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White may flies causing after dark feed?


Bterrill
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This year has been strange one for river smallmouth fishing, the floods, high waters, and now the nightly white fly hatch. It's been going on for a couple months it seems on various statewide streams. The day is calm and few bugs are out, fishing is mediocre to poor, almost nothing stirring. Come dusk/dark these .5" long white mayflies are everywhere. Smallies perk up fierce in almost every case and continue unabated after dark at riffles.

 

 

What are these things? They come out in the thousands along streams only. Adorning the webs of every spider. If these bugs are hatching every night, they may set in motion, a night feeding chain, where small fish eat the flies, bigger fish eat the small fish and large fish get activated by all the activity. Why spend energy in the day iof the easy food is at night?

 

 

Thoughts?

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This year has been strange one for river smallmouth fishing, the floods, high waters, and now the nightly white fly hatch. It's been going on for a couple months it seems on various statewide streams. The day is calm and few bugs are out, fishing is mediocre to poor, almost nothing stirring. Come dusk/dark these .5" long white mayflies are everywhere. Smallies perk up fierce in almost every case and continue unabated after dark at riffles.

 

 

What are these things? They come out in the thousands along streams only. Adorning the webs of every spider. If these bugs are hatching every night, they may set in motion, a night feeding chain, where small fish eat the flies, bigger fish eat the small fish and large fish get activated by all the activity. Why spend energy in the day iof the easy food is at night?

 

 

Thoughts?

 

Almost all May Fly species hatch during the daylight hours, with one exception, the Hexagenia Limbata or more commonly known as the "Hex". The Hex's are typically much larger than 1/2" though.

 

What you are probably is a Spinner fall of some May Fly species, where the flies return to the river to mate over the water, the females drop their eggs and they die afterward, all typically done at dusk/night.

 

Mark

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This year has been strange one for river smallmouth fishing, the floods, high waters, and now the nightly white fly hatch. It's been going on for a couple months it seems on various statewide streams. The day is calm and few bugs are out, fishing is mediocre to poor, almost nothing stirring. Come dusk/dark these .5" long white mayflies are everywhere. Smallies perk up fierce in almost every case and continue unabated after dark at riffles.

 

 

What are these things? They come out in the thousands along streams only. Adorning the webs of every spider. If these bugs are hatching every night, they may set in motion, a night feeding chain, where small fish eat the flies, bigger fish eat the small fish and large fish get activated by all the activity. Why spend energy in the day iof the easy food is at night?

 

 

Thoughts?

Brenden,

Here's a thought. Get on over to Flymasters Fly Shop in Indy at 86th + Allisonville Rd.Pick up a flyfishing outfit, get a casting lesson,and than fish that hatch.You'll be introduced to an entirely new wonderful fishing experience.

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Almost all May Fly species hatch during the daylight hours, with one exception, the Hexagenia Limbata or more commonly known as the "Hex". The Hex's are typically much larger than 1/2" though.

 

What you are probably is a Spinner fall of some May Fly species, where the flies return to the river to mate over the water, the females drop their eggs and they die afterward, all typically done at dusk/night.

 

Mark

 

Mark, it's just about every night. No evidence of the flies dying and flopping on the surface, no sign of smallies eating them. But the SMB DO get very active at night these days. Provided you find them in concentration.

 

I am wondering if the plethora of these 'may flies' has made a mostly nocturnal bite this year.

The streams are just dead in the day lately.

 

By adapting the fishing has been good.

 

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Mark, it's just about every night. No evidence of the flies dying and flopping on the surface, no sign of smallies eating them. But the SMB DO get very active at night these days. Provided you find them in concentration.

 

I am wondering if the plethora of these 'may flies' has made a mostly nocturnal bite this year.

The streams are just dead in the day lately.

 

By adapting the fishing has been good.

 

The hatch cycle is in two phases, the Duns which emerge typically in the morning or evening drift in the current and work their way to the streamside vegetation. Mayflies are not like Caddis which you will see everywhere in the air and on the water during their hatch/emergence. The hatch for mays is somewhat subdued and you see a few here and there because Mays hatch over a very large area they aren't concentrated like Caddis. When you are there next time, check the slack water and eddies and look for concentrations of Spinners. If you don't find any than given all of the variables of water and air temp, it could be possible that a hatch is coming off at night and much later than normally anticipated. Like I said, other than the Hex, I don't know of any other May that hatches at night. This does sound like the "White Fly" hatch though.

 

Have you ever been in a full blown Caddis hatch??? You have to fish with you teeth clenched to keep them out of your mouth and you have to button your shirt to the neck to keep them from crawling inside your shirt.

 

The Duns hang out in the vegetation and molt into Spinners which return during the evening a day or two later and at evening/night to mate. The flies will fly in a up and down elliptical path through the air during the mating process.

 

Break out the fly rod and have a blast. I wish I was there with you when this was going on!!!

 

Mark

 

 

 

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The hatch cycle is in two phases, the Duns which emerge typically in the morning or evening drift in the current and work their way to the streamside vegetation. Mayflies are not like Caddis which you will see everywhere in the air and on the water during their hatch/emergence. The hatch for mays is somewhat subdued and you see a few here and there because Mays hatch over a very large area they aren't concentrated like Caddis. When you are there next time, check the slack water and eddies and look for concentrations of Spinners. If you don't find any than given all of the variables of water and air temp, it could be possible that a hatch is coming off at night and much later than normally anticipated. Like I said, other than the Hex, I don't know of any other May that hatches at night. This does sound like the "White Fly" hatch though.

 

Have you ever been in a full blown Caddis hatch??? You have to fish with you teeth clenched to keep them out of your mouth and you have to button your shirt to the neck to keep them from crawling inside your shirt.

