March Brown Mayflies
March Brown Mayflies - fly patterns for matching western hatches.
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|March Brown Mayfly Hatches
Rhithrogena morrisoni (that's the scientific name)
Western March Browns are your first "easy-to-see" hatch of the new season. Look for March Brown hatches on local rivers when water temperatures start reaching 42 degrees consistently. This can occur in most lower elevation water
sheds in mid-February and continues through March and early April. Hatching March Browns can create some
very exciting surface film and dry fly fishing. Hatches of duns
usually start in the early after noon and spinner falls are in the
Pounding the bottom with weighted
Brown Nymph can provide constant action from mid-morning into
the early stages of the hatch. The March Brown Nymph in sizes
#12 & #14 will be your bread and butter fly. However nymphal
color tends to adapt to the color of the stream bed. Most March
Brown nymphs are dark, some are nearly black. Your catch may
increase if you thin out the legs with your leader clipper and color
them with a black felt marker. Fishing two
flies at once will increase your odds of hooking up. Usually two
different colors or sizes are used. The
Guide's Choice Hares Ear is a valuable
pattern to have with you, and will some times out
fish the more realistic patterns. Most March Brown Nymphs
are fairly skinny #14's, but slightly larger flies can also work.
March Brown nymphs live in riffles and
fast, rocky runs. As the
nymphs near maturity, they migrate to slower water. During the
migration, they can loose their grip and drift in the current.
For this reason trout will congregate in places where fast riffles
start to slow down and on the seams between the fast and slow
water. Fish your nymphs where the current changes speed. Approach
the water carefully. Start by fishing the slower water first
with flies that are lightly weighted. Your flies will be most
effective if they are perfectly dead drift. Cast them slightly
upstream and mend a little slack into you presentation. As you
work your way out into the faster current, add lead shot to keep your
flies near the bottom.
As the Duns begin to hatch, trout will rise to the surface to catch them. This often produces the most visually exciting part of the day. Big trout rising to March Browns during the peak of the hatch can be very splashy. Often the rise starts much quieter as trout pick off the emergers just below the surface. And some duns will emerge from the shuck slightly below the surface. At this time a March Brown Soft Hackle or Flymph fished just below the surface can be your best fly. The Flymph is often even more effective if you add a March Brown Cripple or dry fly to a dropper 1' to 3' from your soft hackle and fish both flies dead drift.
March Browns and their possible related species seem to come in a variety of shades and colors. That is why there is some disagreement between anglers fishing different watershed as to what the actual colors of March Brown Duns are. The ones that hatch most often on the Sandy River are brown with mottled wings. We have seen that same fly on the Deschutes and Clackamas Rivers. On the Deschutes we have also seen spring time mottled wing mayflies the were grey wing olive. The trout like both kinds. Our friends that fish the McKenzie report March browns that are shades of gray. To be on the safe side you should carry several brown patterns, a blue wing olive parachute and a Parachute Adams in dark tones. If they are all #14 you're probably in the game.
Duns and emergers produce the best fishing, but some trout will sip spinners in the quietest of water. A March Brown "spinner fall" can extend your fishing day. Spinner falls usually occur over faster water areas. However they create the most reliable feeding activity if they raft up in back eddies down stream. Sometimes the afternoon back eddy rise that you think is midge emergence is actually created by collecting dead March Brown spinners.
Best tackle to fish a March Browns is a 9' #4 or #5 weight rod with
an action that works easiest at the 20' to 50' cast range. I
prefer a weight forward line that is a little on the heavy side, is a
moderate color and is very clean so that it easily shoots smoothly at
all ranges. The standard 9'-5X trout leader is good starting
point. You might go to 4X if you get brutalized by big fish.
Remember the best fly is the one that is perfectly placed in a risers
March Brown Nymph
Pounding the bottom with weighted March Brown Nymph flies can provide constant action from mid-morning into the early stages of the hatch. The March Brown Nymph in sizes #12 & #14 will be your bread and butter fly for March Browns. As stated above, you can chop & thin, color and texture your fly to most match the naturals. You can capture naturals with a kick-screen.
|12200-10||March Brown Nymph||10||3 for $5.85|
|12200-12||March Brown Nymph||12||3 for $5.85|
|12200-14||March Brown Nymph||14||3 for $5.85|
Guide's Choice Hares Ear
|12427||Guide's Choice Hares Ear Nymph||14||3 for $5.85|
|12428||Guide's Choice Hares Ear Nymph||16||3 for $5.85|
|11407||Hendrickson Emerger||14||3 for $5.85|
March Brown Soft
A March Brown Soft Hackle on a dropper 3' above your bottom pounding nymphs can pay extra dividends. A March Brown Soft Hackle fished just below the surface can be good bet during all stages of the hatch.
|17437||March Brown Soft Hackle Spider||14||3 for $5.85|
This is the March Brown May Fly as it hangs in the surface film and is wriggling from the shuck. A Bob Quigley pattern.
|Q301-14||Paranymph, Brown||14||3 for $5.85|
|Q301-16||Paranymph, Brown||16||3 for $5.85|
March Brown Cripple
|Q1007-14||March Brown Cripple||14||3 for $5.85|
March Brown Spun Dun
|11143||March Brown Spun Dun||14||3 for $5.85|
|11144||March Brown Spun Dun||16||3 for $5.85|
March Brown Para Quill
|11562||March Brown Para Quill||12||3 for $5.85|
|11563||March Brown Para Quill||14||3 for $5.85|
This is a realistic pattern that can be very effective under all conditions but especially under the slick water bright light condition where fish can be very wary. Because this fly is fragile it should be saved for special occasions. A Bob Quigley pattern.
|Q235-14||Loopwing Paradun, March Brown||14||3 for $5.85|
Western March Brown
Tied by A.K Best, this versatile "easy to see" fly is proven under a wide variety of conditions. It may be fished "in the round" or the hackle can be trimmed on the bottom for a lower silhouette.
|11105||Western March Brown||14||3 for $5.85|
This very effective low floating quill body dry fly has a wing post made from lightweight highly visible poly. It is very easy to see, especially on dark overcast days.
|3052-14||March Brown Parachute||14||3 for $5.85|
|3052-16||March Brown Parachute||16||3 for $5.85|
Adams Traditional, White Wing
This is one of the most popular dry flies in the Pacific Northwest. It is used to imitate a wide variety of mayfly and caddis species. It is often the best searching pattern when no surface activity apparent. The wing is made from white calf body hair.
|1034-12||Parachute Adams Traditional, White Wing||12||3 for $5.85|
|1034-14||Parachute Adams Traditional, White Wing||14||3 for $5.85|
A March Brown "spinner fall" can extend your fishing day. Spinner falls usually occur over faster water areas. However they create the most reliable feeding activity if they raft up in back eddies down stream. Sometimes the evening back eddy rise that you think is midge emergence is actually created by collecting dead March Brown spinners.
|3057-14||March Brown Spinner||14||3 for $5.85|
key to success is "understanding". You can never know enough.
Understanding the organisms that trout feed on is one of the keys to catching trout.
The Hatch Guide For Western Streams by Jim Schollmeyer
is great reference material for the trout fisher.
Check out our special deal.
No one beats our quality at any price.
The Fly Fishing Shop, Welches, OR
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