Hatches Made Easy:
Slate Drake - Spinners
The emergers of this species are considered not fishable due to the fact that the
nymph crawls or climbs out of the water on the bank or objects that protrude out
of the water such as rocks to emerge.
Like other species that hatch out of the water, trout do not have an opportunity
to eat the duns, unless they accidentally get into the water. I am told that high
water conditions can provide an exception to this in which case they may hatch
form the surface of the water. I have never seen that happen. You can find
patterns for emergent duns, as well as full-grown duns, but we see little point in it.
Slate Drake spinners are commonly called "White Gloved Howdys" because
they look like they are wearing white gloves on their front legs. The spinners
usually come back to the stream within two days of hatching out. Mating takes
place on shore and then the female deposits their eggs by hovering over the
surface and dipping slightly into the water. This activity usually occurs very
late in the day or after dark. There are usually not a substantial number of
spinners on the water at any one given time and the activity that occurs depends
largely on other food that is available at the time.
Spinners can be imitated with an upright wing dry fly or as a spent wing spinner.
If you see females depositing their eggs on the surface, then you might want to
try an imitation of the upright wing spinner. We don't consider fishing spinner
imitations in the streams of the Smokies to be very productive due to the time of
the spinner fall and the long, sparse hatch.
Coming Up Next:
Slate Drake - Fly Pattern Colors
Copyright 2008 James Marsh