Time for mayflies
Get ready to catch in the trout’s time of plenty...
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.”