The Hendrickson Mayfly
Mayflies are essential to trout fly fishing. There are still ultra purists who consider casting dry mayfly patterns upstream to rising trout the ONLY form of fly fishing. I wasn't brought up that way and find that way of thinking too limiting. For one thing it would severely limit my time on the water, and would force me to get rid of about three-fourths of my beloved fly fishing gear. However, I must admit, there is a certain timeless quality to casting classic dry flies upstream to rising trout. And if that were available to me year round, well I might move to closer to ultra purist status.
One of the classic mayfly species is commonly called the Hendrickson. But it's Latin name is Ephemerella subvaria, and then there is the Light Hendrickson and it's Latin name Ephemerella invaria. But it doesn't stop there, there are several species that entomologists have identified. But we as fly fisher's have simplified that and lumped all these into Light Hendrickson and Dark Hendrickson.
How the Hendrickson mayfly received it's common name is a bit of fly fishing lore. As told by Roy Steenrod of Liberty, New York:
'"One day in 1916, while we were fishing the Beaverkill below the junction pool at Roscoe, a hatch of flies came on. We had never seen the fish rise so freely for any fly as they did for this hatch. I caught one of the flies and put it into my fly box, and after lunch that day at Ferdon's I tied some patterns of the fly as nearly as I could. We took fish with fly day in and day out, and for years it proved to be a killer and is so today. One day, while sitting on the bank of the stream perhaps two years after I had tied the first patterns, the matter was brought up as to which I would call or name the fly. Looking at A.E., the best friend a person could ever wish to have, I said, 'the fly is the Hendrickson.' I saw at once that A.E. was pleased.'
The Dark Hendricskon or the Ephemerella subvaria is one of, if not the first substantial hatch on many rivers every spring. When water temperature hits 50 degrees the fish begin seeing and keying on this mayfly. The males and females look very different, while the Dark Hendrickson pattern is a great imitation of the male, the Light Hendrickson is probably closer to the female. However, the classic pattern described above is the Dark Hendrickson, that worked so well all those years ago. And still does today.
The Light Hendrickson pattern is commonly used for two other mayfly hatches. The Ephemerella invaria can also be called Pale evening Dun or Sulphur and is commonly mistaken with the Ephemerella dorithea. But the invaria hatches first, often right after the subvaria or Dark Hendrickson. It is more robust than the later Pale Evening Dun or Sulphur patterns. For most fly angler's however, it is enough to remember Dark Hendrickson first then Light Hendrickson second. Once in a great while angler's will not have any luck on rising trout hitting the Dark Hendrickson, even though it is only the subvaria that is out. Perhaps the trout are keying only on females, for whatever reason switching to the Light Hendrickson seems to do the trick.
One other thing about the Light and Dark Hendrickson fly patterns. Is that they make great general all-purpose mayfly attractor patterns. Renowned fly fishing author Skip Morris, has proposed that only two mayfly patterns are required in one's arsenal a dark and light pattern. While most angler's wouldn't be comfortable with such a limited offering, these two patterns would complement each other just fine. The Dark Hendrickson is second only to the Adams as the most used all purpose mayfly attractor.
Let's also not forget the sub-surface version of these great trout mayflies. The common three patterns that cover the whole Hendrickson family of may flies are as follows. Of course there is the Hendrickson Nymph, which is a close cousin of the all-time great Mayfly nymph the Pheasant Tail.
The Hendrickson's, whichever Mayfly is on the water, are a versatile combination to have in your possession. They can be traced back to when affluent fly fisher's had their own tier's, and they are still used today. Classics never go out of style.
About The Author
Colorado Fly Fishing ? Bait Huckin vs. Fly Fishin
It was one of those fishing trips. You know, everyone catches fish but you, you loose six or eight of your most expensive streamers, it rains buckets, and you sink the boat. That's right; I got skunked at Steamboat Lake over Memorial weekend.
No Boat? Join Your Local Bass Club
Having been an avid basser for years, and not having the wherewithal to purchase a boat, I've often felt cheated and frustrated about not being able to get out to deeper waters (where I was certain the real bass were). Having succumbed to this delimma for some 40 years or more, I finally had something come my way that I never knew existed: my local bass fishing club. I mean, I knew bass clubs existed, but I didn't know they were for me. For one thing, how can you join a bass fishing club if you don't have a boat. Additionally, isn't it just the best bass fishermen that are in these clubs? These guys do tournaments and such. Not sure if I could measure up. Low and behold, the old saying "you won't know if you don't go" proved itself once again. Thanks to an Internet buddy, I was enlightened. I got the address and went to my first bass club meeting. It was simple, friendly, fun and I was fishing with them that weekend. First off, let's address the notion that you have to be a great bass fisherman to belong to one of these clubs. This is not true. In fact, most of these anglers are people just like me, only with a little more experience (remember, I didn't have a boat - I was bank fishing). Most of these people are happy to share that experience with you. Secondly, you do not have to have a boat. In fact, most clubs are looking for non-boaters to help share the expense of the trip with someone who owns a boat. Brilliant! That really surprised me. Why didn't I know this years ago? It makes perfect sense, yet somehow this information escaped me. Owning your own boat can be expensive. A decent boat purchased new can easily run you around $15,000. Ouch. Then there is the issue of storage, insurance, fuel, the trailer, something to pull it with, maintenance and a whole slew of other expenses that come with the package. But not for the non-boater. I paid my bass club dues (very affordable) and within 2 days I was out with the gang on my first local bass club fishing tournament - in a boat. My share of the costs was extremely reasonable compared to those in the last paragraph. It was a 3 day trip and we even shared the cost of a room. Don't ask how the fishing was; that's a whole other article. In this club, we go out once a month to a different lake and have our own little bass tournament. Each time we go out, the non-boaters are matched up with a boater (also a different one each time). This way, you get to learn a little something from everyone. So, if you are bank bound like I was, and want to head out for more exciting fishing, go online or open up the phone book and contact you local bass fishing club. You could be out on the boat in no time. Whether or not you catch any fish remains to be seen.
