Fun in the August Heat

I have a list of dates for Mayfly hatches on the Reservoir here in central MS. My phone lights up on historical dates and this week the phone lit lit up to remind me there might be a hatch. It was hot and still and muggy, which also seems to be a criteria for mayfly hatches. Coincidentally, the hot, still air provides the kind of conditions needed to make the Reservoir play nice. (Still water best, no pounding waves, thank you.) I figured it was worth the long, late evening drive to check for hatches and so I drove out to the Rez to see for myself.

I was pleasantly surprised to find some hatches and bream were on them. I didn’t have a thing to keep them in so I decided to just take photos and keep an accurate count. A big gator was preventing me from wading so I was stuck with doing Tongoriro Roll Casts from the bank. I still managed to do quite well.

Late evening trips are nice. The sun gets down low and then it gets behind the trees so the heat is bearable and it actually is pretty darn nice, for an August evening in central MS. The bugs get more active in molting around 5:30 to 6:00 anyway, which gets the fish fired up.

The hands down best fly is the little brown flip-flop popper bug made with a fluffy deer hair tail and a brownish-red hackle. This bug hooks up the fish readily as opposed to the myriad of Catskill flies, commercial popping bugs and any other popping bug that doesn’t have a deer hair tail. The other flies get just as many strikes, but this bug actually gets hooked into the fish meaning there are far fewer missed strikes. I am certain the success of it has to do with the deer hair because the best thing I can do to get a bite going again when it seems to stall is simply lather the deer hair with silicon, in other words, get the individual hairs sticking up and floating again. The best presentation is to slap it down on the water and then let it sit. If they don’t strike it, pick it up and slap it down again so they hear it. With this bug I’ve stopped stripping it or giving it any motion, just slap it down and wait. Its amazing how fast they can hit it. I do really believe many times they are watching the fly in the air before it lands and are right there to strike it when it hits the water. That’s the only way they can be that lightning fast, in my opinion. Some fish literally are propelled out of the water by their momentum as they strike it.

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