 

The Duns hang out in the vegetation and molt into Spinners which return during the evening a day or two later and at evening/night to mate. The flies will fly in a up and down elliptical path through the air during the mating process.

 

Break out the fly rod and have a blast. I wish I was there with you when this was going on!!!

 

Mark

 

I have been on a full blown caddis hatch last year. It was cool.

 

This happening every time out at dark. They are everywhere on most streams. How long do these things live? .5" to .75" each.

 

IMHO, a slow bubbled buzzbait or LC Splashtail 90 is going to better use the fish primary feeding instinct- it's lateral line at night. They explode on the baits.

 

The primary question is whether such an onslaught of Mayflies emerging at night can significantly change the bass' feeding time period? This year is totally different than last year's topwater explosion. At first, it was the floods and high water, now I suspect a night feed. Trying to draw a correlation.

 

The big thing is the liflelessness of the rivers during the day.

 

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I have been on a full blown caddis hatch last year. It was cool.

 

This happening every time out at dark. They are everywhere on most streams. How long do these things live? .5" to .75" each.

 

IMHO, a slow bubbled buzzbait or LC Splashtail 90 is going to better use the fish primary feeding instinct- it's lateral line at night. They explode on the baits.

 

The primary question is whether such an onslaught of Mayflies emerging at night can significantly change the bass' feeding time period? This year is totally different than last year's topwater explosion. At first, it was the floods and high water, now I suspect a night feed. Trying to draw a correlation.

 

The big thing is the liflelessness of the rivers during the day.

 

 

Fish will become "conditioned" to specific hatch times and will position themselves in feeding lies in anticipation of them. (i.e. in the riffles during hatch time and at the tailout during the Spinner Fall, where there are easy pickins'. This takes quite a while to become established and usually involves trout and some anadramous species. If, as you say, the "hatch" is at a different time than at times past, it is probably that the Smallies haven't become conditioned to the timing. I wouldn't worry about the fish not being hungry because...

 

the bigger fish (as with trout) will only chase/feed forage that is equal to or exceeds the amount of energy that they have to expend to get it. Most of the Smallies feeding I'm sure are on the small side. The larger fish typically don't bother with such small offerings, but will station themselves with the other fish that are feeding and should be targeted.

 

What I do during these blanket hatches is to throw a fly that is completely different than what is present. Usually a searching pattern like a #10 Royal Coachman or Wulff pattern which at most times has work exceptionally well and at times - not so good.

 

 

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no sign of smallies eating them. But the SMB DO get very active at night these days.

 

I am wondering if the plethora of these 'may flies' has made a mostly nocturnal bite this year.

The streams are just dead in the day lately.

 

By adapting the fishing has been good.

 

Couple of thoughts on this...

 

1. Since they don't seem to be actively feeding on bugs I wonder if the bugs are attracting smaller bait fish such as bluegills and minnows (or whatever) and the smallies are feeding on the secondary baitfish attracted by the bugs. Much like the effect you see when you hang a light off a boat at night for crappies. Draws bugs and tiny aquatic stuff, that attracts bigger baitfish, which in turn attracts bigger fish like crappies, ect.

 

2. I've noticed that for the last week or so that the bite for LMB's has been off - I thought it was the barometer fluctuating wildly for the last week almost (yes, I think they can detect barometer changes somehow but that's another discussion). Then I noticed in the late evenings(dusk) and early mornings (dawn) for the last week that the bite picked up but as soon as the sun hit the water it was completely dead. Surmising that the coming full moon on cloudless night was enough to hunt by I went to the lake very early. Produced a couple of LMBs including another 22.25" bruiser on the 4th cast that scared the stuffin's outta me when it hit in the dark :).

 

My considered opinion is (and this is like most opinions - it's worth what you paid for it). Is the week before and after the full moon if there are enough cloudless nights the moon produces enough light for the bass to effectively hunt at night and they are satisfied by morning and 'off their feed' During the other two weeks and spans where there are mostly clouds at night you will see a better daytime bite since they may feed/hunt at night but it isn't nearly as effective and they have to supplement with daytime feeding/hunting.

 

Will this carry over to smallies - don't know since I don't fish nearly every day for smallies but it seems to be holding up for LMB, but I imagine it would.

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Couple of thoughts on this...

 

1. Since they don't seem to be actively feeding on bugs I wonder if the bugs are attracting smaller bait fish such as bluegills and minnows (or whatever) and the smallies are feeding on the secondary baitfish attracted by the bugs. Much like the effect you see when you hang a light off a boat at night for crappies. Draws bugs and tiny aquatic stuff, that attracts bigger baitfish, which in turn attracts bigger fish like crappies, ect.

 

2. I've noticed that for the last week or so that the bite for LMB's has been off - I thought it was the barometer fluctuating wildly for the last week almost (yes, I think they can detect barometer changes somehow but that's another discussion). Then I noticed in the late evenings(dusk) and early mornings (dawn) for the last week that the bite picked up but as soon as the sun hit the water it was completely dead. Surmising that the coming full moon on cloudless night was enough to hunt by I went to the lake very early. Produced a couple of LMBs including another 22.25" bruiser on the 4th cast that scared the stuffin's outta me when it hit in the dark :).

 

My considered opinion is (and this is like most opinions - it's worth what you paid for it). Is the week before and after the full moon if there are enough cloudless nights the moon produces enough light for the bass to effectively hunt at night and they are satisfied by morning and 'off their feed' During the other two weeks and spans where there are mostly clouds at night you will see a better daytime bite since they may feed/hunt at night but it isn't nearly as effective and they have to supplement with daytime feeding/hunting.

 

Will this carry over to smallies - don't know since I don't fish nearly every day for smallies but it seems to be holding up for LMB, but I imagine it would.

 

That's a good theory. I like it.

 

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