Monday, September 6, 2010

Isonychia and the Irish

I am not a big hatch chaser. I am more of the mind set that I am gonna fish when I have time to fish and if there is a hatch going on then great, if not I will fish what ever I need to to catch fish. That said one hatch that I plan on fishing and chase is the late summer/early fall Isonychia hatch on a few local rivers. I Love this hatch as it comes off at a time when most trout anglers think trout fishing is firmly rooted in the summer douldrums and many are staying home bidding their fishing time for the fall.

Isonychia are a mayfly, and not of the BWO/PMD variety, these things are big. Most of the nymphs in my local waters are #8-10 and the adults are an easy #10 if not an #8 early on in the hatch. The nymphs began to get active right around labor day weekend and the hatch begans usually a few days or weeks later, peaking around mid september, all depending on the weather. A heat spell can shift things a bit as can a cold spell. When the fish are keyed in on the hatch they will eat the nymph all day and hit the adults with oportunistic vengence. Leading up to and during the hatch fish will key on swung adults in the riffles and runs.

The nymphs are swimmers and found usually in rocky freestone streams with some mud bottoms in places. When it is getting time to hatch the nymphs began migrating towards the bank and actually crawl up on rocks and emerge out of their nymphal schuk like a stonefly on the rocks. On bigger rivers though they can be seen emerging like a standard mayfly as well, bottom line is you can't miss them on the water and you can't miss the schucks on the rocks.

The Nymphs are a blackish/purple color with a long slender swimmer nymph profile and the adult is a dark purplish/gray. I have developed a few patterns to fish this hatch. The most successful pattern I have come up with is "Hogan's Isonychia nymph". I fish this pattern under an indicator with plenty of split shot and then if I know the hatch has been coming off I will swing this bug through runs and tail outs prior to the hatch starting. Once the hatch starts I fish a parachute adams or a few emerger patterns that I am still tweaking a bit. The big thing to remember during the hatch is that these bugs emerge on the rocks and are only on the water to lay eggs for the most part.

Chasing hatches is not my bag as most of the time an angler finds more people on the water than bugs (remember I live in California). The Iso hatch is not that way. I have been fishing a few local rivers lately chasing these bugs and have yet to see a sole. Mind you these are waters that would be PACKED in the spring and are just not associated with doldrum fishing.

I love this hatch is it reminds me of the big bugs of spring right before the small bugs of fall and the even smaller bugs of winter become the norm.

In other news...A great victory for the Irish this past saturday against a pretty tough Purdue team. The Kelly era is looking good as the team played with an intensity I hadn't seen under Charlie. Running game looked great and Christ spread the ball around and played a conservative game at QB which is nice to see after Clausen. I think the Defense needs some work but looked much improved against a quality Purdue team. Next week we have Michigan...and I hate Michigan and Rich Rodriquez...but I have to give them credit they looked good against UConn (who beat us up last year). Mich's new QB looked solid and it looks like Rodriquez finally has the athletes at Mich to run his spread offense. Either way it is gonna be a hell of a match up.

Other than that Go IRISH, Giants keep it together and get in the playoffs, fish - start eating eggs soon


  1. Good lookin Iso nymphs. I love this time of year, was out on Sunday at a popular tailwater I wont mention and didn't see anyone all day, the bite was great.

    Giants are literally giving me a nervous breakdown on a daily basis...but then again, i work for KNBR and am conditioned to be pescimistic...if only to keep from jinxing things, ya dig?

    Good blog, keep it up.

    PS. You should tune in to KNBR between 12n-3p...Fitz is a Notre Dame blow hard, not that there's anything wrong with that.

    PPS. Zito is currently making me nervous and I may not be able to watch the rest of the game.

    Peace- RC

  2. Mr Hogan, I am a colorado fly fisherman.

    A Montana guide told be to look up Hogans S&M... I had no idea who Hogan was at the time. I began to tie and fish the S&M and made it my favorite fly to one particular spot. In the month of May The S&M brought over 100 trout to my net. I write the blog biggerrfish. the address is,

    there, I wrote a post in the month of may, giving the S&M the award for the best fly of the month.. that address is,

    I have since turned on some other guys to the pattern and they love it. I want to thank you, The credit is due here. My name is Josh and I fish the S&M every week.

  3. Ok, So I come to this blog from Bigerrfish and expect to find a fellow Fly fisherman and then I get something more.
    GO IRISH!!
    A fellow ND fan. Great! Wow did they look good. A few miss cues but for a freshman QB and new coach it was a great first game. It gave me renued hope in the year. Thankgoodness we are rid of Clausen. And talk about running the ball. I haven't seen movement on the ground like that from ND in a long time. Granted its Purdue but the MI game is today. If there is one team I want to see the Irish run over its MI!
    By the way, great blog. I am now a follower!