Fly fishing is a popular way for anglers to Target fish in rivers, lakes, and streams. When fly fishing, anglers must pay close attention to the hatch, or the emergence of insects from the water. This is an important factor when selecting flies and can help determine success or failure.
To begin checking the hatch, look for signs of insect activity on the water’s surface. If you see any small dots or circles on the water, they may be adult insects emerging from their nymphal stage; if you see small wings fluttering on top of the water, these are adult insects flying around looking for food.
Also look for any ripples on the surface that could indicate insect larvae swimming around below.
Once you have identified what type of insect is hatching, you can select a fly pattern that matches it. If it’s a mayfly, select a mayfly pattern; if it’s a caddis fly, select a caddis pattern; and so on. To make an accurate selection of flies for each hatch period, anglers must pay attention to subtle differences between insect species and choose appropriate patterns accordingly.
In addition to observing what types of insects are hatching, anglers should also monitor their behavior during different times of day and night. For example, some mayflies will only emerge at dusk while others will hatch during the day; caddis flies may only come out at night; and stoneflies may emerge anytime throughout the day or night depending on conditions.
Fly fishing success relies heavily on recognizing and timing hatches correctly. To check hatches while fly fishing, anglers should observe signs of insect activity on top of the water’s surface as well as any ripples underneath indicating larvae swimming around. Once an insect species has been identified, anglers should select an appropriate fly pattern accordingly and also take note of their activity during different times throughout day and night.