A Time for Stillwater By Rene’ Harrop

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There is something uniquely calming about an early summer morning on still water. Perhaps it is the quiet mirror of a placid surface marred only by the occasional ring of a rising trout. In wild country, one hears only the sound of water birds or sometimes here in the mountains of Yellowstone country, the early call of a bugling elk.

Fly fishing a stillwater - Sheridan lake.

Fly fishing a stillwater – Sheridan lake.

As one known for being mostly owned by moving water, the majority of more than 100 annual days on the water will be spent wading the currents of some of the world’s most renowned trout streams. There comes a time, however, when I crave the distinctly different mind state that comes with the probing of mysteries that lie beneath the surface of any one of three stillwater fly fisheries that tempt me away from my first love. Different as well are the moving targets that are represented by still water trout feeding on the surface.

A morning rise of trout on Hebgen lake.

A morning rise of trout on Hebgen lake.

That I am spending more days in recent years on Henry’s and Sheridan Lake in Idaho or Hebgen Lake in Montana is almost solely due to a decade long friendship with Gareth Jones, sales director of fly fishing tackle company Airflo. Truly a stillwater master, Gareth’s expertise is as inspiring as any influence I have experienced in fly fishing. And though we are separated by many thousands of miles, I seldom fish stillwater without thinking of him.

Gareth Jones with an American stillwater rainbow.

Gareth Jones with an American stillwater rainbow.

If I am doing well on a particular day, I always know that Gareth would do better. And when my effort meets with stubborn resistance from the trout, I invariably wonder what Gareth would do. Fortunately, my friend from Wales returns to this area with enough regularity to provide ongoing demonstration on how to solve still water problems. Additionally, he is always willing to assist from afar when questions arrive by phone or email.

Reaching out on Henry's Lake.

Reaching out on Henry’s Lake.

Over time and with continuing practice, the fruitful days on my favorite local lakes have gradually become more common. And with this growth, the distraction of still water continues to intensify. Fortunately, I live in a place where deciding whether to fish still or moving water is not necessary. For example, I can fish the productive morning hours on Hebgen Lake and then be on the Madison River within a half hour for a p.m. caddis hatch or the Henry’s Fork for an evening spinner fall. And the same applies to the Idaho lakes which are even closer to my home in Island Park.

It is truly a fortunate man who has the best of both worlds at his doorstep. And as one who fits this description, I am truly grateful. But I am equally grateful to Gareth Jones for his role as a mentor and his inspiration as one of the finest anglers I have ever known. Thank you my friend.

Classic Catch Competition

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Classic Catch Comp image

Want to win up to £150 worth of fantastic fishing tackle?

All you need to do is pose with your prize catch and send us your snap. Our Classic Catch Competition is open to anyone who can wield a fishing rod.

Prize

The lucky winner can choose any single Total Fishing Gear or Airflo product, up to £150 RRP.

How to enter

Using the form below, simply add:
• Email address – so we can notify the winner.
• Description – include your name and details of your catch.
• Image – find and upload using the button below. Max 1Mb file size.

What next?

Each month, from the entries we receive, we’ll post a shortlist of star quality photographs on our blog. You’ll have until the end of the month to vote for your favourite image. Each month’s winner gets the gear.

Tight lines and happy snapping!

Upload your best catch photo






Terms and conditions

By entering into this competition, all entrants agree to be bound by these Terms and Conditions.

In the event that any entrant does not, or is unable to, comply with and meet these Terms and Conditions and the competition information, Fishtec shall be entitled at its sole discretion to disqualify such entrant, without any further liability to such entrant.

To enter this competition you must be: (a) a UK resident; and (b) 18 years old or over at the time of entry.

This competition is free to enter and no purchase is necessary.

Fishtec reserves the right to cancel or amend the contest or the terms at any time without prior notice. Any changes will be posted on blog.fishtec.co.uk.

Entry requirements
1. Submitted images should be no larger than 1mb in file size.