A New World Record Bass
Many people go to Florida to fish for that trophy bass but did you know that 4 other states have a bigger state record than Florida? Not only that but one of the states is said to have produced a new world record. Florida's record bass is 17.27 pounds, but others often cite an uncertified fish of 20.125 pounds (a fisheries biologist did not physically see the fish to certify it). Leaha Trew supposely caught a new world record largemouth in California. It weighed 22 pounds, 8 ounces, beating George Perry's 1932 record catch by 4 ounces. The problem is there was only one picture taken of it and it wasn't certified by a biologist or a California state fish and game offical.
The Frugal Fisherman: Part II
For those of you that don't know this, fishermen by nature are a frugal lot.
A Big Fish Story
Ketchikan, located in southeast Alaska, is a good place to fish for halibut. Sally and John Balch live in Ketchikan and have a favorite spot nearby to halibut fish. It's a secret spot, so don't ask where it is.
Teaching a Kid to Fish
Teaching a kid to fish does not have to be difficult, if you follow the right steps. There is an old Chinese proverb that states:
Introduction to Lake Fly Fishing Techniques
Often lake fish will gather in schools and cruise around looking for food, but often it is the small fish that rise to take surface insects while the bigger ones feed in deeper water.
Fishing For Bass In Deep Water
When fishing for bass in deep water try a spinnerbait that you have confidence in and have used to catch fish before. If the fish are inactive try a slow study retrieve. Spinnerbaits as you know, produce a vibration that attracts bass. Use a spinnerbait that has tandem blades and fish from shallow to deep. You can also use smaller blades that will allow the spinnerbait to run deeper. Try a 3/4 to 1 ounce spinnerbait.
Drop-Shotting For Picky-Overfished Bass
There is a fairly new technique when it comes to bass fishing but it works great especially when bass are under a lot of pressure, it's called drop-shotting. When you see other fishermen using worms and fishing the edges of creek channels, try this and fish the bottom of the channels instead of the edges. It's also good around boat docks and bridges and in shallow water when the bass are bedding.
Update Alaska: News From The Front
Stopped into The Fishin' Hole the other day, which happens to be one of my favorite fishing tackle/outfitter/sandwich shops. (Talk about your one stop shopping!!)
Do You Know How To Clean A Fish?
Now that you have caught your dream fish, do you know how to clean?
Further North to Alaska
With the excitement of my first trip to Alaska still fresh and percolating in my mind, I can hardly keep from telling fishing friends and aquaintances of my ensuing trip.
A Guide to Non-Typical Catfish Fishing Techniques - Part II
Why a Blacklight Will Take Your Night Fishing To A New Level
If You Have Never Used A Blacklight While Night Fishing, You're Missing Out
Social Robotic Fish in Fish Farms
We have a problem in our fish farms, especially Salmon. You see for 500 plus million years the Salmon spawn up river and then swim down to the ocean grow real big and swim all the way back and lay their eggs. It is a great cycle indeed. It works for them and very well. Unfortunately for them they taste very good to us. We in fact have been over fishing them and they are one of California's favorite Sushi fish. Yep, I myself agree, more salmon please.
What You Need To Know About Spinner Fishing
Many people know just what type of lure they want to use in order to catch the elusive fish. In fact, one of the most common types of lures is called a spinner. Spinner fishing is a great way to get the fish you want. The spinner works by attracting a fish to the location by bumping into things in the water and spinning. This movement will attract your fish. But, what type of spinner fishing lure do you need? Where can you find the one that will work the best for you?
What Has Happened to the Cod Stocks Off the Shores of Newfoundland?
The Newfoundland cod stocks. What has happened to cod fishing off the Grand Banks of Newfoundland?
Brook Trout, One of Canadas Most Loved Trout
Brook trout are one of the most popular game fish in Canada. These fish can be found in the northern most parts of North America. What is so great about these fish? Is there a great location to go brook trout fishing? And, what type of lure and equipment do you need for trout fishing then? To answer these questions, you can begin by knowing something about the brook trout itself. Then, you can decide if brook trout fishing is something for you.
Do Fish See in Color
Fish do indeed perceive color. Every fly fisher knows that or ought to know that. Like humans, the retina of a fish have rods and cones. Cones are used in the day and rods at night. Color vision evolved to help fish identify potential food. In the environment of the fish, the background will either be the bottom, the water itself, or if looking up for food it could be the sky. The bottom is normally tannish olive to green. When looking across the water, the background appears pale silver blue. But if the water is off color due to algae or high water one must take that into consideration as well. Skylight becomes more important at dusk and dawn when it contains more reds.
How Do You Bring The Freshest Fish to The Table?
Fish is one of earth's natural wonders and has satisfied our palates since the beginning of man. Their flesh is light and delicate, lean and is packed with protein, the anti-oxidant vitamin E and omega-3 fatty acids. All play a role in keeping our hearts and immune system functioning as it should. The most popular fish we consume is tuna, salmon, flounder, Pollock and cod. But considering there are about 25,000 species of fish, there is enough variety of edible fish for the most discriminating taste. But how do you know when you are bringing the freshest fish to your table?
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