Pennsylvania Trout Fishing Report: May

A big nose caught sipping a sulpur spinner as it was getting dark.
A big nose caught sipping a sulpur spinner as it was getting dark.

Date: May 31st, 2016

Water Conditions: Over the last couple weeks much needed rain has improved the conditions of our streams by increasing the flow and leaving the water slightly off color. Monitoring stream flow on your local watershed prior to making the trip is always a good idea. See the Stream Flows page on the blog for a list of streams with USGS data.

Recommended Flies: Sulphur Size 14-18, Isonychia Size 10-12, Tan Caddis Size 16, Blue Quill Size 20-22, Rusty Spinner Size 10-20, Flashback Pheasant Tail Size 18-22,  Hotspot Pheasant Tail Size 12-16, Walt’s Worm Size 12-16, Zebra Midge Size 18-22

 

Fishing Report:

As per usual the month of May was filled with heavy hatches and more than our share fair of fish to the net. Green Drakes of 2016 will certainly be the headliner in my mind.

Two weekends ago was literally the perfect storm. We received a large enough amount of rain in a way that caused the streams to rise drastically, but not uncontrollably. Despite the water being high and off color, the Green Drakes came in full force and during the daytime. With so much food on the table, the fish ate with no regard to the high water. It was a dry fly day I will never forget, and one that many anglers go their whole life trying to experience.

A wild brown that fell victim to a size 14 sulphur dun.
A wild brown that fell victim to a size 14 sulphur dun.

There have been too many good days of Sulphur fishing to count. So far I have only witnessed the Ephemerella invaria, which are the size 12-16 Sulphurs in our area. I would have expected to also see the smaller Sulphurs, Ephemerella dorothea, as they should be hatching now. It’s possible they have been around and I have just missed them, but it strikes me as something to take note of.

A sulphur spinner with the egg sack still in tact.
A sulphur spinner with the egg sack still in tact.

I have started to see Paraleptophlebia and terrestrials, which is a sure signal that summer fishing is not far away. Due to the hatch cycle being a bit early so far this year, it’s possible we could see Drunella cornuta, the large Blue Winged Olives, sometime in the near future.

Despite May ending and the major hatches winding down, there are still important hatches on the way and more fishing to be had. On most streams the crowds will probably start dwindling now that May is through. The weather has been warmer but beautiful as of late, and I couldn’t think of a better time to spend a day on the water. Although, I couldn’t think of a better way to spend any time than on the water.

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