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The Great Hendrickson Hunt – May 30, 2014

May 30, 2014 – I found the Hendricksons or perhaps I should say they found me.  Weekly I’ve been going over to the Little Little Ossipee Stocked BrookieOssipee River in search of an early Hendrickson hatch.  Never found it. I found Hendrickson Nymphs but never saw one in the air or on the water.  On my last trip over I had good fishing and high hopes but nothing for a hatch.

I looked high and low for Hendricksons. I walked the banks looking at spider webs. I looked at the underside of leaves. I seined the water looking for emergers and of course I was on the water looking for Duns from about 1:00pm until after 5:00pm and not a Hendrickson showed.

So I got in my truck and headed home.  I had caught fish, had a great day, ran into Chris DeLisle for a streamside chat and yet I felt disappointed – I was sure I’d see Hendricksons in the air that day but it wasn’t to be.

Spider Webs hold cluesThe 24th it rained and on the 25th I was going to head back to the Little Ossipee. The Kennebec was still running high and even though the Hendrickson Hatch is normally on here in Fairfield I hadn’t seen any.  Just for grins on the 25th I checked the Kennebec Flows – they were low.  I wouldn’t find out why until the next day – a feared drowning was the cause of the low flow. It turns out nobody drown – something for which I’m happy – and I didn’t go to the Little Ossipee.

The resulting low flows were to tempting to leave and so off to Shawmut I went.  I launched about 12:30pm and by 1:00pm Hendricksons were showing. Color me happy.  No fish were rising – Red Quill - Male Hendricksontypical for an early Hendrickson Hatch but the bugs were in the air. I managed to net a male and female and they agreed to stick around long enough to pose for a photo or two.  The guy on the left with the big red eyes is a Red Quill which is what people call the males because of the reddish brown tint to their bodies.

The mayfly below that one is also a Hendrickson but is noticeably bigger, has smaller black eyes and a completely different body color – but it’s a Hendrickson.  That’s just the way they roll.  No wonder people often think the Hendrickson hatch is two Hendrickson Femaledifferent hatches.

I didn’t get back on the water until the 28th and the hatch was much heavier by then.  And even better than that the fish had started looking up. There was surface activity – I couldn’t hook up but fish were rising.  However, since then rain and the release of all the water they held back looking for a drowning victim (who as I mentioned fortunately wasn’t a downing victim)  has kept the flow too high for safe fishing.  But that should change any day now and it’s back to the Hendrickson Hatch for me.

Here’s a video clips showing a couple of the Hendrickson Mayflies I saw at Shawmut.