What I learned fishing the worm hatch [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: What I learned fishing the worm hatch

06-15-2006, 03:07 PM
Ok, so the tide was not great, nor the weather, but I had the time, so I went....

Had never fished the worm hatch before, and figured it would be a perfect use for the kayak....which it was.

Paddled into a big estuary system at about 5PM, and found a nice expanse of shallow grass bed, and soon saw a few of the little guys wriggling their hearts out along the surface...soon followed by the slurps and swooshes of hungry stripers.

What I learned....

1. This can be as frustrating as the Hex Hatch on Lake Almanor in CA...LOTS of feeding fish, with fewer hookups than I expected.

2. Floating line would have been better....I had an intermediate, and felt I wanted to be higher in the water column, or strip slower...

3. My flies were too big. Was aiming at 3-4" and the critters were more like 1-2"

4. Stripers are not kayak-shy...had swirls within 3 feet of the kayak, and takes within 10...probably could have had closer takes if my rod were shorter.

5. It's addictive...I want to do it again!

6. GPS helps when it is both dark and foggy.


06-15-2006, 05:50 PM
Sounds like a great experience.

I've found the worm hatches frustrating too - as well as fish eating clouds of fry or clouds of minute shrimp on the flats.

Frankly I don't spend a lot of time fishing these situations until tide current starts to move the bait in a pattern when the fish tend to grab other morsels as they key more on the approach of bait toward them in current (like a trout) rather than key on coralling concentrations of small items (like a whale). In fact I found the fishing to be night and day as soon as the current sets up.

Most of the time I play for a while then I walk away from the meelee to challenge myself to find fish in a more suitable mood elsewhere. Maybe a thick shouldered submarine looking for something substantial to crush in it's maw just around the corner...

I suppose I could challenge myself to try to solve the puzzle at hand but it goes against my rules of striper psychology:

(in order of importance)

1) mood of fish
2) presentation
3) fly pattern
- but all matter

Given a limited time to fish in a busy lifestyle I would rather pursue #1 where possible. Call me lazy, or pragmatic.

I have utmost respect for those who invest the time and intuition into these situations!

Dble Haul
06-16-2006, 07:55 AM
Mark, I agree with you on all points regarding the worm hatch. It can be downright frustrating, especially when truy large fish are holding in current and feeding like trout with their dorsals literally out of the water. It sounds like you're on the right track though.

The biggest frustration for me is the crap shoot about which fish will grab your fly. You can set up a drift for a big fish working in a certain spot, but with my luck I always seem to have one of the smaller schoolies come along and grab my fly.

I haven't done it much, but when I did I really enjoyed the phenomenon. Talk about biomass.....:Eyecrazy:

06-16-2006, 08:25 AM
Would have been happy to have some current to work with, but I was mostly fishing at the very bottom of the tide, not too much movement to work with, so fish didn't seem to be setting up in lanes at all.

Every once in a while I could track a fish through several rises, and I actually landed two aiming a cast in their path.

More often, the rises were haphazard, and I was casting to an area rather than a specific fish.

Originating as a trout angler I would feel well prepared for setting up on downstream fish in current...will have to look for that too.


06-16-2006, 09:05 AM
Sometimes you need the 'upstream' presentation too - when they get 'set' in those lanes anything outside of the center of the window drifting naturally down gets ignored - so much bait they just dont need to move more than 6 inches either way. I think that may happen when shrimps or other tiny bait are getting flushed out on the big moon tides. Worms are strong swimmers and make good headway against a pretty strong current. Othertimes the downstream swing works a dream.:smokin: