Olives: They’re not just for martinis anymore, at least not on trout streams in October.
The several species of small mayflies collectively known as Blue-Winged Olives may be the most important hatch on New York streams for the remainder of the season (once the creeks finally settle down from the twin deluges of Irene and Lee, of course.)
Other kinds of flies can be found on area streams in the fall, primarily caddis flies and Isonychia mayflies, and since fish do feed on them, it’s worthwhile to have imitations on hand. But olives will probably be the most consistent hatch from now until the snow flies, and possible after.
Many patterns have been crafted over the years to imitate this diminutive bug. My personal favorite is a parachute-style dry fly, tied in sizes 18, 20 or 22, with a dark grayish-olive dubbed body, dark dun tail and hackle and a wing post of gray poly yarn.
The parachute hackle makes sure the fly lands upright and stays afloat, and the wing post is relatively easy to see, although not as easy at age 49 as it was at 29.
Along with a dun pattern like the parachute, it’s wise to have some Rusty Spinners in the same sizes, since you could come upon a mating swarm of olives just about any time, and trout love them.
For that matter, a Rusty Spinner in sizes 18-22 may be the most effective single dry fly you can own during small-fly season. But flies with wings that lie flat on the water are even tougher to see than parachutes with upright wing posts. This fall, I’m planning to have a sighter of some kind on my spinners, possibly a small loop of brightly colored foam tied over the thorax between the wings.
It’s been said that you don’t need to see your dry fly — the fish will show you where it is when they rise. But I almost never get strikes to dries I can’t see. A bit of bright color on the top side of the fly will be invisible to the fish, but visible to me.
U.S. YOUTH WIN GOLD
The U.S. youth fly-fishing team took the gold medal at the FIPS-Mouche World Fly Fishing Championship in Italy Aug. 30-Sept. 4. The men’s team, including New Yorker Loren Williams, finished fifth out of 21 teams, just a few points away from a medal in the best showing in team history.
Youth team captain, Danny Marino of West Cornwall, Conn., took the individual silver. The Italian youth team won the silver medal and Spain took the bronze. It was the first gold medal at the world championships by an American youth or senior team.
The youth team competed against the Czech Republic, France, England, Ireland, Italy, Poland, Slovakia, South Africa, Spain and Wales on the Tevere River in Sansepolcro in the Tuscany region.
Lance Egan of Lehi, Utah, who blogs at FlyFisherman.com, had the best individual finish for the men’s team at sixth place. Valerio Santi Amantini won the gold and fellow Italian Stefano Cominazzini won the silver; Roman Heimlich from the Czech Republic won the bronze.
The men’s team caught 168 fish and finished just six points behind bronze medalist Poland. Italy won the gold and the Czech Republic took the silver; Spain came in fourth, just one point ahead of the Americans.
Other categories of competition at the 31st FIPS-Mouche championships included “coarse” fishing, bass fishing, carp fishing, trout fishing with natural bait, shore fishing with lures and saltwater fishing by boat and from shore. Some 2,600 competitors from 55 countries took part in the opening ceremony in Florence.
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