2. Submitted images should be no larger than 1,000 x 1,000 pixels.

3. Do not submit any photographs that are obscene, vulgar, pornographic, hateful, threatening, racist, sexist, discriminatory, or which otherwise violate any local or international laws.

4. Entrants must be 18 or over to enter.

5. You must be the copyright owner of any works submitted and you also confirm you have the necessary permission from people who may appear in the photo.

Copyright
6. The photographer must be the sole author and owner of the copyright of photos entered in to the competition. Fishtec respects photographers rights and does not claim copyright for images you submit to this competition, you will retain full copyright in each entry. Whenever your image is published by Fishtec you will be credited. Failure to publish a credit due to error or oversight shall not be deemed a breach of this condition.

Image Usage
7. By entering this competition you agree that any winning image or shortlisted images you submit may be used by Fishtec for purposes related to the Classic Catch Competition.

8. You hereby grant Fishtec a non-exclusive, irrevocable licence in each entry for the uses described in 7. above for 1 year following the date of announcement of the winner, thereafter the image may be used for archival purposes by Fishtec.

9. You acknowledge your responsibility for protecting your entry against image misuse by third parties, by for example, but not limited to, the insertion of a watermark, retaining exif data. Fishtec can assume no responsibility and are not liable for any image misuse.

10. Should any image uses beyond those needed for the competition arise you will be contacted and given the opportunity to negotiate any such usage with the parties concerned independently of the competition.

Judging
11. Our panel of judges will assess all entries and then select images for a shortlist. The shortlisted images will be voted on by the public. The image with the most votes by the closing date, will be the winner. Only the winner will receive a prize unless otherwise stated, the shortlisted entries will gain free exposure on blog.fishtec.com.

12. Once the contest has closed to entries the winners will be notified within 30 days.

13. The judges decision is final and they do not enter in to communication relating to entries.

Prizes
14. Each month, one winner will be able to choose any one single Total Fishing Gear or Airflo product, up to £150 RRP from Fishtec.co.uk.

15. No alternative products, credit or cash equivalents will be offered.

16. Prize details will be sent to the winner via email within 30 days of the winner being announced.

If you have any queries relating to our terms and conditions please contact: c.thomas@bvg-airflo.co.uk

Fishermen old and new: which one are you?

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Fisherman old or fisherman new? Which “specimen” angler best describes you?

Take a look at our fun fishing stereotypes to see where you fit into the fishing fraternity.

Is it tweed all the way, or are you into the latest fishing tackle and clothing? Tin of Spam or live wriggling maggots? It doesn’t matter where you fit into the fishing spectrum – just as long as you’re out there having fun!

fishermen infographic

The New Airflo SLN Euro Nymph Line

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River nymph fishing using french leaders has taken the UK and European scene apart over the past few seasons.  This method has proven to be extremely effective both for pleasure and competitive fly fishers alike. The new SLN Euro nymph line from Airflo is essentially a ground-breaker. If you have ever used a french leader then this is the natural progression – indeed it could even replace it as the nymph line of choice amongst your fly fishing tackle collection.

Airflo's new Euro nymph line in action

Airflo’s new Euro nymph line in action

This super thin specialist line is built on a non stretch core for maximum feel.  At just 0.60 mm in diameter It also features Airflo’s Super-dri coating so it floats well, repels dirt and grime, and is much more durable than PVC or mono-filament nymph lines or french leaders. The level of feel and ease of handling alone puts this light years ahead of other specialist nymph fishing products, and being a full length line it is fully competition compliant with FIPS Mouche regulations.

Ultra thin, with neat welded loops this line excels at river nymphing

Ultra thin, with neat welded loops this line excels at river nymphing.

Neat micro welded loops at each end make tippet attachment a very simple and easy process. The line is matt olive on one side, and the other end has a florescent orange tip – so you can choose the colour you want to fish, dependent on stealth requirements and light conditions.

