Waiting for the Drakes

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Considering the current water situation, Silver Creek is the only sure bet at the moment. Although hatches have been inconsistent, typically the best dry-fly fishing has been late in the morning, although some afternoons have been good as well.  I have had my best success with PMD Sparkle Duns, Parachutes, and some emergers such as Harrop’s CDC PMD Emerger.  Baetis are also around, but I warn you—they are quite small—#22 at the biggest.

Fortunately, however, in the next few weeks we should see a few Green Drakes on the Creek, a nice respite from those micro baetis.  Also, if bugs are scarce, never forget to employ terrestrials such as beetles and ants which are always good this time of year.

The water in the Nature Conservancy is low at the moment and because it is early and there is little weed growth, a lot of fish are stacked in the deeper sections. No surprise here, but nypmhing is typically the best way to get at these fish.  My favorite pattern for nymphing the Creek is the Pheasant Tail in both beaded and non-beaded varieties. The sloughs have also been good, particularly in the afternoon with a variety of nymphs and Callibaetis dries #16-18.  I like a Cripple patterns on windy days; and prefer No Hackles or Spinner patterns on calm days as those still-water fish can be highly selective. 

The Brown Drake hatch has not yet started, although it will likely begin as soon as we gets some warmer weather.  When the hatch begins, make sure your fly arsenal is well stocked as I find I need a larger variety of flies for the Brown Drake than any other hatch.  Thus, make sure you have emergers, cripples, sparsely tied duns, spinners, and a robust dun pattern for late in the evening.

If Silver Creek isn’t your thing, do not despair as Magic Reservoir is fishing well too. My favorite setup employs a floating line, strike indicator, a long leader tapering to 2x, and two flies spaced 3 or 4 feet apart.  Cast the rig out from you tube, and strip it back with long slow strips with noticeable pauses.  I find most of the takes occur after the strip as the flies are descending downward. My favorite flies on Magic are Sheep Creek Specials and Zug Bugs in sizes 12-16.

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