It's that time of year again, and not a moment too soon. The Great Lake tributaries are wearing me out, the people not the fish... but I'll spare you the ranting, and move straight to the flies I use for the first hatch of the season, the Hendricksons! SIDE NOTE: All the flies shown below are tied small and sparse for clear and flat water as that is my favorite kind of water to fish. If you fish broken water these patterns will still work, just tie them a bit more bulky with a few extra turns of hackle. Also the flies are all patterns of male Hendricksons to save time and space. If you want females just tie the same patterns with different colors. Finally, PLEASE feel free to CLICK on the PHOTOS for a detailed look at the patterns, but do not use any of my photographs without my written permission.
The above photo is of a stuck n the shuck male Hendrickson. One of my favorite bug finds of last season. This will be it for bug photos though, as this blog post is all about flies from here on out. If you are looking for Hendrickson bug photos to tie from, click here.
Lets start with the nymph. This is my new Hendrickson nymph for the upcoming season. Brown glass bead, brown hen hackle, and a black and brown dubbing mix. I don't think the fish get picky here, usually they are so hungry at this point in the year they'll eat any nymph that is dark in color and between #16 and #12.
Next up is an emerger. Grey foam, brown hackle, rusty brown superfine, and a nymph colored shuck. This is a knock off of a local guide's pattern, sorry I don't know the guide or the shop it came from... I was given a fly like this for the sulphur hatch last year, and I modified the colors and size for Hendricksons. It works so give it whirl.
Here's a Dark Hendrickson Dun knock off. Only real difference is the rusty brown underbody, and the dun snowshoe wing.
Another Hendrickson Dun pattern. It's a goose biot, medallion wing, parachute version of a male Hendrickson dun. This will catch when fish are picky.
Here is the spinner pattern... for that epic Hendrickson spinner fall. This is a modified version of Shane Stalcup's medallion spinner pattern. Turkey biot body, and swiss straw wing. Casting this fly is tricky but worth the effort when you figure it out... tie and fish this you will not be disappointed.
Last but not least a standard wet fly. Brown Hen Hackle for the collar, and a dubbing mix that goes from dark dun to rusty brown. Tie this on solo if you like swinging, or you can use this as a dropper when times get tough.
Looks like we have a week or two before the first bugs pop off in my part of the world, and it's time for me to tie up some new flies to test out! A few weeks in I'll get another post up with some new bug photos.