The Airflo SLN Euro line has been extensively tested by UK river experts and for 6 months over the New Zealand summer by the guys at Manic tackle project – they succeeded in capturing some very large trout on the euro line, including the brown in the image below.

Yoshi of Manic tackle project with a South island brown captured on the SLN line.

Yoshi of Manic tackle project with a South Island brown captured using the SLN line.

This new line is exceptionally versatile – it can be fished at short range as shown in the video above, or at long range on a dead drift.  Also ideal for czech nymph fishing with a team of heavy bugs, a method particularly deadly for winter graying fishing. As well presenting nymphs both large and small you can also fish with weighted streamers – a method rapidly gaining popularity on UK rivers.

 

A river trout caught using the SLN Euro line

A UK river trout caught using the SLN Euro line and a streamer pattern.

 

 

Carping With Dave Lane – Tackle, Tactics and Expert Tips.

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If you are a fan of Dave Lane’s excellent carp fishing video blog then we have a real treat in store for you here – a 114 minute long full length feature film of the legend himself. Filmed in the spring of 2015 with TF Gear and total carp magazine, this epic DVD is an essential watch.

Follow specimen carp expert and carp fishing tackle consultant Dave Lane on a windswept and wild session on Norfolk’s Kingfisher lake. In some of the worst conditions a filming crew has ever encountered Laney guides you through what it takes to successfully catch carp, even when the odd’s are heavily stacked against you. Dave reveals the tackle and tactics which have made him one of the UK’s most respected carp catchers – these tips will truly transform your carp fishing strategies forever.

Dave is also joined by total carp magazine editor Marc Coulson, who gives us informative step by step guides on rig creation and in-line drop off set ups. These tactics will put more fish on the bank for you – guaranteed!

There are also informative carp fishing tackle reviews and insights on the new and innovative fishing gear that Dave has co-developed alongside tackle giants TF Gear in his role as their consultant.

10 Reasons To Marry An Angler

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Fishing is an angler’s first love, that’s why we do it. But let’s be honest, it ain’t half special to get home after a good catch and have somebody waiting for you.

You’re tired, unshaven and smell of fish — not exactly a dreamboat, aye — but hey, let’s not forget all those bonuses you bring to a marriage.

In case your wife has forgotten, here are 10 reasons why she married an angler.

1. Getting back to nature

Man and woman sat on jetty by water

Image source: GOLFX
Nothing beats quality time in nature.

An angler loves the great outdoors and has an appreciation and understanding of the ebbs and flows of nature, due to spending hours upon hours nestled up in a beautiful fishing spot, such as Shapwick Nature Reserve, like Paul Murphy.

An angler is sensitive to the sights and sounds around him and reads the language of nature to help him catch fish. “The reality, however,” according to a piece in The Guardian newspaper, “is that fishing is about the closest you can get to physically experiencing poetry. It is a pursuit based on contemplation and solitude that involves an appreciation of the elements; it is a game of chance, hope, escapism; a step into the murky waters of the unknown.”

2. Fresh, locally sourced food on the table

Grilled Mackerel

Image source: Marcus Bawdon
Who could resist fresh mackerel?

Bringing home fresh fish, some wild herbs and a bit of samphire is a real treat for the angler’s family. It’s a satisfyingly ancient tradition, it’s healthy and it saves money too.

Once back home, the fun starts with preparing and cooking the catch. Fish on Friday is an excellent blog and explores a fresh approach to preparing seafood; or check out this tasty bass and veg recipe on Vic Fisher’s Sea Angling Journal.

3. Interesting holidays away (although he may go missing)

The Canadian Rockies, the great American lakes, Greenland! You’ve sure been to some stunning places, as an angler husband loves to get off the beaten track, although he did go missing for long periods when you were away…

4. You’ll get your space

It’s lovely to do things with your partner and family, but sometimes husband and wife just need their own individual space. Psychologist Dr. Sherrie Bourg Carter, Psy.D writes in Psychology Today:

“By spending time with yourself and gaining a better understanding of who you are and what you desire in life, you’re more likely to make better choices about who you want to be around. You also may come to appreciate your relationships more after you’ve spent some time alone.”

