it wasn't crowded and the fishing was good. The Hendricksons were around from 10 a.m. on, with the good top water action commencing around mid afternoon. I caught fish on both the Catskill version and split wing comparadun version, though they seemed to hit the comparadun deer hair wing with more abandon. It was the kind of day one dreams about on cold winter nights.

    Best, Sam

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    1. Sam - sounds like a wonderful day! Nothing beats fishing big dries to hungry fish! I went up after work on Monday and fished the spinner fall.

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  5. Mark
    I can only imagine a hatch that large; looking forward to a report on the Hendricksons hatch. Nice rainbow thanks for sharing

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    1. Thanks Bill -I haven't seen a strong hendrickson hatch this year but it has been steady and the fish do notice when they are around.

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