Time of the Hendrickson
The leaves on the oaks are the size of a mouse’s ear; it’s the time of the Hendrickson. Here in the northwoods of Wisconsin, the Hendrickson (Ephemerella subvaria) is our first serious mayfly hatch. And it’s a civilized hatch, at that, coming off just after the lunch hour and lasting for an hour or two. In addition, the duns are large—sizes 10 and 12. But being yet spring, and being Wisconsin, the hatch is variable due to weather conditions. I have fished the Hendrickson hatch in a snow storm, and a few days later, fished it in short sleeves.
The response of the fish to the hatch is equally variable. Some days they seem to fall all over themselves to get every insect drifting down on the currents. Other days it seems that the fish have forgotten just how tasty the Hendrickson can be. One day the trout fall to the nymph, emerger, and dry. The next day all that responds are chubs. But by golly, it’s a real hatch and it’s always interesting.
In my next few posts, I will show designs to imitate nymphs, emergers, duns and spinners, and discuss some fishing tactics for this hatch.