5. Keeping the children busy

Father and son fishing against sunset backdrop

Image source: MANSILIYA YURY
Bonding for them, peace and quiet for you.

Danny’s angling blog talks about the lack of children fishing the canals these days, and anglers have a duty to teach their offspring how to fish. The lure of smartphones and games consoles is strong, but children should resist and explore the simple pleasures of the great outdoors, like fishing with father.

Screenless, serene and life-affirming when the stars light up the night sky — but the pressure is then on the angler to deliver and make a good catch in front of his children. Especially if you’re going to get them interested.

Simply saying something like, “‘Girls, Dad caught a few before you turned up,’ doesn’t cut it. They need to see the proof,” as discovered by Henry Gilbey in his hilarious account of feeling the pressure from his expectant children.

6. You’ll learn all about fishing

And there is so much to learn about fishing too! From the merits of different types of fishing tackle to learning how to fish by the moon! Do you remember what people told you about fishing before you started?

“Should you be fortunate enough to catch anything, your landing net and keep net will smell (especially if you leave them in the sun). Your clothes will soon become a rag to wipe your hands on, so they’ll smell. Finally, and most incontrovertibly, you will smell. No matter how rigorously you try to scrub up, you just will.” Charming words indeed from this feature in The Telegraph.

7. And that 4.30am isn’t early

The early bird catches the worm and the early angler catches the tides and the fish, so 4.30am starts are the norm. The This is Angling blog recounts in fine detail the early morning meet to go fishing for Smoothhounds. His top tip? A hearty breakfast!

8. You’ll be shown some of the best sunsets and sunrises in the world

Sunset

Image source: Songchai W
Worth the early wake-up call.

When dawn breaks, the angler’s waiting. He’s seen hundreds of beautiful sunsets and knows the best places to be when the day begins. Perfect spots for rekindling your love affair.

Check out the Through The Gaps blog for some stunning images of boats coming into the harbour as the sun rises over Mount’s Bay.

9. You like fishing too

Quite unusual really, but an obvious reason to marry an angler is if you’re both into fishing. If you’re not married already, you could even enjoy a themed wedding. Check out our fishing themed wedding gallery for inspiration!

10. Your friends will be jealous

…and make remarks about the size of his tackle or rod. All very childish, but you just give them that knowing smile. Or, rattle of one of these excellent fishing jokes instead!

Daioni – A Sea Trout Fly – By Steffan Jones

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Welsh pro fly fishing guide Steffan Jones, of Angling Worldwide shares one of his most effective sea trout fly patterns with us. He also explains how to tie one up in a great YouTube video. This lovely looking fly is an essential pattern to add to your fly fishing tackle box, and will surely help you catch more of the elusive river enigmas that are sea trout this summer.

‘Calon lan yn llawn daioni’; part of a very famous Welsh hymn and one that shares the name of my favourite sea trout fly, the daioni with daioni literally meaning ‘goodness’. I created this fly back around the turn of the century, whilst demonstrating fly tying at the Royal Welsh Show of all places. It has evolved slightly since then, but what it is meant to achieve has not changed at all – a large, rounded profile and silhouette, yet is light and easy to cast with plenty of mobility.

The Daioni - a great sea trout fly pattern.

The Daioni – a great sea trout fly pattern.

This is probably my most prolific pattern throughout the season and has accounted for sea trout into double figures. However, it is particularly effective when the main shoals of school fish arrive in July especially as these smaller fish love chasing and intercepting flies around the surface film. It was created specifically as a dropper pattern and can be fished with a slimmer profile single, double or even a tube fly beyond it on the point.

