Spring Flies

I’ve been heading out each weekend to fish. It has become both a want and a need, as we ride out the first wave of Covid-19.

I cannot explain how nice it felt to be outside, feel a breeze on my face, and to engage in an activity that reminded me of how life used to be. In other words, those moments were snapshots in normalcy.

I was happy to find the rivers above the dreaded 38 °F mark, at which point fish really slow down and hunker down. On some days, the waters even hit the upper-40s, which means that the fishing will only get better from here.

Usually, I’m bringing two fly rods with me: my streamer rod and my four-weight, the latter of which I use for bobber fishing, wets and dries.

I started off hoping to land a big fish with an articulated beast of a streamer and after some passes at the choicest runs, I got practical and switched to the four-weight. Yesterday, I magically caught a Hendrickson hatch and saw a few rises. I even landed a fat brown on a small Parachute Adams, the first dry-fly fish of the season for me.

Maybe it was coincidence, but the best spring flies have been soft hackles from sizes 18 to 22. When the water was cold-ish, they worked on a dead-drift. When the water warmed, they were great on an upswing as wets (our how-to-fish wet flies post here). Sometimes, I tightlined. But, honestly, that was only 10% of the time, as I’m pretty bored of the technique.

I love all kinds of fly fishing, but wet flies currently are my favorite way to fish. That tug really is the drug!

I’ve seen some good fish the past few weeks.





The Mighty Midge and March Brown Flymph have been among the most effective. Black has been a particularly good color, too. Some Insta posts of the flies below (many thanks to our 1,100+ followers!).

Fish those spring flies for time flies! Hope to see you on the water (from six-feet away)!




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10 thoughts on “Spring Flies

  1. I have seen Blue Quills and Olives mixed into the Hendricksons. I imagine that’s why your smaller wets are working. Mine are.

    1. That makes so much sense, Steve! I saw a bunch of bugs hatching: midges, caddis, Hendricksons, and BWOs. Don’t know what a real Blue Quill looks like, and so, I’ll look it up.

      Honestly, it was such a sign of hope for me during this lockdown to see the bugs come alive and a few fish rising….

  2. They were on wets early in the hatch today. Caught my first double while fishing a tandem of two different hendrickson wets! Lots of plucks also. Hatch was strong at 3pm on the Farmy and I had my best day ever with larger Browns of 19+, and two 18’s.

  3. Few like to fish as much as I/we do. During state lockdowns, CT & MA in particular, shouldn’t we be leading blog readers to follow state guidelines?
    Over the past few weeks the number of cars coming to CT seems to be at an all time high, a clear violation of MA , NY and RI pandemic guidelines. Perhaps you should highlight streams to fish for MA, NY and RI residents so that they might keep their germs home until the lockdown is lifted. It’s also recommended that anyone leaving the state quarantine for fourteen days to protect family and anyone else they otherwise would be in contact with.
    We are all anxious to get this behind us and help from those sending a positive healthy message will ensure we soon will be fishing too close to one another once again, on all rivers, in and out of state.

    1. Great points. Agreed.

      12:30 pm edit:
      I’ve reached out to CT Deep and MassWildlife to get clarity. Their respective Covid-19 web pages do not prohibit out-of-state anglers, but I’ve asked for their recommendations and updates. At the Swift and Deerfield in MA, there are legions of non-Mass. cars, and so, it’s a relevant topic on both sides of the border.

      12:45 pm edit:
      Here’s a reply from CT DEEP via Facebook:

      “Technically, yes. We are still selling out of state licenses, and they can legally do so. However, the Governor strongly encourages people traveling from out of state to self-quarantine for 14 days.”

      2:30 pm edit:
      Here’s a note back from CT DEEP’s Supervising Fisheries Biologist Mike Beauchene:

      “Thanks for reaching out. I am including a link to our current guidance fisheries based guidance (here) and more agency based guidance (here).

      “Our state borders are not closed. We have been responding to similar questions by stating people are still free to travel to CT to fish, however, social distancing and Covid-19 mitigation measures should be followed. We are not permitting any tournaments for the foreseeable future.

      “There are a variety of local restrictions (some towns have closed their parks to public access) and people must also be mindful of those.

      “If anyone has specific questions about fishing in CT, feel free to send them my way. I encourage folks to follow our Facebook page, Instagram, and Twitter for up to date info.”

      And, here’s a reply from MassWildlife:

      “The Governor’s guidelines under the State of Emergency and Advisories direct that people coming into Massachusetts (except for essential workers) self-quarantine for 14 days. Here is the relevant link.”

      1. I’ve tried to avoid some of the more heavily pressured areas for the time being. At least until this situation dies down a bit. Lately, I’ve been doing reasonably well exploring some local spots that I’d otherwise never get around to fishing. My last couple outings, for example were at two brook trout streams that I hadn’t fished in years.

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