Sulphur Dun Spinner
Sulphur spinner falls can be massive or sparse depending on the hatch that
brought it on. If you fish a large hatch you can expect a large spinner fall, etc.
The Sulphurs mate high in the air above the stream very late in the afternoon but
the timing depends on the air and water temperature. The males fall dead in the
water or banks as soon as they mate, depending on the wind.
During the later part of the hatch periods they usually mate late in the day. If it's
warm when the Sulphur hatches take place, the females usually drop their eggs
from above the water just before darkness approaches. They do this over the
slow riffles, runs and pools where they hatched from and then fall spent on the
water. The spinners will congregate at the ends of the riffles, heads of pools and
In many cases, especially on bright, clear days the spinner fall will occur very late
in the day just before dark regardless of the temperature. On some hot summer
days the spinner fall may not occur until it's dark when the water has cooled
down some. It can last into the first hour or two of the evening. Trying to fish a
spinner fall after dark is usually a waste of time.
A down or down and across presentation of the "Perfect Fly" Sulphur Spinner
pattern works best because you can deliver the imitation from the ends of the
current seams into the slow moving water where the spinners congregate. This
method lets the fly get to the trout feeding on the spinners before they get an
opportunity to see the leader or tippet.
In smooth flowing, clear spring creeks and other extremely clear streams, use as
long of a leader and tippet as practical. Many use twelve foot leaders/tippets of a
6X to 7X size. Usually a 6X will work okay and in some streams, even a 5X will
Keep in mind the spinners will be very difficult to see in most cases, especially
when they fall near dark. About the only way you can be assured that they are
there is to skim the surface of the water with a net. Of course, if there's big hatch
taking place during the day, you can be confident there will be a spinner fall that
same day. You should fish the spinner fall whether you see any on the water or
not. At some time that same day, they will be on the water for sure.
Copyright 2013 James Marsh
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