Hexagenia Mayfly spinner and the Scott Radian 9’6″ 7wt on a recent evening on the North Fork of the Shenandoah River near Edinburg, Virginia. The Hexagenia Mayflies are coming off the river in good numbers right now between 6:45pm and 8:45pm and the Smallmouth Bass are eagerly feeding on them. Go with a 3x Bass Bug Leader, #8 Mr. Rapidan Skater (dressed frequently with SA Dry Fly Floatant or Gink to keep it floating), wade cautiously and be patient. The tail of the pool has been most productive for me over the years. Flyfish your Mr. Rapidan Skater upstream, downstream, down and across, dead drift as well as with a slow stripping motion all the while paying attention to which of these techniques produces the best results.
Pseudocloeon Duns crawled up my waders in their attempt to dry their wings on their way to becoming spinners.
Quill Gordon Mayfly Dun today in the Shenandoah National Park. It came off around 2:00 this afternoon during our first Mountain Trout Fly Fishing School of 2013. The Epeorus Pleuralis – Quill Gordon Mayfly is the first mayfly to hatch in the Shenandoah National Park. These mayflies are roughly a size #14 and are imitated very well by a Mr. Rapidan Parachute #14.
The sulphur mayflies are coming off well now and the trout are feeding on both the nymphs and the adult (dun and spinner). A very special friend the late John Snyder, one of the finest brown trout fly fishermen on the east coast, was so successful with the nymphs on this hatch that he would often continue fishing them a hour into the hatch, long after the rest of us had switched to the duns.
If you want to play John’s game use a Murray’s Professor Nymph 14 and fish it upstream dead drift in the deep runs and below the riffles and even dress it with a cream floatant and fish to rising brown trout. This latter ploy is very effective on heavily fished streams.
I actually enjoy flyfishing drys best on the Sulphur hatch and use both Ed Shenk’s Sulphur 16 & 18 and the Murray’s Sulphur Dry 16 & 18 and fish all of these on 6X.
I always watch for feeding trout and go one on one with these fish. However, if I don’t see risers I use the dry flies to cover the water. Remember, the streams are getting lower and the brown trout are wary so use a cautious approach.
My final tip on the sulphur hatch is to stay on the stream until dark in order to cash in on both the duns and spinners.