04/19/09

Insects and other foods the trout may be eating:
1. Blue-winged Olives - mostly Little BWO - Isolated hatches
2. Quill Gordons - hatching but about to end
3. Hendricksons - hatching
4. Cinnamon Caddis - Mostly Abrams Creek
5. Little Brown Stoneflies - hatching but about to end
6. Midges - hatching in isolated locations
7. Little Short-horned Sedges - should hatch randomly for 2-3 months
8. American March Browns - hatching
9. Streamers - matching sculpin, baitfish and small crawfish

Eastern Green Drakes (Abrams Creek) - Spinners

Spinners:
As I previously mentioned, the spinner fall is normally the big deal with the Eastern
Green Drake hatch. I'm not sure that is the case with the Green Drakes at Abrams
Creek. For one reason, the spinner fall normally brings the big brown trout up to
feed on the surface. One reason for that is that the spinner fall occurs well after the
sun sets about the time it begins to get dark. The low light gives the brown trout the
security they need to come out of their hiding places and feed. Abrams Creek
doesn't have brown trout, or at least I have never seen or caught one there. Now
that doesn't mean the rainbows will not respond to the spinners. It just means that
the spinner fall isn't quite the event it is where there is a good population of brown
trout.

The other reason is that the spinner fall occurs after the time of day the park rules
say anglers can fish, which is up until 30 minutes after sunset. For some reason,
this rule doesn't seem to be very important to anglers. I read on the blogs and other
fly-fishing reports where anglers fish at night. Maybe its because the park rangers
don't enforce the rules or maybe the national park website it incorrect. Until I find
out different, I don't plan on fishing beyond 30 minutes after sunset.

The Green Drake spinner, called the
coffin fly, is an altogether different looking
mayfly from the dun. The female spinners are much larger than the males. Spinners
begin to appear just before dark, earlier if it is cloudy, with the males showing up
first and the females joining them later. The event usually will last for only an hour
or so. After mating, the females lay their eggs by dipping their bellies on the surface
of the water. In addition to the females, the males usually land and depart the water
before dieing. It is during this time that the trout usually go crazy over them. At
other places we have fished this hatch, after the females have lost their eggs, the
trout usually show a preference for the male spinners. I couldn't say that would be
the case at Abrams Creek.

Spinner Presentation:
On cloudy, rainy days, you may find the spinner fall occurring in the late afternoon
before sunset. At times it is effective to imitate the male spinners as well as the
female’s egg laying process.  That is why we have two spinner patterns - a male
and a female spinner. Both can be effective. We think it may be determined by the
number of the males and females on the water but that is pure speculation. What
does at least seem to be the situation is that trout prefer the males over the
females. They do look completely different. They are different sizes and colors.

Since you will be fishing in a  low light situation, an eight foot leader, with a two, foot
long 4X tippet would probably work well enough. The trout we have caught on the
Green Drake spinner fall in Pennsylvania's spring creeks (and that is a bunch of
them) took the imitation as if they wanted to kill it. The trout make a loud noise when
they hit the spinners. They will usually set the hook themselves.

























Copyright 2009 James Marsh
These images are thumbnails - click them
to enlarge the picture.
The upper left image is a Coffin Fly or male
Green Drake Spinner. The upper right is our
Perfect Fly male spinner. The lower right is
the female spinner. The real females have a
light yellow  body. The males have a white
body.  Although the image of the real fly
doesn't show it well, the spinner's wings
tend to become clear but with a yellow cast
to them. The hen feathers we use for the
spent wings of our flies tend to become
lighter and somewhat translucent when wet.