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chugbug27

ISO Streamside Hatches Book Recommendations

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2 hours ago, chugbug27 said:

This is great guys, thanks. My wife's been asking for ideas on a Christmas present, and now I've got some. If I ever compile enough cheat sheets for a book, @Sandangets the first copy.

Yeah!!!!

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On 12/2/2020 at 1:00 PM, chugbug27 said:

I'm looking for a nuts & bolts, reliable reference book of important streamside hatches, coast to coast -- specific to the hatches that trout key in on when they're eating selectively.   My understanding is that Art Flick made one in 1969 for northeastern hatches (currently the "New Streamside Guide to Naturals and Their Imitations"), and that Dave Hughes made one in 1989 for western hatches (currently "Pocketguide to Western Hatches").  Are these two books still the best angle of attack for this effort, or are there other books that improve on (or significantly add to) the subject?  

While the book/s can suggest patterns to tie for each hatch (as these two do), mainly I'm hoping to find a reliable source about the major hatches themselves. (I can google for and experiment with patterns easily enough once I know what I want to imitate.) For instance, a pale morning dun is a major hatch at least in the western US, starting with nymphs drifting, and then rising, emerging into duns, drying, and falling as spinners. Each of those life cycle stages happen at general times of the day, in general places in the river, etc. I'm looking for something that has good pictures of the bugs and reliable information about the bugs themselves in relation to fly fishing for trout, and only then maybe some suggested patterns.

Much thanks in advance!

It is interesting that you used the PMD as an example that a general hatch guide will help you with. In fact, the PMD is a mayfly that can vary when it hatches and the actual color of the adult varies from location to location.

http://www.troutnut.com/hatch/459/Mayfly-Ephemerella-excrucians-Pale-Morning-Dun

"These ubiquitous mayflies are extremely abundant throughout the West and have a wide range of dates for their emergence. There is considerable evidence that on temperature stable spring creeks they can have asynchronous emergences in the spring and fall, not to be confused with many baetids multivoltine life history. In contrast, Eastern emergences are shorter, smaller and far less significant. Anglers would be wise to consult hatch charts and obtain current local information on specific rivers to time this species. Keep in mind that these charts usually combine them with the often larger and earlier hatching Ephemerella dorothea infrequens as they are very difficult to tell apart."

I personally seen PMDs that are more greenish and others that are sulphur and others that are orangish.

http://www.troutnut.com/common-name/15/Pale-Morning-Duns#:

"Ephemerella excrucians variability in appearance, habitat preferences, and wide geographical distribution are cause for angler confusion with the changes in classification. They can be pale yellow 18's on a large Oregon river, creamy orange 14's on western lakes and feeder streams, large olive green on CA spring creeks as well as tiny sulfur ones in many Western watersheds. Then there's the little Red Quill on small streams in Wisconsin. Yet, all are the same species."

When I was a newbie fly fisher, I thought I could read about hatches and buy flies for the hatch. The first major Wisconsin Hatch was and still is the Hendrickson (E. subvaria). 

When I read about the Hendrickson (E. Subvaria) I read of the classic Hendrickson pattern.

Interestingly, this classic Catskill pattern includes one of the most unusual materials: urine-stained belly fur of a red fox. I don't know how you can tell if the fur is properly stained and I have even heard of some fly tyers trying to accomplish this critical step on their own. Who knows where they obtained the fox urine. The staining requirement was not part of the original Hendrickson, but came to be the standard based upon the colorful imagination of famed fly tyer and author Art Flick.

http://www.flyfisherman.com/how-to/match-the-hatch/fly-fishing-the-hendrickson-hatch/

"Many anglers believe that Steenrod used the urine-stained underbelly from a vixen red fox, because that amazingly descriptive material is so memorable. But it was Art Flick who later suggested this material in his writings, not Steenrod."

The urine stained fur is actually the lower abdominal pelvic fur of a vixen (female) fox that is indeed stained urine. It has a pinkish cast. So I went and bought a female fox pelt and hung in from the some of the pipes in my basement. It scared the cr*p out of the lady who cleaned our home. But I digress.

