Friday, June 10, 2011

HATCH MATCHING CONUNDRUM!!!!!!!!...........THE INFAMOUS MUSKEGON MASKING HATCH

Hatch matching on the Muskegon, P.M.,Manistee-West Branch of the Delaware..you name a selective trout river!, can be very tricky business.
( gosh are these browns getting really fat and healthy- I did a stomach pump on a few 12 inchers and found the following: caddis-cinn., greens, micro blacks,/ cahills, sulphers, bwo's,craneflies, graydrakes, olive stones, sucker eggs, a chinook par/ anewly hatched steelhead fry- it was a damn buffet!)
I've had the extreme pleasure of guiding Tip from the Grand Cayman Islands and Wally , his friend from Charlevoix all week. We streamer stripped in the mornings and chased the hatch and bugs on the second evening shift. Being on the water from dawn till dusk- with an afternoon siesta break gave us a whole gamete of possibilities. We've also expiereinced every weather extreme- stifling upper 90's heat, thunder, and now cold wet rainy weather.
(note: gray drake dry spinner above the adipose fin- dropper in the mouth- 4 nice size browns fell for Tip's dropper, the bows took the gray drake!!!)
 We have witnessed blizzard gray drakes, significant sulphers, cahills, and gazillions of caddis at dark.
( yet to come any day- the ISO!)
 Last night's conditions were ideal- overcast, cool and not tons of bugs- just enough to really get the fish moving. The gray drakes started early, so did all of the above mentioned mayflies and caddis.
video
 The late great Carl Richards always talked of the "masking hatch"- just when you thought you knew what the trout were keying in on the surface- guess what!- they were not!!!
We had some very large browns and bows making some significant bulging, boil rises and some drakes were copulating and falling.BUT-----, they were not taking them. Tip finally hit a nice 19-20 inch  brown but it took the dropper under the gray drake spinner.
video
 Can anyone guess what the masking food form choice this extremely wary brown was keying in on?
( Hmmm........!!!)
Water conditions perfect- 2,210 cfs- water cool 59F-cool damp weather and cool days for the rest of the week...............IDEAL FOR THE HATCH MATCHING FANATICS! GOD I LOVE THIS TIME OF YEAR!!!!
( gray drakes on the tree- next couplke of nights should see good bugs since the past two were cold )
( Jerff from Abel spent the night with us- I took a shot of his new vented brownie)