Hatches Made Easy:
Hendrickson and the Red Quill - Emergers
The Ephemerella subvaria nymphs emerge in the calmer, smoother areas of the
stream. Like many other crawler mayfly nymphs, these move from the moderate
flowing water where the live most of the time to nearby slower moving water to
hatch. The trout may be located in the current seams adjacent to or directly
below these slow moving areas of water.
The Hendricksons/Red Quills usually hatch when the water is between 50 and
55 degrees. The nymphs swim to the surface to hatch using a wiggle motion of
their bodies. They may repeat this process several times (at least in my
aquarium) prior to hatching. I suppose this depends on the weather and water
conditions. It is logical to assume that it is during this time that they are most
subject to being eaten by the trout.
Emerger imitations should be presented in the afternoons when the hatch
begins in the slow to moderately moving water where these mayflies hatch. The
emerger fly should be placed close enough to the current seams and the edge
of pockets that the water will take the fly on downstream, but not in the fast water
of runs. Don't overlook the riffles. These mayflies can hatch in the small,
miniature pools (pockets) of the riffles as well as the larger areas of slow to
You can imitate the action of the emerging nymph by swimming the imitation from
the bottom to the surface using short twitches of the rod. This action can be
repeated if you allow the emerger imitation to fall back to the bottom. Some
anglers swear this action is necessary but we disagree. We have had plenty of
action using a dead drift. We mention this because twitching is the traditional
way the emerger imitations are presented. Let the trail and error method tell you
which type of presentation is the most effective.
This is the perfect hatch to use a trailing shuck version (dun with the nymphal
shuck still attached) of the emerger. We have experienced action from both
types of emerger imitations - the emerging nymph and the trailing shuck dun.
Again, trial and error may be the best way to determine which type of emerger
imitation to use.
Once you find a hatch underway, our experience is that there usually isn't much
of a problem catching trout on either type.
Coming Up Next:
The Hendrickson and Red Quill Duns
Copyright 2008 James Marsh
Another Hendrickson nymph
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