The key to a good selection of sea trout fly patterns is to have them in various lengths and profiles. Think of their key food items at sea – their last feeding memory – where sandeels, pin-fry, crabs, shrimps and more all appeared on their table. Think then of the silhouette these food items create; a silhouette of a shrimp of very different to that of a sandeel. As such, you should try and cover all these food items and best of all cover two very different lengths and profiles whilst fishing two flies at a time. For me the daioni is the perfect dropper pattern and covers a very wide profile, much the same as that of a shrimp, perhaps.

It can be fished on a full floater and fished right in the surface film or fished deeper on an intermediate line etc. it can work at all depths. However, it definitely works best when fished closer to the surface and in the surface film, especially on the mild, balmy nights of July and August.

Daioni tying ingredients

Hook: Partridge streamer (D4AF) size 6 or 8
Thread: Veevus 8/0 black
Body: medium silver holographic tinsel
Rib: silver wire
Body hackle:
white cock hackle, palmered
Wing: black squirrel
Head hackle:
Nature’s spirit grizzly collaring hackle in flu.blue

A step by step video of dressing the Daioni:

 

 

Is fishing with drones cheating?

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Technology designed to help you catch fish is advancing rapidly. The humble fisherman can now employ a military-developed drone to greatly improve his chances of landing a catch.

No fishing rod required, just a remote control and an evil streak, (mwahaha)! Using robots and machines to catch fish might seem a little extreme. But isn’t landing a catch by any means necessary the whole point?

Whichever side of the pond you’re fishing from, here are five of the coolest fishing gadgets. We’ll let you decide which can be classed as fishing aids and which are bordering on fish warfare.

1. The rise of the drones


The machines are coming and drones are leading the way. No longer exclusive to the military, drones can now be bought by the consumer. Underground drone racing, drone-assisted home videos and drone-aided game hunting and fishing are all new sports.

A recent Daily Mail article described a new fishing drone that flies out your line and bait to prime fishing spots. There’s also a “fish-finder module” to help you locate your catch.

Fishing with drones is sure to catch on. But is it going against the rules?  One thing’s for sure, it does look fun (although not for the fish).

2. Fish everywhere with fun-sized fishing rods

Fishing gear can be cumbersome and hard to carry around. And often it’s just not convenient — it’s not like you can just pull out your full-sized fishing rod and start fishing if an opportunity suddenly arises. But you can with a pen-sized rod and mini reel. Using this gadget isn’t cheating, but rather maximizing your fishing opportunities.

Image source: Hunter Gather Cook Now that is impressive!

Image source: Hunter Gather Cook Now that is impressive!

Check out how one man got on by visiting the Hunter Gather Cook blog, where he writes:

“For any trip into the wilderness, when you don’t want to be lumbered with lots of fishing gear but still want to have a dabble, this is the perfect tool to snaffle a few breakfast-sized brown trout from a moorland stream.”

3. The all-seeing fishing rod

Fish underwater

Image source: Rocksweeper
Imagine being able to see this!

This has been out for about four years and it’s a tricky one to include in the ‘cheating or not cheating’ debate. It’s a fishing rod (great), but it has an underwater camera attached to the line and an LCD screen fixed to the handle — so basically you can see what’s happening underwater. Thus you can keep casting until you find the best spot. It’s certainly easier than diving in yourself.

Mike Shouts sees it as a great way to get “kids interested in fishing” or “to eliminate the mystery of whether there are or aren’t any fishes in the area before proceeding with a more professional rod.”

4. Wake me when when I’ve got a bite!

Fishing with friends? Taking a snooze? Fishing with more than one rod? You need a bite alarm! Simply rig it up to your rod and it will beep when you’ve got a fish tugging on the line. According to Black Country Carpers, the bite alarm has come quite a long way since the 60s:

“One of the first bite alarms was made from a piece of silver foil hanging from the line on front of the reel. This evolved into a bell operated from movement of the line to give an audible signal that a fish was hooked. The bell is still used today by sea anglers, but not so much in the carp scene!”

Check out the post to see some truly vintage bite alarms! For something a bit more, er, modern, our Mag Runner Ignite Bite Alarm does a nice job; you can watch the video below to learn more.

