Hatches Made Easy:
Quill Gordon - Duns
Again, the Quill Gordon duns emerge from the slower moving water near the fast
water the nymphs were raised in. Before departing the water they may well be
caught up in strong currents. Since they hatch from cold water during cold
weather, they may take some time to dry their wings staying on the surface for a
lengthy time. This means that they may be drifting on the surface for some time,
depending on the air and water temperature, and of course, available for trout to
eat during this time. In other words, there are times the dun imitations work
great and times where they do not work at all during the hatch depending
on the conditions.
By the way, if you have any question as to whether on not the mayfly is a Quill
Gordon, notice the heart shaped marks on their legs. These femoral markings
are hard to miss and if the mayfly has them, it is a Quill Gordon. There are other
species of this same genus that have these marking but at the time of the year
the Quill Gordon hatch occurs, you wouldn't see one of them.
Fish the dun imitation in the current seams (where the slower moving water
meets the faster moving water) at the edges of pockets formed by boulders and
large rocks. Up stream or up and across presentations work best.
The pocket water is usually fairly rough and fast water. The pockets themselves
can have smoother, calmer water. This type of water (pocket water) is typical of
the water in the streams of the Smokies.
Approach the area you want to place your fly as slowly and quietly as possible. If
you are wading you want to move slowly and make certain you don't move the
cobble, rocks, etc. around on the bottom. Make short cast and Keep the fly line
out of the water as much as possible to help prevent drag. If you cast up and
across, you will probably have to mend your line. You want the fly to drift down
one of the two current seams formed by the boulder. The trout feeding on the
duns are usually located at the ends of the seams.
Sometimes this water is caught up in a long run. In that case you would want
your dry fly dun imitation to drift all the way to the slower water near the end of
the run. This usually requires a much longer cast than fishing the seams of the
These duns may drift for several feet. You can usually see or hear the trout
take them, so pay attention to the water. This can clue you in on exactly where
the fish are positioned. In rough pocket water it is almost impossible to describe
every place they could possible be, so watch the water.
As we said, trout don't always feed on the duns. It depends on the water
temperature (for one thing) and how long the trout have had to adjust to the
changes in water temperature. For example, If the water rises to fifty degrees
and continues on up to the mid-fifties and stays there for a while, you can just
about be assured the trout will readily take the duns on the surface.
You will hear anglers say "the trout aren't looking up". This is what they assume
is happening when they can't get the trout to take their dry fly. Well, sorry
guys, the trout are always looking up. They don't see the same way us
humans see things. Without getting technical, they see forward, almost all
around themselves. If is just that they are not feeding on the duns on the
surface. They are probably feeding on the emerging nymphs that are much
easier for them to catch. If you don't get any action on the dry fly, switch to
the wet fly and you probably will.
Coming Up Next:
Quill Gordon Spinners
Copyright 2008 James Marsh
Thumbnails: Click to Enlarge
Quill Gordon Duns
Quill Gordon Nymph
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Quill Gordon Dun