Aspen Ridge Ranch  |  Fly fishing  | Southern Oregon  |  Upper Williamson River

Sunday, Jul 25, 2021  

Our Story

Page 7

As the weeks pass the sky is filled with this incredible hatch. Everyone who has witnessed it proclaims it to be the most amazing swarm of insects they've ever seen.

After emerging the drakes land on the trees and surrounding structures where they rest for a while, then mate. My cabin turns black with drakes and I have to keep a broom by the door to sweep the bugs off it every time I go in or out.

After mating the female drops to the water, usually several times, releasing clusters of eggs. When all her eggs have been laid she falls spent into the river.

It is this egg-laying behavior that makes dry fly fishing during the drake hatch such a thrilling experience. At times the hatch can be so thick that you must time your cast according to the frequency of an individual fish's feeding pattern. Usually they rise about every 15 to 20 seconds.

The fish are hungry and for thousands of years they have known that the drake hatch will fill their bellies. Instinct lets them know the time is upon them and soon the water boils as the fish begin to feed.

As hundreds of drakes dot the water's surface, dozens of redbands go after them. You can literally stand and look at the water in all directions and see the fish splashing and rolling near the surface.

I have to admit there are times I'd just as soon stand at the edge of the river and watch the water works; as fish it. It is a thrill to see the green back of a two foot long trout reach above the surface.

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