The Swarm Before the Storm (as in stormy weather… at least showery weather)

Basically, it’s spinner-time for the Green Drakes!

Wednesday and Thursday evenings were interesting fishing in Pine Creek. Green Drakes have been showing up over the course of the past 5 to 7 days with intensities starting slowly and coming to a peak just before late this week. I didn’t see a massive Green Drake hatch as I believe they may do so sporadically over the course of the day (just my opinion – including early morning and evening). Spinner fishing (as in the spinner fall of the mayfly cycle) was definitely significant from mid-week onward on Pine this week. Friday brought rain and much cooler temperatures. The rain is actually welcome as the water level is low again – the air temperatures have dropped and should cool Pine also.

Effective fishing (before the rain arrived Friday) was possible early in the morning and then later in the evenings. Thursday evening (following a perfect day weather-wise – a ‘bluebird’ sort of day in Slate Run) was more active than I had experienced on Wednesday evening.

First Brown Thursday Evening before Memorial Day – Pine Creek

I even caught a couple of Rock Bass! There were definitely Green Drake Spinners touching down sporadically even in the early evening (7pm-ish). Grey Fox Spinners were part of the mix Thursday evening – I even saw a couple of duns on the water’s surface at times. The thing was, not all the fish were tuned in to taking just the Coffin Flies.

I would catch a couple on a Extended Body Coffin Fly that I tie and then I’d run into a fish that didn’t want anything to do with it! Eventually I decided to give the fish what THEY wanted and NOT what I THOUGHT they should be taking! This meant changing it up several times. I caught fish on Coffin Flies, a March Brown Extended Body, a March Brown (the MSS) Spinner, and even a Grey Fox emerger which I had tied several days ago. What a fish would take depended on whatever fancied the particular fish you ran into. The menu for the evening was large and varied – you had to figure out just what tastes this or that particular fish wanted! But when you figured it out…

As dusk approached I decided to go with the Coffin fly for the rest of the time I spent on the water till I could not see the fly anymore.

I stayed out on Pine till I couldn’t see the fly very well anymore – and then stayed a little longer and managed to catch that last fish before I called it quits. With this Green Drake Spinner fall I’m learning (I’ve heard of this in the past – just taking it more to heart now) – that the action happens just before dark. It certainly seemed that way Wednesday and Thursday evenings. Not all trout that were caught got their pictures taken and are thus not shown here. I believe this may have been the best evening I’ve had on Pine this year – so far (I hope).

Of course all this has changed (as I’m writing this on Friday evening) since the much needed rain has come and the air temperatures have dropped significantly today! I did see someone catching a fish down on the stretch around 4pm this afternoon. Hopefully this cooler weather and rain will cool the streams, add a little water, but not drastically throw the fishing off it’s course that it had been steadily tracking toward this past week.

Some flies I’ve seen on the place over the past day or so.

I did witness a massive spinner swarm that drifted or flew upstream Friday evening! It was a sight to see if you’ve never seen this phenomena. I’ve see caddis (or a Grannom) swarm as they flew upstream on Pine years ago. They were returning to Pine to lay their eggs and when I saw a fellow angler left the stream, his legs were covered in eggs or caddis laying their eggs. It freaked him out! I tried to comfort him by telling him that they wouldn’t bite but he was still a little excited when we departed. At the very least he had a cleanup ahead of him dealing with his chest waders.

The picture does NOT do this justice! The numbers of spinners was so impressive Thursday evening!

I managed to take a little video of the mass of flies for my personal record. There was such a mixture of flies around Friday evening that I can hardly believe I was wondering where they were a week ago.

Like I stated just above, I hope this doesn’t totally shut the trout down but the rain is really needed. Time shall tell.

Till we see each other again… reporting from Slate Run… UB

2 thoughts on “The Swarm Before the Storm (as in stormy weather… at least showery weather)

  1. Thanks for this Pine report, UB. Indeed, I noticed that the mix of flies intensified last evening on the Genesee, as well. Caddis were heavy, as were the spinners, including Coffin Flies. An Adams dry produced for me, including a nice 18-inch brown. Hopefully this rain will help extend the surge of possibilities.


    • Adams and an 18″ Brown… nice RTR! Looks like about 0.9″ Pine Creek at Cedar Run so far as of 9:15pm I think. Really good for the runs and Pine here. Did you get about the same there? Kind of screws up holiday-ers plans for Memorial Day but does good things for the fishing eventually! It’ll be interesting to see what it does to the hatch activity. I’m betting the Green Drakes will be over very soon if it wasn’t done last night. Next up here I think are the Iso’s :). I’ve had a good tie for those I came up with several years ago trying to come up with an imitation for a Brown Drake back in Michigan. The result was a better than expected Iso! Hahaa! Looking forward to the Iso’s. Take care RTR and thanks for checking in! UB


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