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What, pray tell, is a "Fish Fly"

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Has anyone ever heard of an insect referred to as a "Fish Fly"?

I'm planning a trip out to Penn's Creek for the first time in Mid-May and I noticed that on the hatch chart at Penns Creek Angler they refer to a Fish Fly. Apparently this thing is massive - sz 4-8. But I can't seem to find any info about it and this is the only hatch chart I have seen that lists it.

I also realize that we might not even see it while we're out there since the hatches are about a month ahead of schedule but I am really curious what this thing looks like and what patterns are used to imitate it.

Posted on: 2012/4/10 11:41


Re: What, pray tell, is a "Fish Fly"

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I believe that line on his chart is line 2 of the Green Drakes. Sizes 4 to 8 when fishing in late May.

Posted on: 2012/4/10 12:00


Re: What, pray tell, is a "Fish Fly"

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no, pretty sure it's a separate category.

Helgrammites are the nymphal version of a fishfly. Very similar to dobsonflies, not sure if it's just 2 names for same bug or if they describe different species. Looks kind of like a huge stonefly with the flat wings.

google dobsonfly and you'll get pictures of the bugs, or very similar bugs. If you see them, be a bit careful, they can bite pretty hard!

Posted on: 2012/4/10 12:14


Re: What, pray tell, is a "Fish Fly"

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Pat would know better than I but I do find it curious that next to every fly he show sizes except the Green Drake which would also be 4 to 8. But like I said, trust Pat more than me.

Posted on: 2012/4/10 12:20


Re: What, pray tell, is a "Fish Fly"

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Well, what I know is that fishfly IS a commonly used name for either dobsonflies or something closely resembling dobsonflies. This family of bugs IS aquatic in it's nymphal stages. And Penns has plenty of them.

I do believe there are regions in the midwest where Hex's are referred to as fishfly's. Green Drakes closely resemble hex's, and perhaps the owner is from the midwest? I dunno. It could be what he's referring to. Regional dialects always confound common names with bugs. One guy's Sulphur is another guy's Pink Lady.

So I'm not absolutely certain on what he's referring to. All I can say is that fishfly most commonly means dobsonfly. And they are HUGE.

Posted on: 2012/4/10 12:27


Re: What, pray tell, is a "Fish Fly"

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Just tried looking back a page at the thread title'd "fishfly", lol.

Hit me!

Posted on: 2012/4/10 12:30


Re: What, pray tell, is a "Fish Fly"

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Like I said trust Pat. I never heard of them either. I guess a big caddis would work to imitate them.

Posted on: 2012/4/10 12:34


Re: What, pray tell, is a "Fish Fly"

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Thanks guys! I appreciate the responses. I'll bring something to imitate them with me just in case the hatch isnt over yet.

I've seen a hellgrammite once on the Neversink in NY and it was a pretty scary looking bug. Can they bite through waders? lol

With the hatches being so far ahead of schedule already I suspect we might run into the Green Drakes when we're there (May 11-13th) but I wouldn't mind if we don't since I understand it gets pretty crowded there during the GD hatch.

Posted on: 2012/4/10 12:38


Re: What, pray tell, is a "Fish Fly"

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Quote:

DrGonzo wrote:
With the hatches being so far ahead of schedule already I suspect we might run into the Green Drakes when we're there (May 11-13th) but I wouldn't mind if we don't since I understand it gets pretty crowded there during the GD hatch.


I have never been there during the GD's so I cannot give you first hand info but I have a few local friends that tell me its a zoo. Cars everywhere.

Posted on: 2012/4/10 12:43


Re: What, pray tell, is a "Fish Fly"

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We'll be camping at Poe Paddy so at the very least we should be able to get out there early enough to claim some water but part of the reason for going out there is to be in the woods, away from the circus. Here's hoping!

Posted on: 2012/4/10 12:50


Re: What, pray tell, is a "Fish Fly"

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I wouldn't worry about trying to imitate the fishfly/dobsonfly. You're not going to see a steady blanket hatch of them or anything like that. For dries, treat em like you treat huge stoneflies. Meaning a large stimulator or something skated around might take a fish here and there, but mainly, you are imitating nymphs, not adults.

