Knowing what flies to use when is one of the keys to successful fly fishing. Thankfully, nature is a little predictable in this area. Through our extensive network of contacts and friends, we’ve collected an encyclopedic knowledge of fly hatching information. The pages that follow provide detailed fly hatch charts for each region of the country.
Fly hatch charts can help you pick out the appropriate flies for an upcoming fly fishing trip. However, they should never be taken as a guarantee of success but rather as a general guide to expected aquatic insect activity.
How to Read Our Fly Hatch Charts
On any given lake or river there may be hundreds of different species of aquatic insects that exist in some quantity. Some species may occur only in certain isolated areas. We are listing what we believe are the most prevalent and important hatches that anglers should be concerned with. Although the density of any hatch can vary drastically, the hatches noted are considered the highest density.
Don’t forget that the charts show the predicted hatch dates. Normally, the nymph or larvae, and pupa stages of the insects are available for trout to eat well in advance to those dates. In fact, in many cases, depending on the particular species, the insects are much more important to the angler prior to the hatch than they are after the hatch occurs.
Prior to fishing any given location, you should make a list of the insects on the fly hatch charts along with any flies that imitate them. Make some allowances for the indicated time period, just in case. In other words, if a certain insect is shown to start hatching in early March and you are fishing in late February, list it anyway.
Remember that seasonal weather conditions can change the dates that hatches actually occur from the predicted time periods the charts indicate. An unusually cold year may delay a hatch a week or two. However, the sequence in which the different specie hatch will generally occur in the same order.