5. Smartphone sonar

We live in the age of useful apps. No surprise, then, that there are quite a few handy fishing apps out there. One of the most impressive is ReelSonar, an app that works alongside the sonar fish-finding device, iBobber.

The iBobber floats on the surface and sends information — about where the fish are, what the temperature of the water is and what the contours of the waterbed are — straight to your smartphone via the app. Watch the video below to see it in action at a fish take!

So is using technology cheating?

Matthew Eastham of the North Country Angler blog summarises the situation quite nicely: “We fish in a manner which brings us pleasure – surely that is the ultimate aim regardless of how ‘proper’ our chosen method might be.”

Hear, hear!

What do you think? Have your say on Facebook and Twitter!

Alan Yates Sea Fishing Diary – July

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A mixed month for me with several sea trips, a trout reservoir and a week in France carping. Midsummer and the weather can be tough for fishing in all disciplines and the sea angling tends to get hardest from the shore with the calm, clear water deterring all except mackerel and a few others from coming into the inshore shallows. The angler’s best bet is to take to the deeper rock marks, piers or the boat and for me it was the latter. Currently the smoothhound population is at its best ever with the hounds growing in size and numbers every year. This year Kent is amongst the many UK coasts experiencing a hound invasion. Catches from the beach have included fish to 20lb with 6 for 31kg in a recent event at Beltinge near Herne Bay. Which leads me on to another story..

Typical smoothhound caught off Broadstairs

Typical smoothhound caught off Broadstairs.

Shark sighting reports litter the Kent newspapers and the tabloid media this month, after all it is July. Look out for Graham Pullen catching a big one in Cornwall any day now. The amusing thing about these sensationalist reports are that Kent’s sea anglers may have had a hand in it! Recent competitions at Reculver and Beltinge near Herne Bay have produced lots of smoothhounds – these are a true shark which have had a population explosion around the UK in recent years. They are not commercially fished for because they taste rubbish and are labour intensive to skin and pack etc. Anglers return them and so the population has not only increased, but the fish have grown bigger and bigger. Recent catches of hounds, also called Gummy sharks and Gulley sharks because of their lack of teeth are coming from all around the UK with individual fish of 20lb plus (9kg) up to five feet long. During the latest competition at Herne Bay one of the competitors, a well known Kent angler, told a passerby who asked what he was fishing for? “Sharks” he replied. Now the fish are landed measured and returned alive and it’s my bet that the one spotted in the media reports was a returned smoothhound. Whatever, it must be stressed that these fish are harmless and swimming near them the worst that can happen is a nasty suck!!!

Back to my boat trip and that was out of Ramsgate after bass and hounds – You can read the full story in a coming issue of Sea Angler Magazine, but the conclusion of the day was we caught plenty of hounds. Someone asked me how big was mine – Now I don’t know because I very rarely bother weighing fish except in competitions. It was a double and I’m just glad to catch and return them and don’t really keep a tally or personal bests. Although having said that my best carp from the trip to France were both PBs, a 47lb 12oz common and a 45lb 8oz mirror.

Alan Yates 47lb 12oz French carp

Alan Yates 47lb 12oz French carp.

Back to the sea and its coming up to that time of year I always label the doldrums – Here in Kent we have had such a fantastic winter, spring and early summer that the doldrums are going to be hard to take. What happens usually is that all the fish swim past us north and for a short period in August the fishing is poor. Eventually when the fish return it’s a bonanza in October and November, I suppose you can’t have it all, but the most sea anglers in my region are hoping that enough of those codling from last year survive to return this autumn. They should be four to five pounds, well big enough to pull the string and some fun fishing ahead.

It’s mackerel time and I have the light gear ready for a few evening trips on the rocks or beach after mackerel – well bass too, but the mackerel are more reliable especially as darkness falls. Any lead headed rubber eel sort of fish shape works, not too big. The savage gear sandeels just are perfect.  Fish them on a spinning rod and braid for some really enjoyable sport all be it short lived at dusk.

