Gray Drake Spinners
The Gray Drake hatch and spinner fall occurs at different times depending on the
particular stream, or type of water, and the weather conditions. The spinners fall can
occur anytime from about 10:00AM, until near dark, depending on many factors. The
Gray Drake spinner fall doesn't last a long time but is usually fairly heavy, depending on
the stream, of course. It usually takes place in less than an hour.
When the female Gray Drake lays her eggs, she usually flutters over the surface of the
water knocking them off or at least it appears that way. You can try skittering our Perfect
Fly Gray Drake Spinner across the water to simulate the female laying her eggs but this
can cause you to spook most of the trout. We haven't figured out how to do that very well
and settle for short, drag free drifts. We do think it's a good idea to make lots of cast as
opposed to allowing the fly to drift long distances. The fly hitting the water seems to
attract the trout and they seem to take the fly shortly after it hits the water as opposed to
after it has drifted for a short time.
These are rather large mayflies and it is usually easy to see them depositing their eggs,
even in low light situations. Wherever you see them, that's exactly where you want to
present your Gray Drake spinner.
The water is normally smooth where the Gray Drake spinners fall occurs. In lakes, it may
even be completely still. This means you may need to use a longer, lighter tippets and
make some very good presentations to the trout feeding on the spinners. We recommend
6X or even 7X tippets, on 12 foot leaders in still water situations. 5X or 6X tippets usually
work okay provided there's a little current.
Most of the time, a downstream or down and across presentation is required. It's very
difficult to see the spinner fly in some of the low light conditions they fall under. In low light
situations you will need to watch your line and leader very carefully to detect takes. The
trout just sip the fly. You want see a splashy rise, just a small rise ring is about the only
indication you may have under some conditions.
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