Anyway, it turned out that the Hendricksons in Wisconsin are not the same color as that of Art Flick. This was before I got to know Gary Borger and it was my first lesson about regional differences in identical insects. So I still have the urine stained fur and I have yet to use it to tie a fly. Can you imagine buying an entire female red fox pelt for a 6"X6" piece of urine stained fur. Such was my initial diligence as a beginning fly tier.

46971450561_35a2fecc49_o.png

Unfortunately my E. Subvaria the natural did not look like this

picture_1693_large.jpg

But this

picture_2949_large.jpg

So what do I as a dark Hendrickson dry fly? I use the most popular dry fly sold in the USA, a parachute Adams. Although the body of the natural looks dark, remember that the abdomen of the natural is what the trout see and it is a lighter color.

Here is the belly of a dark Hendrickson male from Troutnut.

picture_454_large.jpgspacer.png

 

The lesson is that here is only so much that you can do by reading the general fly fishing literature on hatches. More importantly, DO NOT tie or buy flies based on these general books. Call the local fly shop to find out what pattern actually matches the hatch.

 

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55 minutes ago, SilverCreek said:

It is interesting that you used the PMD as an example that a general hatch guide will help you with. In fact, the PMD is a mayfly that can vary when it hatches and the actual color of the adult varies from location to location.

http://www.troutnut.com/hatch/459/Mayfly-Ephemerella-excrucians-Pale-Morning-Dun

"These ubiquitous mayflies are extremely abundant throughout the West and have a wide range of dates for their emergence. There is considerable evidence that on temperature stable spring creeks they can have asynchronous emergences in the spring and fall, not to be confused with many baetids multivoltine life history. In contrast, Eastern emergences are shorter, smaller and far less significant. Anglers would be wise to consult hatch charts and obtain current local information on specific rivers to time this species. Keep in mind that these charts usually combine them with the often larger and earlier hatching Ephemerella dorothea infrequens as they are very difficult to tell apart."

I personally seen PMDs that are more greenish and others that are sulphur and others that are orangish.

http://www.troutnut.com/common-name/15/Pale-Morning-Duns#:

"Ephemerella excrucians variability in appearance, habitat preferences, and wide geographical distribution are cause for angler confusion with the changes in classification. They can be pale yellow 18's on a large Oregon river, creamy orange 14's on western lakes and feeder streams, large olive green on CA spring creeks as well as tiny sulfur ones in many Western watersheds. Then there's the little Red Quill on small streams in Wisconsin. Yet, all are the same species."

When I was a newbie fly fisher, I thought I could read about hatches and buy flies for the hatch. The first major Wisconsin Hatch was and still is the Hendrickson (E. subvaria). 

When I read about the Hendrickson (E. Subvaria) I read of the classic Hendrickson pattern.

Interestingly, this classic Catskill pattern includes one of the most unusual materials: urine-stained belly fur of a red fox. I don't know how you can tell if the fur is properly stained and I have even heard of some fly tyers trying to accomplish this critical step on their own. Who knows where they obtained the fox urine. The staining requirement was not part of the original Hendrickson, but came to be the standard based upon the colorful imagination of famed fly tyer and author Art Flick.

http://www.flyfisherman.com/how-to/match-the-hatch/fly-fishing-the-hendrickson-hatch/

"Many anglers believe that Steenrod used the urine-stained underbelly from a vixen red fox, because that amazingly descriptive material is so memorable. But it was Art Flick who later suggested this material in his writings, not Steenrod."

The urine stained fur is actually the lower abdominal pelvic fur of a vixen (female) fox that is indeed stained urine. It has a pinkish cast. So I went and bought a female fox pelt and hung in from the some of the pipes in my basement. It scared the cr*p out of the lady who cleaned our home. But I digress.

Anyway, it turned out that the Hendricksons in Wisconsin are not the same color as that of Art Flick. This was before I got to know Gary Borger and it was my first lesson about regional differences in identical insects. So I still have the urine stained fur and I have yet to use it to tie a fly. Can you imagine buying an entire female red fox pelt for a 6"X6" piece of urine stained fur. Such was my initial diligence as a beginning fly tier.

46971450561_35a2fecc49_o.png

Unfortunately my E. Subvaria the natural did not look like this

picture_1693_large.jpg

But this

picture_2949_large.jpg

So what do I as a dark Hendrickson dry fly? I use the most popular dry fly sold in the USA, a parachute Adams. Although the body of the natural looks dark, remember that the abdomen of the natural is what the trout see and it is a lighter color.

