Hendrickson and the Red Quill Spinner:
Where there are good concentrations of these mayflies, the spinner fall is usually very
heavy. The males fall to the water or bank as soon as they mate. The females, full of
eggs, follow shortly afterwards. It seems they just suddenly appear from the sky and
descend to the surface of the water to deposit their eggs. They then fall spent and die.
There can be a lot of spent flies on the water in a relatively small area.
The females deposit their eggs in the same water that they hatch from. The spinner fall
usually starts very late in the afternoon just before dark. On cloudy, overcast days it may
Remember, the males fall spent on the water or bank as soon as they mate. The females,
full of eggs, follow shortly afterwards. They appear from overhead and descend above
the surface of the water to deposit their eggs. They then fall spent and die. There can be
a lot of spent mayflies on the water in a relatively small area.
The female usually drops her eggs from above the water. They will get near the surface
at times, at even touch the surface of the water with their eggs at times, but most of the
egg clusters are dropped from above the water. The eggs will be dropped over the ends
of the long runs and riffles where they hatched but the trout won't attempt to feed on
them where they first hit the water.
If the hatch is heavy, the fish will usually get into feeding lanes where the water has
congregated the spinners and develop a steady feeding rhythm eating them. Start out
using a Red Quill male spinner imitation. When the females arrive, change flies to the
Hendrickson spinner to imitate the eggs layers.
Sometimes, downstream presentations are necessary in order to keep from spooking the
trout feeding on the spinners. This is usually in pockets, the edges and ends of pools,
and anywhere where the water is fairly smooth and the spinners are collecting. You will
not be able to see the spinners on the water, but you should be able to notice them over
the water if you look for them before they fall. You want be able to see the trout feeding
on them in most cases. The only clue would be a very small rise ring. You have to fish the
areas of the stream where it's obvious the current would collect the spinners.
The mistake many anglers make with just about all the mayfly spinner falls is they expect
to see either the trout feeding on them, the mayflies falling to the water, or the females
dipping down to the water to deposit her eggs. The reality is, most of the time, especially
if your not looking for it, you won't notice anything. The results is, many anglers, if not
most anglers, let the spinner fall go without attempting to fish it without even knowing it. If
not, they simple stop fishing before it takes place thinking the action is over for the day.
Again, this mistake is made on just about all the spinner falls, not just the Hendricksons
and Red Quills.
Keep in mind, this entire process doesn't usually last over an hour or two at the absolute
most. Fishing the spinner fall is a short time event. The thing about is, if the spinner fall is
heavy, and it can be in isolated areas of the streams, there are times you can catch a
trout on almost every cast.
Copyright 2013 James Marsh
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