Good Information Potomac River mayflies
Results 1 to 8 of 8
  1. #1
    Rock Star TF Poster - Not a Tidal Fish Subscriber
    Join Date
    Jul 2001
    Posts
    4,724
    Blog Entries
    1

    Default Potomac River mayflies

    I was reading the freshwater DNR report and saw good things. I quoted it below,

    John Mullican sent us this report from the upper Potomac River. Flows in the Potomac River continue to be below average for this time of year. Insect hatches have been heavy with several species of mayflies hatching nearly every evening. During a particularly strong hatch over the weekend I watched smallmouth bass slowly rising and sipping mayflies off the surface like trout. Bass of all sizes were taking advantage of the easy meal, including a number of 12 – 15 inch fish. I was a bit surprised to find that a small surface lure went completely untouched, but a suspending jerkbait would frequently draw a strike. By dusk thousands of mayflies covered the surface and the boat ride back to the ramp would have been more pleasant with a face shield or goggles!



  2. Remove Advertisements
    TidalFish.com
    Advertisements
     

  3. #2
    Average TF Poster - Not a Tidal Fish Subscriber
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Posts
    79

    Default

    ST,

    I noticed that also. Given your extensive knowledge of the regional fauna, what hatches might these be on the river, and how far is "upper" in context of this report? I have seen many caddis and occasional mayflies on river between DC and Seneca, but other than white flies in early July I have not heard of spring hatches being significant events on the river. Could this be a function of low flows this spring that they are even noticible events wrt smallmouth feeding? The comment about no action on a surface lure vice a suspended jerkbait might suggest the smallies were not so much feeding on the hatch but keying on baitfish which were on the hatch. I have heard/read this it is often a good tactic for smallies when hatches are on to fish streamers/Clousers etc., especially for larger fish.

  4. #3
    Rock Star TF Poster - Not a Tidal Fish Subscriber
    Join Date
    Jul 2001
    Posts
    4,724
    Blog Entries
    1

    Default

    It's probably sulfurs and similar mayflies. There will be thousands of them. Ive seen it before. The fish will swim through the sea of spent bugs and eat .But a streamer just below the surface is probably the better way to go.

    Upper Potomac for Mullican is Washington County but those bugs hatch well in Montgomer County portion too.
    Last edited by Salmo trutta; 05-06-2012 at 03:58 PM.

  5. #4
    Dedicated TF Poster - Not a Tidal Fish Subscriber
    Join Date
    Jul 2001
    Posts
    310

    Default

    There was an incredible hatch of sulphurs on the Gunpowder yesterday as well. The fish were taking them just below the surface as emergers, and since the nymph stage is darker than the adult, something like a GRHE fuzzy nymph seems to work well, at least they did yesterday. Good stuff, Salmo, and neat to hear about the Potomac hatch.
    Last edited by Bonefish79; 05-07-2012 at 12:16 PM.

  6. #5
    Loyal TF Poster - Not a Tidal Fish Subscriber
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    1,094

    Default

    I've historically gotten a better quality of SMB fishing streamers during the hatches. It seemed the bigger fish were targeting smaller fish eating the flies.

  7. #6
    Dedicated TF Poster - Not a Tidal Fish Subscriber
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Posts
    738

    Default

    This might be a result of the lower flows and warm temps. Living in Harrisburg, my home stream is the Susquehanna. Big fish tend to stay near the bottom when the water is cooler and running high. A good friend of mine lives on the river north of Harrisburg. In fact, I sold him the home. In any event, he witnessed good surface activity this spring during grannom caddis and sulphur hatches. The Susquehanna has some issues, but it is still a bug factory. He went out one afternoon during the grannom and caught a few hogs on top. I fish for smallies during specific mayfly hatches later in the season. My best smallmouth to date was caught on a hexegenia mayfly pattern. I've done well fishing the light cahill, whitefly and hex hatches on the susquehanna and its tribs. I've also hit some mid fall hatches on the river and done well on slate drakes and bwos. My experience is that when the flows are low and the hatches strong, the big fish in the river are looking up. Otherwise, the big smallies are tight on the bottom of the river. I've posted this photo before, but thought I would share again. I caught this on a Hexagenia dry fly.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

Name:	smallie.jpg 
Views:	29 
Size:	45.5 KB 
ID:	59746  

  8. #7
    Dedicated TF Poster - Not a Tidal Fish Subscriber
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Posts
    162

    Default

    That's a beautiful fish. I usually just use woolly buggers or surface poppers, but I'd like to catch some big boys at this point.... What size fly are you typically using for smallies?

  9. #8
    Dedicated TF Poster - Not a Tidal Fish Subscriber
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Posts
    738

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by metalkingdom View Post
    That's a beautiful fish. I usually just use woolly buggers or surface poppers, but I'd like to catch some big boys at this point.... What size fly are you typically using for smallies?
    More often than not, I'm using #4 clouser minnows in the river. During hatches, I'm matching the size of the mayflies. For light cahills and whiteflies, I'm probably using size 12 patterns. I believe I caught this bass on a #8 or #10 hex pattern. This is the real thing...
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

Name:	mayfly.jpg 
Views:	18 
Size:	45.0 KB 
ID:	59851  

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  

Link to Us   Subscription Information   Advertise   Terms of Service   Privacy Policy   Resources   Contact Us   About Us

©2012 TidalFish.com. All Rights Reserved.