Time for mayflies

Get ready to catch in the trout’s time of plenty...

Trout Fisherman (UK) - - Contents -

Get ready for the trout’s time of plenty

DE­SPITE the hatch only last­ing a few weeks and not UK-wide, the may f ly is one of the most sig­nif icant in­sect hatches of the sea­son. Their pres­ence be­gins a time of plenty for trout as may f lies – the largest of our up­winged f lies – mark the on­set of sum­mer while form­ing a tasty morsel for hungr y f ish. Trout can lit­er­ally gorge them­selves at may f ly time and pack on con­di­tion ver y quickly. Given their sheer abun­dance it’s not long be­fore the f ish are feed­ing con­fi­dently on nymphs, emerg­ers, adults and spent adults. For this rea­son, the two-week pe­riod when these f lies hatch has be­come known as ‘duf­fer’s fort­night’ – mean­ing that al­most any­one can catch off the sur­face at this time. If may f ly hatches were to oc­cur UK wide then more pages would be de­voted to them here. But their dom­i­nance is largely lim­ited to the UK’s south­ern ar­eas and also Ire­land. A reas of Scot­land and north­ern Eng­land do boast may f ly hatches but their pres­ence is spo­radic. There are two ty pes of mayf ly in the UK – dan­ica and vul­gata but only en­to­mol­o­gists de­lib­er­ate over dif­fer­ences. An­glers don’t need to be­cause they dif­fer min­i­mally and the f ish don’t seem to care! For the record, and ver y ba­si­cally, vul­gata has more body mark­ings than dan­ica. Telling them apart is easiest at the spin­ner stage – dan­ica hav­ing an ivor y body whereas vul­gata ap­pears brown. In cold con­di­tions, both ap­pear darker and it’s tough to tell the dif­fer­ence.

“Trout gorge them­selves at mayfly time and pack on con­di­tion.”



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