Warm Weather Can = Early Hatches

8 comments / Posted on / by

Are you seeing your hatches showing up early like us? Photo By: Louis Cahill

I almost got caught with my pants down fishing a spring creek the other day.

Without even giving it a second thought, I had left the cabin without one of my dry fly boxes, that’s loaded with all my favorite Sulphur and Light Cahill patterns. It was after all late March, and those two species of Mayflies usually don’t even begin making an appearance on my home waters until late April and May. Furthermore, in my defense, I wasn’t even planning on doing much dry fly fishing that day. Generally, March has our tributaries running really high from heavy rainfall, and dredging big nymphs almost always guarantees you good numbers of fish, sometimes even lunkers. This day wasn’t your average March day though. It was 80 plus degrees and sunny, which was well above the norm for this time of year.

Before I knew it, I was completely blind sided by an early afternoon Light Cahill hatch in progress. As I stood there in total amazement with my jaw wide open, my inner voice began chattering loudly, “This hatch shouldn’t be happening for at least another month“. Sure enough though, as the hatch gained momentum, fish began steadily rising to the freshly hatched duns. I immediately snipped off my nymphs and began frantically digging through my pack for my dry fly box, but as I mentioned earlier, it wasn’t there. Lucky for me though, my pack has a giant fly drying patch, and it’s always loaded up year round with random fly patterns. As I scanned the unorganized collage of flies, I managed to spot a lone Light Cahill parachute hiding in the clutter from last season. With a sigh of relieve, feeling like I had just found a needle in a hay stack, I quickly snatched it from the foam patch and tied it on.

For the next two hours, with a grin from ear to ear, I soaked up the intoxicating atmosphere of bliss, as I picked off risers one by one, with my freshly silicone basted parachute dry fly. Somehow by the grace of God that day I managed to avoid a catastrophe of ignorance and poor planning. I’ll never again wrongly judge the importance of me carrying around that messy fly patch in my pack. It’s going to stay that way, in case I ever need to call upon it in the future. And if anybody gives me any weird looks, I’ll retell the victory of how it saved me one spring day during a surprise blanket hatch of mayflies.

I think I’ve found an important use for a messy fly patch. Photo By: Louis Cahill

So far this year, the irregularly warm weather has some of our hatches showing up early, unannounced. The bass on our lakes are well into the spawn already, and I’ve even heard some drainages in the Northeast are experiencing super early steelhead runs. Be prepared for this, during the fishing season, and plan accordingly. That way you’ll be ready if you get blind sided by an early hatch like I did. Who knows if it’s global warming or not, but from what I’ve been able to gather from intel, it seems like just about everywhere this past decade, there has been a forward shift in our seasons starting earlier. Flowers, bushes, and trees are blooming before they’re supposed too, and our aquatic bugs and finned friends seem to be following natures lead. So much for following my fishing log books and hatch charts from ten years ago. They seem to be quickly becoming outdated and obsolete.

Has anyone witnessed a similar experience on the water?

Keep it Reel,

Kent Klewein
Gink & Gasoline
Sign Up For Our Weekly Newsletter!

Follow Gink & Gasoline on Facebook:

8 thoughts on “Warm Weather Can = Early Hatches

  1. In WV last weekend we hooked several nice trout on top, courtesy of an early spinner fall. The ramps growing on the hillside along the stream and early spring wildflowers are all a few weeks ahead of schedule.

  2. Fishing the lower Green below the dam this weekend the weather warmed up a bit in the afternoon and all of a sudden noses were rising everywhere. I had caught a few rainbows throughout the morning doubled up on some heavy nymphs and now they wanted nothing more than the BWOs fluttering across the surface. Like you, I didn’t have many dry flies on hand. I tried a few cripples I had in the box and they’d come blasting up to the surface, only to turn away at the last minute. It was starting to drive me crazy. So I did what any fly fisherman would do. I sat on the rock about 3 feet away and watched these fifteen fish explode out of the water… and I cried. hahaha. Then the snow started, the wind came through the canyon, and I headed home.

    • Gary,

      You painted a great picture. I wish you would have read the post a little earlier. You may have packed that box with your BWO dries. Ha

      I got lucky myself with my foam patch having what I needed. I could have very well been in your shoes. Sounds like you had a good day anyways. I’m sure you’ll get them on top next time. Thanks for the comment. We really enjoy hearing from our followers.


  3. Yesterday on the Hiwassee, but as usual I had no idea what was going on. I saw the bugs, saw the fish, but couldn’t figure out what was going on as I only caught 3 on the day, mostly on accident. The other guys on the river only seemed to be rigged up with nymphs and strike indicators. At least I brought my dries, but proved once again I just don’t have a clue wtf is going on most of the time no matter how much I read about it and watch it happen.

  4. forgot to mention the guys with the nymphs got skunked unless they caught one when they were away from my general area and I didn’t talk to them again… and rises and bugs were everywhere. Pays to be a boy scout.

  5. Pingback: The Moth Larva Hatch | Gink and Gasoline, The Blog home of Kent Klewein and Louis Cahill-Fly Fishing photography, video, tips and news.

  6. Pingback: Sunday Classic / The Moth Larva Hatch | Fly Fishing | Gink and Gasoline | How to Fly Fish | Trout Fishing | Fly Tying | Fly Fishing Blog

  7. Pingback: The Moth Larva Hatch | Fly Fishing | Gink and Gasoline | How to Fly Fish | Trout Fishing | Fly Tying | Fly Fishing Blog

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Captcha loading...