Apparently the local trout were paying homage to the recently passed Prince this past weekend. I was able to get on the water both Saturday for myself and Sunday with a client from Virginia. Saturday was sunny and 63 degrees and the water temp was 52. The Hendrickson may flies took notice and were hatching in very good numbers in the early afternoon along with some brown stones. This was the first mayfly hatch I had seen this year. As I sat on the bank observing the bug activity the choice seemed pretty clear, a PT soft hackle nymph to imitate the hatching Hendrickson nymph. Turns out the trout had different ideas and luckily for me I had tied the PT off the bend of a #12 tungsten prince nymph. Time and again the Wild Rainbow's passed on the pheasant tail in favor of the Prince on a dead drift.
The following day we had much different conditions with rain and 48, with a water temp of 47. Bug activity was non existent, though the fishing was similar. Once my client got the hang of presenting the fly and casting a weighted nymph rig, we began getting some decent presentations. With a good presentation came the trout. The story was the same as the day before with the prince landing fish. We did get the fish of the day, a 17-18" wild brown trout, on the swing rather than dead drifted, which was nice to see.
I anticipate once the trout are more accustomed to seeing the smaller mayfly nymphs this week, they will key in on the Pheasant tails, and hares ears more so than the larger stonefly nymphs. Likewise trout will also be more inclined to take your fly on the swing as the water temps rise. I would recommend swinging all of your drifts and letting them pause below you before picking up to cast. I did see some #14 caddis today on a champlain trib, so some caddis pupa and larvae imitations should be in your boxes as well in green, brown, tan, and black. The low elevation Champlain tribs see the hatches in our areas first and then move up the river systems, so we may see them on many of our trout streams this weekend.
I would not be surprised to find some rising fish by the weekend so be prepared with your dry flies. Other hatches you may see are Blue Quills in #18 and Quill Gordon's in #14 on the as well.
I have limited openings this weekend, but should be able to fit in another half day as well as friday afternoon if you are looking to get out before next week.
Ben Wilcox Owner/Guide Maple Country Anglers