Housy worm hatch 7/18 [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: Housy worm hatch 7/18

07-19-2004, 08:55 AM
When my wife asked me if I was going fishing Saturday night after the great night I had on Friday, I looked to heaven and said a little "thank you" :). This time I made sure I was in plenty of time and when I arrived at the lower estuary a little after midnight the tide was just turning slack high. There was no wind and the water surface was mirror smooth. I had to paddle around for a while to get my bearings since I'd never been there at this height of water before and most of the old landmark channels were flooded. Within twenty minutes of the tide starting to ebb, the first splashes confirmed feeding fish. There were fish rising for the next three hours. Initially they were up in flooded spartina grass. You could hear them crashing away but it would have been like blind casting to a partridge in a corn field. :Eyecrazy: There was a clam worm hatch and I initially assumed thats what was causing the commotion but I dont believe that was the whole story. Once the water dropped a bit, fish were holding station tight against the sod banks hitting something drifting past just like trout rising to olive duns. This was very challenging fishing. Trying to get an accurate drag-free float when casting to fussy trout is one thing. Trying to pull it of in the pitch dark, casting into the black void where the sodbank touches the water is something else ( I still have a lot of learning to do)! I'm not sure if these fish were feeding on worms or the millions of tiny grass shrimp (1/4 inch) that were also in the water. The worms were about 2 inches long, mostly pink/red with a few tan/olives. They had no trouble zipping at random and seemed oblivious to the powerful ebb current. The grass shrimp were pretty helpless. Things shut down for an hour or so until the false dawn and then the action heated up again. This time it was small bass marauding schools of tiny baitfish in about six inches of water. I finished up six, one in the high twenties, a couple mid twenties and three micros.

07-19-2004, 12:44 PM
Great report. Have you tried a small Gurgler or Pages"Slim Jim? I know your go to fly. I tried a Popvick shrimp one night at Potter's Pond and got broken off.
FishHawk :D

07-19-2004, 01:24 PM
I tried gurglers and other worm-type flies but this was a case where presentation was definitely 100 times more important than pattern. As I mentioned, out in the open channels, the fish were relatively cooperative (as worm hatch fish go at least :lildevl: ) and obviously targetting the zigging/jinking worms. The fish holding tight in the current at the edge of the sodbanks were feeding very deliberately with that characteristic "bloop" rise. Nothing less than perfection was going to fool them. I pulled it of one time in what felt like a thousand casts - but it felt awefully good :D Not a big fish, 23 or 24 inches. It didn't eat a GP but a tiny experimental baitfish pattern.

I need to spend more time working on casting accuracy in the pitch dark when seated in the kayak. Gota love the new moon :smokin:

07-19-2004, 04:39 PM
Know what you mean about casting in the dark. Tried it one night on the Battenkill to rising Browns. It was like casting in a closet. Makes you feel good when you hook one of these difficult fish. Again great report.