Crane Flies

The last few days have presented great conditions for fly fishing IF;

You could find a place to get out of the wind, you dressed warm, you didn’t mind getting wet, and you remaind patient and observant to the insects in the air.

Overcast, drizzly, cool weather most always brings the bugs out. High humidity that is associated with the weather we’ve had over the last few days is the perfect storm for the emergence of insects of all types. Of course it is not perfect for our own comfort, but I am convinced it’s better to dance in the rain rather than waiting for the storm to pass. Life is too short to miss out on this type of dry fly activity.

Cheddar Head Crane Fly

The crane flies came off all day long for the last few days and the emergence of these long legged wonders should continue for the next few weeks. On the windiest of days the fish were still on the adults returning to the water to lay eggs. My Cheddar Head Crane parachute(available for sale on this site) worked its magic for my friend Matt G., who had won the free guided day drawing from the Greatwaters Fly Fishing Expo (yes, I actually drew a name from the bucket), thank you to all those that entered.  The pattern worked well, dead drifting over fish rising in shallow, slightly broken water for the first hour. Then no takers. The fish continued to flash at the fly without breaking the water, but they were clearly refusing the offering. They were on to us and the pattern! It was obvious it was time to adjust something! On the last cast, before changing patterns, we decided to try something different. Twitching the fly proved to be the ticket, instead of dead drifting. The same fish that refused that exact fly twice, took it with a fervor when it was twitched. Once again, it reinforced the need to do something different, adjust something, instead of just doing the same old thing.

Matt and a Beauty

The very next day under the same conditions, in the same spot, with less wind, the fish were rising steadily. Although the surface activity that we could see seemed to go in spurts, the size of the lips we were seeing were all in that 12″ or better range. The clouds of cream midges hung thick in the air, the crane flies were ascending from the waters surface in loose formation, and the presence of a mayfly dun was also noted. I tied on the Cheddar Head knowing that fooling the same fish two days in a row on the same pattern was a long shot, but it was a place to start. No Takes! My friend Kline had worked his way up to this spot having good success on dries throwing mayfly patterns and that proved to be the ticket. After catching one of the bugs, the dark brown body gave away the secret to the trouts desires. A #18 CDC mahogany comparadun was the choice they were looking for and provided a solid pattern choice for the rest of the evening’s fishing.

CDC Comparadun

Observing and adjusting are such big keys to be successful at fooling trout. Doing nothing when fish are not taking your fly will get you nothing. Opening your eyes, enlisting your imagination, and calling up your  common sense can make all the difference in solving the riddle of the trout.