It's Mackeral fishing time!

It’s Mackerel fishing time!

I’m a bit piddled off with the LRF scene – its getting silly now guys, grown men chasing scorpion fish, etc – It’s just not that bad in the UK, there are plenty of quality sized fish to catch and there is no need to target tiddlers. I am more inclined to think that the LRF style is a great way of fishing for some species with better presentation the key; it beats 6oz sinkers and 70lb leader line. But not to catch the mini species like bullheads and rock cook wrasses, I leave them to the small boys. Get out with your LRF style gear, beef it up a bit too and catch some good sized fish. Wrasse. pollack, bass, mackerel etc – the best angling fun on the planet – Oh and before I go off the subject – Bait is far better than lures for some species so don’t get obsessed with lures!!!!!

I’m up to Northumberland in the coming weeks to oversee the Sea Angler / Penn National Final. It’s being fished at Warkworth beach and includes all of the top sea match anglers in the Country – Worth a visit if you are a shore angler because lots of the competitors will be fishing Continental style with fixed spool reels and light line – It’s a different approach and a bit like LRF with everything scaled down and refined. Check out the range of continental sea fishing gear in the TF Gear range at: www.fishtec.co.uk

Tight lines,

Alan Yates.

 

Rene Harrop – Thirty Days of Green (Drake Time)

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American fly fishing expert and author Rene’ Harrop  shares his latest diary entry on the Fishtec blog.  This month he talks about the legendary green drake hatch on the Henry’s fork – a large mayfly quite similar to our own ephemera species, and loved by trout as a food source.

A green drake upwing fly.

A green drake upwing fly.

From a distance of more than 100 yards from the river, I knew they were hatching. Gulls seem to know the timing of a Green Drake hatch better than any human. This is why the excitement level soared upward the instant I spotted the flock of sizable gray birds as they raced above the water near the upper boundary of the Harriman Ranch. At 8:30 a.m, their target would be size 10 or 12 spinners, which are a prelude to an emergence that would begin within 3 hours.

The gulls know.

The gulls know.

While weather conditions can alter the timing, Green Drakes will generally make a daily appearance at some location on the Henry’s Fork for upwards of a month. The first of the big mayflies are always spotted at around 5,000 feet elevation in early June. At 1,500 feet higher, the fly fishing gear only water will see the legendary hatch within a week of its seasonal opening, which is June 15.

A brown on a drake.

A brown on a drake.

While other attractive hatches including Gray and Brown Drakes will be occurring during the same time frame, it is the Green variety that will always garner the greatest attention. Perhaps it is a known reliability or simply a decades’ long reputation for bringing big trout to the surface that inspires the largest gathering of expectant visitors we will see here during the entire year. And the river is never busier.

Fortunately, much of the Henry’s Fork is an accessible trout stream that is quite wide and mostly fishable with waders. This creates an ability to accommodate a great number of anglers that can fish in reasonable harmony without creating damage to the resource. With miles of open water available, one need only be willing to walk a bit farther than most in order to escape the greatest angler concentration near the access points to Harriman Ranch and the water directly outside its boundary.

A rainbow on the lower fork.

A rainbow on the lower fork.

The lower Henry’s Fork near Ashton, Idaho is a larger river that flows through mostly private property. Public access is comparatively limited, and wade fishing will require greater caution than on the gentler flows 30 miles upstream. For this reason, many will choose a drift boat to access the more isolated water.

For most that target this period for visiting the Henry’s Fork, the quality of fishing will more than compensate for the absence of solitude that accompanies drake time. With behavior uncharacteristic of the Henry’s Fork, the big rainbows and browns can seem willing to reward even the most humble effort of anglers whom would probably not find success here at any other time.

Last chance run.

Last chance run.

By early July, the great river has returned to its normal pattern of exacting excellence from its visitors, and humility rather than expectation becomes the byword. But the thirty days of green are not forgotten by those who are certain to return next year. It is a very special time.