Hiwassee March 22, 2006
I didn't have any classes today so I slept in and when I woke up, the generation schedule still was looking good on the Hiwassee so I decided to head over there for a few hours. I really should have been studying for some tests coming up ::) but fishing is much more fun ;D! Anyway, I stopped and grabbed some food and then got on the river around 1:00 pm. I started up near the powerhouse and was feeling lazy so I used a bhpt under an indicator. I missed several hard strikes right away before I finally hooked the first fish of the day, a 10 or 11 inch rainbow. I started seeing some CADDIS!!! flying around and saw a few rises. This is exciting because this was the first time I saw any this year. Anyway, I headed down the river and started fishing the pocketwater and short runs in one of the shoals with an EHC and was into several fish right away. The fish are consistently rising to larger stuff now. I noticed that in addition to some caddis, there were quite a few mayflies out and about as well. These ranged in size from probably a #22 or smaller up to a few large ones around probably a #12 or #14. The smaller ones were grey to dun colored and the larger ones were lighter, often causing me to mistake them for the caddis.
Maybe someone else can help identify the specific mayflies that are on the water right now?
Overall it was a great day. I caught fish on the bhpt, a #16 tan EHC, zebra midges, a GRHE, and a wooduck and peacock softhackle. The best hatches probably started around 2 in the afternoon. The fish are hungry and rising quite willingly! This is definately a good time to be on this river...
Re: Hiwassee March 22, 2006
I'd imagine the mayflies you spotted were Hendricksons. I was working on the lower river yesterday and we got to participate in the first real mayfly hatch of the year. We've had some spaoradic hatching but this was a bonafide hatch and the fish were tuned in. The hatch was hendricksons and they were coming off in great numbers. You'll notice with hendricksons that the male and female are quite different from each other. The females are usually a little bigger than the males (12 or so) and their color is kindly a dull pinkish tan. The males come off in sizes closer to 14 and their color is more of a dark body, with your typical quill gordon flies being a good match. They usually hatch out together on the Hiwassee and for the most part the fish will just eat them all. However, from time to time, the fish will pick on one side of the mayflies heavier than others. Yesterday they were really tuned in to the males over the females.
The hatch should move upriver over the next few weeks. THe heavy part of the hatch always starts downriver and moves up, so keep your eyes out for them when your there. I'm sure the rest of the river will still see lot's of sporadic bugs popping off but now that the mayflies are starting....we know the bug celebration is ready to go! ;D
Re: Hiwassee March 22, 2006
Thanks a bunch for the info on the hatch! This explains why the larger bugs looked lighter and the smaller ones looked a little darker. The hatch was not particularly heavy where I was so I'm going to have to get back over to the river and watch for the big hatches like you experienced. Thanks again!
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