Every fly fisherman knows the importance to taking advantage of those odd warm days during winter. While the hatches of April and May seem like the makings of a work-daydream there is still lots of life in that cold water. Winter’s fishing is a great time to get out and fish some bigger flies and explore some streams where things like crowds and banks covered in rose bushes can make access hard during the summer.
Last Saturday I seized the day (read: “gave the wife a day in the house without me dropping stuff everywhere”) and headed out to the Patapsco. I had fished shortly after the Maryland did their fall stocking and, while I was having a blast hooking big rainbows, I regretted leaving without collecting some bugs and seeing what is really going on under the surface.
This time I got in there with my kick net and was amazed with what I found. I only sampled the area below the first riffles following the Daniels Dam. In about 3 square feet I found about 3 dozen insects of note. The primary find was a large scud with big dark caddis following in at a close second. I’ve attached some photos below.
These caddis had lighter colored undersides. They weighed in at a meaty #12 or so and would be EASY to represent with any basic caddis pattern.
These scuds ranged in size from something close to a 16 up to a large 12 or so.
Potapsco stonefly - Look at that stripe!
It’s something like and “early black stone” but the stripe is the brighest I’ve ever seen. Very interesting!
These big flat mayflies were great. There’s were lots of them to keep the smallies happy during the summer.
The weather man is calling for a bit of snow but a warm up on Thursday. Cross you fingers!