It looks like spring is finally upon us. The trees are sprouting buds, daffodils and forsythia are in bloom, and best of all for the fly fisher, bugs are in the air and hatching on our rivers. In fact, I drove over the South Branch of the Raritan River yesterday and got my first bug rainbow of the year. That's when a flying insect hits your windshield right in your line of sight and you try to remove it by turning on your wipers, and instead of coming off, it leaves a bug rainbow. Its not pretty, but it is a sure sign of warming weather. Not sure what this one was, but I have been seeing and hearing about decent hatches of Quill Gordons and Hendricksons the last few days, along with early season caddis showing up in better numbers every day. Here's a Quill Gordon that was on my kitchen window the other day.
Unfortunately, I have not been out on the water in the last week and I'm still trying to find a window to get out this coming weekend. I have been tying every day, as usual, and have plenty of appropriate imitations for the bugs that are hatching now and for the next couple of weeks. If I don't hit the Hendrickson or a decent Grannom hatch here in New Jersey, I do plan to be in the Catskills in the next two week, where they should be popping pretty well. Time will tell. Here's a few of my favorite patterns for the Hendrickson hatch. Add to them the soft hackle pheasant tail and you are good to go.
Sharpen your hooks.