Gray-winged Yellow Quill - Spinner
The spinner males fall spent first and are joined by the females after their eggs have
ripened and have been deposited in the water. Not all the males will fall in the water.
Many will fall on the banks but most of the females will fall on the water. These mayflies
mate high above the water.
The spinner fall usually occurs in the late afternoons. Some days this may occur only a
short time after the hatch ends. By the way, it is not easy to see the trout taking the
spinners, fake or the real ones. They don't crash them. They just sip them. This leaves
only a small ripple on the surface. If the water is fairly rough or fast, you may never notice
them. The spinners are also difficult to see on the water, especially in the low light
conditions they normally fall under.
The current will catch these spent spinners and move them into the current seams. The
trout will position themselves downstream along the current seams. The spinners will be
mixed right in with the bubbles.
Where the spinners fall, the water is rough and fast and the trout are not going to get a
good look at your fly. The presentation for the spinner depositing her eggs should be the
same as if you were fishing any other dry fly except that It should only be presented in
the slow water at the ends of the riffles and runs where the spinners congregate.
The trout can examine the spinners as much as they want too. They get eaten in the
slower moving, smoother and calmer water. The up and across presentation usually
works best for the spinners. Make sure it drifts drag-free. Mend the line if you need too.
In some cases you may need to use a down and across cast. If so, you should make a
longer cast than normal. I suggest this only when you observe trout taking the spinners
downstream of your position or when that is the only way to present the fly to a given
area. It is more difficult to keep the fly drifting drag free and the trout from spotting you.
Another suggestion is to use a longer than normal leader.
Copyright 2013 James Marsh
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