Fly Fishing VernacularPublished by Dave Kile [davekile] on 04/14/2009 (3701 reads)
Many of my first years fly fishing were spent following a few good friends around many of the notable streams in western and central Pennsylvania. Ron, Greg and a few others would take me along and were kind enough to teach me quite a bit along the way. Incursions to Spring Creek, First Fork, Yellow Creek and Oil Creek proved to be very productive. I soon became very fascinated with the sport and realized some of these guys actually knew what they were doing.
As my interest increased I would listen to them explain the importance and characteristics of hatches. Blue Winged Olives (BWO), Red Quills, Sulphurs and Green Drake were much the fan fare to a neophyte like myself. With some experience and a little book work over the winter my fly fishing prowess began to grow.
After a few years I really felt I had mastered this fly fishing thing and truly knew quite a bit about many aspects of fly fishing including hatches. That was so I thought.
One May evening I started to see a hatch take to the air on Penns Creek. With my now vast experience I confidently announced to all that a Sulphur hatch was beginning to take shape. A silence fell over the stream. That in itself was very unusual because peace was usually left back at the side of the road with quiet when I fished with this gang.
Ron then shouted over that this was not an Ephemerella dorothea hatch and wasn’t sure what was coming off the stream just yet. Now it was my turn to pause. Who da whaddity? Ron was a teacher, but it wasn’t science. Ron normally spoke in barley and hops not foreign tongues. Could it be I was I not paying attention to our secret assault plans for the evening when I was filling the cooler with ice?
Greg, the real science teacher, could see I looked a little confused and chided in that there are thousands of different types of mayflies, caddis and stoneflies in the streams and each species had there own individual Latin name.
So now my broad knowledge of twenty insect names turned out to be just a short list of common names. I knew then I would be reading some new books that upcoming winter.
Ron added that fly fisherman were lazy too. That I already knew as I glanced over at our friend Gary sitting on the side of the stream looking at the trout jumping in front of him. Some flies carried the same common name, but were not always related. The BWO’s I saw in March were not the same BWO’s that returned in May. This was some bad logic or just mean.
Ron reminded me not to think to hard about these overwhelming issues and more importantly had I put ice in the cooler before we left the camp? I confirmed the ice situation was well at hand and went back to the riffles in front of me. I noticed Gary still had not moved.
When the early spring blooms brighten things up I like to dust off a couple of my old favorite fly fishing entomology books. As I then review my Latin taxonomy of classes, orders and families I get encouraged that warmer weather will soon be here and the prepare for the spring assault on the Pennsylvania streams. Carpe Diem!
Matching the Hatch: A Practical Guide to Imitation of Insects Found on Eastern and Western Trout Waters (Stoeger Sportsman's Library)
by Ernest George Schwiebert
An Angler's Guide to Aquatic Insects and Their Imitations for All North America
by Rick Hafele and Scott Roederer
The Orvis Streamside Guide to Trout Foods and Their Imitations
by Tom Rosenbauer
Pa Hatch Chart
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