Heading into the (early) Memorial Day weekend: Our local/area rivers are still nicely full from the results from recent rains. Most of the great Hendrickson hatch has finished; however, there still may be some residual Hendricksons about with their identifiable Yellow Egg Sac, which may be found on your windshield while driving along the river.
A terrific Shad Fly hatch followed the Hendricksons – the Shad Fly is actually a caddis fly, with their fluttery moth-like appearance all during the day and into evening. The Shad Flies are very prolific, and are so named for their appearance, that coincides with the date when the American Shad migrate up the Delaware River to spawn.
Look for March Browns to emerge this weekend – these are large mayflies, about size #10 and #12 – reports are that they are starting to hatch along with Blue-Winged Olives and still some residual Hendricksons.
Good flies to use include the Hendrickson nymph, the Shad Fly, the March Brown, Blue-Winged Olives in sizes #14 and #16, the Adams in sizes $12, #14, #16 as well as the Elk Hair Caddis in sizes # 12 and #14.
A 9-foot, 5X leader is commonly used this time of year. The leader is tapered, with the 'tip' of the leader sized - 4X, 5X, 6X, etc. The 5X tippet is most appropriate for flies in sizes #14 and #16 and possibly #18. With a smaller hook size (size #18, #20 etc.) use a finer leader. A larger hook size – such as size #12, #10 such as when fishing a March Brown requires a heavier leader, 4X.