Dad­dies

Get ready for this au­tumn high­light

Trout Fisherman (UK) - - Contents -

THIS year’s au­tumn fall of daddy lon­glegs looks set to be a bumper one. So many leather­jacket grubs, the fly’s lar­val stage, have been found in the earth that ex­perts pre­dict swarms of crane flies ap­pear­ing through Septem­ber and Oc­to­ber. It’s un­clear how the hot sum­mer has af­fected th­ese grubs but we nor­mally ex­pect hatches af­ter a bit of rain, which we des­per­ately need! So when the rains come, get ready for some top sport. The eggs are black and can be laid over aquatic weed mats, on land or just dropped in flight. The fe­males pre­fer wet ground when lay­ing their eggs over land and th­ese eggs then take a few weeks to hatch. The grubs spend the win­ter and spring un­der­ground, eat­ing plant roots and the like be­fore hatch­ing into adult­hood the fol­low­ing late sum­mer or early au­tumn. Adults then live for around two weeks dur­ing which time they will search for a mate. Daddy lon­glegs aren’t the best fly­ers and are eas­ily blown over water where the trout are soon alerted to their pres­ence. Fish will chase th­ese in­sects as they strug­gle across the water, their legs of­ten be­com­ing trapped in the sur­face film. It’s a re­ward­ing time for the fly an­gler who can en­joy some in­cred­i­ble sur­face sport. But it’s not all top-of-the-water stuff: a sunken or drowned Daddy pat­tern can also be suc­cess­ful fished just un­der the sur­face – even a gold­head ver­sion fished very deep has worth.

“Fish will chase dad­dies as they strug­gle across the water, their legs be­com­ing trapped in the sur­face film. It’s a re­ward­ing time for the fly an­gler.”

Rus­sell Hill

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