There are two really good spring hatches on my home water, Paraleptophlebia adoptiva (blue quill) and Ephemerella subvaria (hendricksons). Of the two, the Paraleps are the easiest hatch to catch because it is the first bug of spring. The hennies show up on and off throughout April and May, and only occasionally in great enough numbers to cause good surface action, nymphs cause the real chaos during the hendrickson hatch. The Paraleps last maybe two weeks and after a couple of days they have all of the fish looking up. If you know the river like I do you can differentiate between the hatches and know where fish will be holding during them.
Today was a classic Hendrickson day. I got on the water around 4:00 and spinners were in the air. I knew that the fish would be focused on drowned spinners and swimming nymphs, so I tied on a slim bead headed nymph that would imitate both food items and I fish it is the nymphing lies. When there is good surface activity the trout will pod up in pools and rise methodically. It is often possible to catch four to six out of a good pool. During a spinner fall or nymph swim the fish focus on faster runs and riffles, as was the case today. I fished according to that rule and I caught lots of fish and a few really nice fish. No fourteen inch beasts like the one that came up for a Blue Quill a few weeks ago, but nice fish non the less.
Probably my favorite part of this time of year is how well the fishg fight. In the dead of winter and the opressive heat of winter they can be sluggish, but right now these incredible wild brown trout are fighting like monsters. I had one gorgeous fish jump five times, the first and last time coming two feet out of the water, of course it was easilly the best fish of the day, certainly the prettiest as it had nothing but bright red spots all over its flanks, and it slipped out of my grasp before I could reach the camera,
All told I caught about 20 wild trout today, no stockers whatsoever, and that last one sure is a special fish. I love wild trout, and I love fishing hatches on my home water. Truly a special day.