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> > Blue Quill Confusion



LastchanceAugust 3rd, 2010, 8:19 am
Portage, PA

Posts: 437
Please enlighten me. I've been told by some that there's no sense trying to fish Blue Quills because they don't fall on the water. I've talked to other guys that say they fish the Blue Quill hatch. I've been fishing a pretty long time and I have to say where I've fished they've never been a factor. But, maybe I'm not seeing what I should be seeing. I've seen plenty of pods of them hovering above the water almost everywhere I've fished.
Thanks,
Bruce
MartinlfAugust 3rd, 2010, 1:50 pm
Moderator
Palmyra PA

Posts: 3164
Bruce, this is what I've heard and seen. Early Blue Quills (P.adoptiva), in April, produce a fishable hatch and spinner fall. Fishing Creek near Lamar and the Delaware are two places I've seen fish rise to this hatch. The later Blue Quills, P.mollis I think, are one of the summer hatches that we see in PA. I've found a few fish rising to the duns in the morning, but they have been sporadic when I've seen them. I'd love to hear a story of someone fishing a solid summer BQ hatch--or spinner fall. Their spinners are sometimes mistaken for Tricos, but the BQ "Jenny Spinners" fly in more of a straight up and down pattern, while Tricos have more horizontal movement as they fly, though they too go up and down some. The mollis spinners, I've been told, return to land to die, and don't fall on the water in great numbers. My experiences waiting for them to fall suggest this is true. I've never seen many fish rising to summer BQ spinners, though I believe a few do make it to the water and produce a rise or two, but nothing like a good Trico fall.
"He spread them a yard and a half. 'And every one that got away is this big.'"

--Fred Chappell
GutcutterAugust 3rd, 2010, 1:56 pm
Pennsylvania

Posts: 470
bruce
i guess it depends on what you are calling a bluequill.
if you are referring to those size 20 dark dun (blue?) winged insects with a pinkish/reddish abdomen (paralepts?) or the size 16 dark dun winged reddish abdomen insects (needhami?) then yes - i fish during their hatch and spinner fall and yes i catch actively rising fish on imitations of them. are the fish eating those bugs? idunno. i suspect that they are. and they eat my flies. would they take a size 18 adams? i dunno. but i suspect that they would (probably).
a trout has a brain the size of a pea. i figure that if these insects are on the water at any stage then they are prey and will be eaten by the predator.
can you tell that it isn't hockey season (and it is patient clinic tuesday and not operating room monday, wednesday, thursday morning or friday) as i'm becoming "spence like" with my comments...
gut
All men who fish may in turn be divided into two parts: those who fish for trout and those who don't. Trout fishermen are a race apart: they are a dedicated crew- indolent, improvident, and quietly mad.

-Robert Traver, Trout Madness
GutcutterAugust 3rd, 2010, 2:10 pm
Pennsylvania

Posts: 470
louis
i have fished terrific summer bluequill hatches and spinner fall right in your back yard. the first time was 2008 when i was out for the periodical locusts. the word hadn't gotten out yet about the cicadas. i had marked my calander in 1991 when i fished them and tied about a gazillion cicada flies over the next 17 years in anticipation of 2008.
we didn't have internet in '91 so unless you were actually there you really didn't know what it would be like.
as i waited for the locusts to start falling out of the sky later in the morning, i started to notice rising fish. when i grabbed a few bugs, they were to my surprise - bluequills. i ran back to my truck and pulled out my spring fly boxes and found the bluequills and had a great morning - only to be forgotten because of the cicada fishing. but for the next three weeks and in the 2 years since, i have consistantly seen and fished and caught fish during "summer" bluequill hatches.
God willing i will be around in 2025 to get a third chance at fishing this amazing hatch.
gut
All men who fish may in turn be divided into two parts: those who fish for trout and those who don't. Trout fishermen are a race apart: they are a dedicated crew- indolent, improvident, and quietly mad.

-Robert Traver, Trout Madness
OldredbarnAugust 3rd, 2010, 7:40 pm
Novi, MI

Posts: 2600
can you tell that it isn't hockey season (and it is patient clinic tuesday and not operating room monday, wednesday, thursday morning or friday) as i'm becoming "spence like" with my comments...
gut


Tony,

You know I am never happy when it isn't hockey season, but I know I'm not alone here when I say I am looking forward, from now on, to "patient clinic tuesdays"...It's great hearing your thoughts about all these crazy things we anglers observe when we are out fishing.

What is a rise like to a cicada?! Wow! If only we could get them around my small-mouth bass creek...I can't imagine.

Spence
"Even when my best efforts fail it's a satisfying challenge, and that, after all, is the essence of fly fishing." -Chauncy Lively

"Envy not the man who lives beside the river, but the man the river flows through." Joseph T Heywood
GutcutterAugust 4th, 2010, 4:43 am
Pennsylvania

