Shad flies have been seen on the Beaverkill – an email described thousands flying over the river in a steady, constant stream that lasted for quite some time one day this past week. Shad flies areso named as they coincide with the American Shad run up the Delaware in early May to spawn. Shad flies are caddis flies, with a tent-shaped wing that flutters when they are flying. The Shad Fly hatch can be one of the most prolific and is easily identifiable by the tiny green egg sac that is left on car windshields and grilles. We’ve seen Shad Fly hatches so heavy that they resemble a dark snowstorm in the spring.
Next in line of favorite hatches is the March Brown – curiously named as they do not hatch here in March, but rather at about this time of year when water temperatures reach the upper 50s. This hatch coincides with the trillium blooming in the woods, with its leaves of three and white or bright burgundy flowers, as well as the appearance of the invasive wild garlic mustard with its clusters of tiny white blossoms. March Browns are large flies, hook size #10, in comparison to the other flies that have been hatching lately and should last into mid-June.
Despite a few rain showers over this Memorial Day weekend the Beaverkill at Cooks Falls has been slowly receding to an almost normal level – on Sunday evening the river was flowing at 511 cubic feet per second, slightly above the average flow on this date of 445 cfs over 105 years of record-keeping.
Lots of anglers have been out this weekend; conditions this evening after dinner were few flies and rises; but two family members managed to catch trout, the larger a 16-inch holdover brown trout, on an Elk Hair Caddis.