Here is the belly of a dark Hendrickson male from Troutnut.

picture_454_large.jpgspacer.png

 

The lesson is that here is only so much that you can do by reading the general fly fishing literature on hatches. More importantly, DO NOT tie or buy flies based on these general books. Call the local fly shop to find out what pattern actually matches the hatch.

 

Jason, that Hendrickson's belly appears the same color as the urine-stained fox fur, does it not?

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Thank you @SilverCreek, how neat it must have been to learn from Gary Borger. And great story there.

What I'm hoping to do is find a book or books that will address exactly the types of issues that you raise, among others. I'm not looking for a national hatch chart or a nationally uniform fly to tie. I'll give a better example...

At least on Western waters, the PMD generally begins to hatch as a nymph in the early morning hours, and can be found in riffles, runs and flats. It has a curved body shape, and tends to be sized 14-18, so a curved hook would be in order in those sizes. Throughout the morning it will make many practice runs between the bottom and top of the stream.  So, in the early mornings at a time on that particular river or stream when the local hatch chart (and any knowledgeable local shop) says this bug is hatching, I'd want to fish my curved PMD nymph imitations in all the different water columns in search of trout feasting on these hatching nymphs.

My understanding is that the PMD is an important hatch on many waters. I'm hoping to find a book that will help me strategize about how to fish the life cycles of the important bugs beyond the Sierras where I am used to fishing, not so much one that will suggest what patterns to tie, where, and what exact time of the year to fish them.

If you know of any books that would help in that endeavor, that would be great. 

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Hatch Guide For... New England Streams, Upper Midwest Streams, Western Streams, the Lower Deschutes River, for lakes might be a good but pricey option. They're all from Frank Amato Publications. This post made me realize my $3 yard sale purchase was worth $70-$100+ while checking out if these books are readily available. Looks like they are few and far between but have the information you are looking for. If money isn't a big issue I'd buy them. Hopefully the picture attached shows up big enough to read for an example of the information given. The book covers all cycles of life and 2-3 suggested patterns for each. Caddisflies, mayflies, stoneflies, damsels, dragons, and others are all covered. Hope this helps.

Resized_20201216_202447_2686.jpeg

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On 12/2/2020 at 8:49 PM, Philly said:

Chugbug27, I've been using  "Trout Stream Insects, An Orvis Streamside Guide" by Dick Pobst, for years.  It's fairly detailed for a book that will fit in your coat pocket.  It's served me well for tying flies here in the Northeast.  It has both Eastern and Western hatches.  I think you would find it useful, and I've got a deal for you.  I had to go up to my tying room to find the book so I could give you the title.  Discovered I have two of them.  I really only need one.  So if you send me your snail mail address in a PM, I'll get it in the mail to you.

Got it! It really is a "just right" book. Perfect. Thanks Philly, I hope you're back in your feet soon.

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Glad it showed up.  I'm pretty much back to normal.  Finished up all the post surgery doctors' visits.  Everything looks good.

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My question is what part of the country? A retired professor at University of Tennessee published a book for SE US. Full of great information- hatch times including calendar, time of day, size of flies, searching patterns, etc. Years ago, Outdoor Life published twelve flies that are effective anywhere in the US. Tried to access their archives but batting zero. Here are those that I remember (after all these years)- Muddler Minnow, pheasant tail, black woolly bugger, Adams.

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On 12/3/2020 at 7:49 PM, chugbug27 said:

What I'm hoping to do is find a book or books that will address exactly the types of issues that you raise, among others. I'm not looking for a national hatch chart or a nationally uniform fly to tie. I'll give a better example...

You mention the PMD.  Years ago on the [email protected] list there was a Green Drake fly swap.  I entered it and sent my flies in.  I based my fly on Green Drake samples I picked up during a hatch on a river in Central Vermont.  After the host, who lived on the West Coast, got my flies he e-mailed and asked me if I was planning to land the flies on an aircraft carrier.  Apparently there is a difference in size between the Eastern Green Drake and the Western Green Drake.  I just based mine on the specimens I'd collected and the info in the "Trout Stream Insects"
 

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