Posts: 470
spence
i fished the cicadas at least three days a week for three weeks. early in the cycle trout would swim across a pool to smack a locust as hard as it could. you could see the wake moving across the pool before the strike. i witnessed many eat the bugs and my flies on the way down from the air after they missed on the way up! after about 10 days, they became a bit more controlled examining the fly and natural before a take. as the "hatch" progressed there were plenty of refusals.
my first outing i was basically alone on the water. the reports hadn't been out on the websites yet (and i wasn't telling anyone) and gas was almost $4.00 a gallon. i used a 9 ft leader to 3x with simple size 6 madame x type flies tied with black under white under orange hair and could make 20-30 ft casts to rises and holding water. 30-40 fish a day with no problem. the second week was the best. i went to 12 feet on the leader still with 3x and the same fly. i caught 60-80 fish each day and missed many, many more. one day i went through a dozen flies and never broke one off on a fish or tree. i started "production tying" and began using more realistic patterns with foam bodies and synthetic hair for durability and better flotation without having to constantly re-apply floatant. but the casts had to be longer and i had to use more stealth wading and presenting the fly. the third week, the fish had figured out that not every bug coming down a current seam was an easy source of protein. casting distance became the key ingredient to success. i had to drop down to 4x and use size 8 flies but the casts had to be 60 ft with no drag to get a take. by that time there were a lot more folks after them and they really looked at a fly before taking it. the strikes were more like they were taking an emerger or dun during a mayfly hatch. the catch rate dipped but the challenge and reward were better.
best of all - i never caught a fish under 15" until the 3rd week. i think the smaller fish were unable to get a seat at the dinner table until the larger fish had got up and left, but i was fishing traditional "big fish" pools so i may have a biased experience. i caught many fish up to 21 inches and lost a few larger than that. to quote mike lang (the voice of the pittsburgh penguins) "you'd have to be here to believe it"
All men who fish may in turn be divided into two parts: those who fish for trout and those who don't. Trout fishermen are a race apart: they are a dedicated crew- indolent, improvident, and quietly mad.

-Robert Traver, Trout Madness
LastchanceAugust 4th, 2010, 6:52 am
Portage, PA

Posts: 437
Tony: 60 to 80 fish a day? 30 to 40 fish a day? That's a lot of fish in a day.
Bruce

PS. You must have been smiling like the butcher's dog.
OldredbarnAugust 4th, 2010, 8:04 am
Novi, MI

Posts: 2600
trout would swim across a pool to smack a locust as hard as it could. you could see the wake moving across the pool before the strike.


Damn Tony! I think I'm tearing up here this morning...That's a dry-fly guys, excuse me here, wet-dream!!!

Spence

Maybe I should of said "nocturnal emission", but somehow that didn't work...:)
"Even when my best efforts fail it's a satisfying challenge, and that, after all, is the essence of fly fishing." -Chauncy Lively

"Envy not the man who lives beside the river, but the man the river flows through." Joseph T Heywood
LastchanceAugust 4th, 2010, 10:12 am
Portage, PA

Posts: 437
That cicada fishing was awesome. At the beginning I sometimes had 2 or 3 fish chasing my foam bug at one time. The nicest thing was that we were able to get my friend's wife to catch fish on top of the water and wow was she having a blast. I saw a couple people land 20 inch fish, but I never landed anything over 16.I have to wait another 17 more years for those bugs to come out to play. My buddies and I always laugh, or should I say they laugh and rag me, because I'm kind of the the small fish expert. I always seem the guy to be landing the most 12 inchers.
JOHNWAugust 4th, 2010, 3:14 pm
Chambersburg, PA

Posts: 452
Bruce,
I assume your are referring to the Fair Maiden?
Also the wait isn't as long as you may think. Remember there are different broods across the state and they are on different sequences. For example the CV streams are due in 11years and I believe the very eastern part of the state may be sooner still.

Spence,
River smallmout or lake largemouth go absolutely insane when cicadas abound.
"old habits are hard to kill once you have gray in your beard" -Old Red Barn
LastchanceAugust 4th, 2010, 5:22 pm
Portage, PA

Posts: 437
Hey John: Yes, you're right. It was the Fair Maiden. We had such a good time watching her land the fish. I hope you're well, Bruce
DryflyAugust 4th, 2010, 9:46 pm
rochester mn

Posts: 133
Cicadas sound like "Once in a blue Moon" mouse explosion in NZ. Almost makes me want to go east.
GONZOAugust 4th, 2010, 9:54 pm
Site Editor
"Bear Swamp," PA

Posts: 1681
Bide your time, Shane. Even with the multiple broods, it can be many years between such events, and you wouldn't want to get run over by a hatchery truck while you're waiting for the big bugs. ;)
DryflyAugust 4th, 2010, 10:20 pm
rochester mn

Posts: 133
Big trout on big drys...I might be able to overlook the hatchery trucks.

Although big trout on big dry isn't limited to cicadas. Salmonflies, grasshoppers, hex, drakes, fit the bill and are a little more predictable.
JOHNWAugust 5th, 2010, 3:51 pm
Chambersburg, PA

Posts: 452
Don't forget Mormon Crickets. I love those things in late August on the Lamar.
"old habits are hard to kill once you have gray in your beard" -Old Red Barn
GONZOAugust 5th, 2010, 4:00 pm
Site Editor
"Bear Swamp," PA

Posts: 1681
John and Shane,

I think my favorite story about big trout on big "dries" might be the tale that the late Joe Brooks told about catching a huge brown on a saltwater skipping bug. He was attempting to "match the hatch" as best he could. He had just watched the big trout devour a duckling.
GutcutterAugust 5th, 2010, 6:11 pm
Pennsylvania

Posts: 470
shane
a "blue moon" occurs (i think) about 7 times in 19 years or something like that. somehow i remember that from highschool - back when they actually taught important stuff like that in public schools.
the cicadas in this region return every 17 years which makes the event even more rare than a "blue moon"
when i fished them in 1991 i couldn't believe that 2008 would ever come or believe that the fishing would ever be better.
it did. and it was.
...only 15 more years 'till the next "blue moon"

tony
All men who fish may in turn be divided into two parts: those who fish for trout and those who don't. Trout fishermen are a race apart: they are a dedicated crew- indolent, improvident, and quietly mad.

-Robert Traver, Trout Madness

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