How to Read A Perfect Fly Hatch Chart:
The hatch rating is provided to give anglers an idea as to the availability of an
insect or what the trout are most likely feeding on. It is not a rating of importance.
An insect with a one * rating may be more important than anything else at a
particular time of the year, month, day or hour. A ***** rating simply means there
usually are a lot of the insects available. This doesn't necessarily mean that the
insect is available any and everywhere on the stream. It is available only where
the insect's preferred habitat exists on that stream. If the trout are feeding on an
insect with a * star rating and it is the most available insects at the time, it is very
important. What is important is what is hatching at the time you are there fishing.
On any given stream there may be hundreds of different species of aquatic
insects that exist in some quantity. Some species may occur only in certain
isolated areas of the stream. We are listing what we believe are the most
prevalent and important hatches that anglers should be concerned with.
Although the density of any hatch can vary drastically, the hatches are noted as ”
dense, normal or sparse” in order that you have a better idea of what to
The species we list are usually not concentrated throughout the entire stream,
only in the portions of the stream that offer the proper habitat. For example, if a
certain stonefly hatch is shown on a river that is thirty miles long, don’t expect to
find them at the lower end of the river in pools of slow moving water unsuitable
for stoneflies. Also, you should be aware that hatches could progress upstream
from day to day, especially on those steams with steep declinations, so they may
occur at different sections of water from day to day.
Remember that seasonal weather conditions can change the dates that hatches
actually occur from the predicted time periods the charts indicate. An unusually
cold year may delay a hatch a week or two, in some cases, even longer.
However, the sequence in which the different specie hatch will generally occur in
the same order.
Prior to fishing any given stream, you should make a list of the insects and other
trout food shown on the hatch guides along with the recommended flies that
imitate them for the time period you intend to fish. Make some allowances for the
indicated time period, just in case. In other words, if a certain insect is shown to
start hatching on March 1 and you are fishing February 26th, list it.
Do not forget that the charts show the predicted “hatch” dates. Normally, the
nymph or larvae, and pupa stages of the insects are available for trout to eat well
in advance to those dates. In fact, in many cases, depending on the particular
species, the insects are much more important to the angler prior to the hatch
than they are after the hatch occurs.
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