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  • Monday, September 16, 2013

    Seldom Seen - by fisher folks

    SUMMER FISHFLY
    Chauliodes pectinicornis
    mostly nocturnal - good breakfast

    MOLTING FISHFLY GETTING READY FOR SOME WILD SEX
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    .. We are at the edge of the range of this handsome fly. It goes by many names across it's range, (mostly east and south of here.) Fly fishers usually don't tie flies to match this lovely critter. Fish devour them when available. They are like a sack of groceries.
    .. We've heard their giant nymphs called 'Hellgrammites'-- not so. Hellgrammites are the larval stage of the Dobsonfly, to which the Fishfly is closely related.
    .. These nocturnal flies appear on drizzly evenings in late Summer and early Fall - about the time fisher folks leave the river for some sack time. The flies emerge, live for a week or so;  molt once out of the water and take flight to find a suitor for some wild sex.
    CAN THIS BE A FISHFLY  --  SURE THING
    .. The males die quickly and crash from post coital exhaustion. The females return to the water and lay eggs at water level, (or below,) on bits of grass, twigs, willow leaves, etc.
    .. From 300 to 3,000 eggs are expelled - at which time the female dies. The larvae hatch and crawl to the water. The fish love it.
    .. The Fishfly hatch persists until the photoperiod is too short to trigger larval maturation, (coming up soon.) This is not an hatch that fishers anticipate. The fish do.
    .. The dead females, (and males,) float and are of substantial size, (2 - 4 cm,) with large wings that are an easy target for submarines. This is an interesting spinner fall.
    .. These flies, unlike the Dobsonfly live in soft water, like estuaries, and lakes. This is where they emerge, take flight, mate, and die. And then float on the water like a  . . . . . . .  in a punch bowl.
    .. You've probably figured out why this is most interesting to those savvy fishers infected with "Runner Fever."
    .. The big fish from Hebgen Reservoir are staged in the estuaries of the tributary streams of the Madison River. They have spent the last few weeks looking up and gobbling the Callibaetis when available.
    .. Right now, (this very instant,) there are more large fish being caught in the estuaries than in the rivers. Duck Creek Estuary, Cougar Creek Estuary, Grayling Creek Estuary, (poison and all,) and the Madison Arm of Hebgen Reservoir are full of fat and sassy, over-sexed trout.
    .. We use our old reliable Hornberg Fly and stick a few. This is an early morning happening. It's too early for us under normal conditions. But right now the drizzle is on, the Fishflies are dying, and the trout are eating them with gay abandon.
    .. You should have been here yesterday.
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    A BIG ONE OF THESE WORKS TOO  --  FLOAT IT OR SINK IT