How to Fish During a Salmon Fly Hatch-Out

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Sometimes, when you are fishing a lake in late Spring to early Summer, you can see what looks like a large swarm of big flies just on the water’s surface.  You usually notice this event around sunrise or sunset, and mostly near where large trees overhang the lake.  You should most definitely hop in your boat, and get closer to check it out, using binoculars or a telescope could tell you what you want to know earlier, as well.  Usually, at the right time of year and day, that mess of flies is actually a school of ravenous trout, jumping out of the water to feed on the newly hatched salmon flies.

During the salmon fly hatchout, trout can be either hard to catch or hard not to catch.  They may either be overfed or in the midst of a feeding frenzy, the likes of shich would do a great white shark proud.  Salmon flies can be rather big, almost the size of a dragonfly, at 3 inches or smaller in length.  When you are about a half-mile away, you will start to see that they are not flies, they are trout, eating flies!  As your jaw drops in awe, you start to race towards the spectacle, but hopefully realise that a silent approach is better before spooking the spectacle.  If you have a fly rod with you, get the salmon-coloured flies ready, and use the larger flies, as there will be large trout feeding heavily.

Trolling for trout during a salmon fly hatchout can be a waste of time, as most of the trout will be enjoying their most nourishing and easiest meal of the early year.  No matter what you are fishing with, flies, dry or wet flies on spin-cast or spinning reels, worms, grubs, crayfish and sometimes small minnows work great, even as well as flies do.  No need for weights, unless you need a couple of split-shot weights to allow for a far enough cast, and you should use as light a line as you are comfortable with.  When trout are in a feeding frenzy, anything live and in their diet is open season.

Getting into the middle of a salmon fly hatchout can be as productive as hitting a major trout river in the North at ice-out.  A trout that would do any frying pan justice.  A trout caught with every cast, and the only way that you do not land the fish is if you make a mistake.  It’s man against nature, even though we cheat by using technology and our opposible thumbs.

Fish on!


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