It's possible, but doubtful, that you'll run into drakes that early, at least any major numbers of them. But I'd be ready for em and bet you see a pioneer or two. Most years, that's prime March Brown time frame, with sulphurs gaining steam. This year, sulphurs should probably be your main focus.

Posted on: 2012/4/10 12:51


Re: What, pray tell, is a "Fish Fly"

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+1 on what Pat is saying.

It's supposed to cool down up there over the next couple of weeks and that should slow things down a bit but things will still be early. But that said, they do need rain or you could be fishing in puddles. I think they have showers forecast for today, tomorrow and Thursday.

To quote you, "Here's hoping!"

Posted on: 2012/4/10 12:54


Re: What, pray tell, is a "Fish Fly"

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P.S. Poe Paddy still looks like a circus in mid May, with or without the drakes. But it's a little deceptive. Those two, very close little parking areas there both provide access to miles and miles of water. Be willing to walk, and don't let 20 or so vehicles sour you too much, think about how much water those people are spread out on.

Also, I'm not sure how new you are to this kind of fishing. But be prepared to keep late hours. You can nymph mornings. But if you're after hatches, sulphur duns start at 1 p.m. at the earliest, most often it's more like dinnertime or after. Spinners at dusk and/or beyond, you fish till well after dark, so carry a flashlight. When camped there, considering time to walk back, I often don't get back to the campsite till 11 or so.

Then you have the choice. Turn in, and nymph or hit a brookie stream in the morning? Or make a fire, make a night of it, have some fun and sleep the heck in.

Posted on: 2012/4/10 13:04


Re: What, pray tell, is a "Fish Fly"

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I try to do one camping/fishing trip a year so I am definitely used to the schedule. This will be my first trip to Penns.

wake up, eat, nymph fish til the hatches start, fish til I can't stand up. Break for food, fish the remainder of the hatch and spinner fall, then break for dinner. Tie on big ugly streamers and fish til I really can't stand up. Build a fire and bullshit for a couple hours then sleep. Wash, rinse repeat til its time to go home.

As you can see, the priority is to fish :)

Posted on: 2012/4/10 16:17


Re: What, pray tell, is a "Fish Fly"

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I have plenty of Poe Paddy camping trips under my belt. They all end up something like this:

Sleep till the tent gets too dang hot. You intended to get up early, but it didn't happen, you were freakin up past midnight last night! Finally get up, go fish for brookies, tire yourself out, but it was fun. Get back to camp early afternoon, check stream to make sure you aren't missing anything, you're not, there's not a thing happening. Build fire, B.S., relax, keep an eye on stream to make sure crap ain't happening, it ain't. Eat early dinner, hit main stream at dinnertime and find a good spot where you know they'll be rising this evening. Tell yourself you're gonna wait for the hatches. After about 5 minutes, get bored waiting, nymph, but you think your smart by carefully avoiding the area you had targeted for dry flies, instead nymphing 50-100 yards away. Nymph with marginal at best success. Hatches start. Crap, I'm set up for nymphing, the stream is suddenly crowded, there's a guy up where I planned to fish the rise. I spooked the spot in front of me with that dang nymphing rig.

Re-rig for dries, walk with frantic pace cause "you're missing it" and need to find another good spot. Finally get going on hatch after it's about half done. Catch several good fish, have a blast, why does nightfall have to happen just when things were getting fun? Keep fishing anyway, you saw where they were all rising. Can't see my fly, can't see my line anymore, but dang it, there's "plop" noises coming from over that way somewhere. Catch one last fish, you don't know how, you didn't see a rise in vicinity of fly, but oh well, when you went to backcast there was resistance. Fish maybe 15 more minutes like this.

Notice you've been fishing without a fly. For how long? Alright, time to quit. Crap, I'm an hours walk away from the campsight and I have this crappy little flashlight that's about ready to kick out on me.

Get back to camp, get fishing stuff put away, change clothes, get fire started. Look at clock. Midnight. Why did you change and start that fire? Go to sleep. Rinse. Repeat.

Posted on: 2012/4/10 16:46



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