Mayflies hatching

Published 4:41 pm Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Things do change and change a lot, and sometimes not for the better.

Back at the beginning of the month, there were several days of rainfall. It just didn’t fall here. But then it did, a small amount anyway. Most went to our north and will eventually come back and visit us as it makes its way toward the Gulf. We need rain in our local area, but we also need that rain to our north that keeps the river systems full and flowing.

Not much water was flowing from the lake this week when I went down to the Panhandle. Crossing the river in Chattahoochee, Fla., I saw only four gates open at the dam and they weren’t open very much. The river below the dam was almost normal, within a foot or so anyway.

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The fishermen farther down had been giving up all kinds of fish, so we know that all the high water had not swept them out in the Gulf. If the fish had to fight the current, they probably would have been carried away.

They had better sense, however. They just move up into the woods where the current is not very high and manage to hang on until the water subsides.

The crappie had bedded before the high water, but for the most part the panfish had not bedded and we as well as they still have that to look forward to. In the river they are catching a lot of catfish and always do. Here too.

Just about every time I go to Blountstown, those ole boys are cooking and eating something. This trip it was fish. And a different species most of the time, not always the same. A couple of trips ago I got in a Boston butt eating. These had been grilled over hard wood. There was enough to have fed a decent-size army. Not a soul lives down there that doesn’t own several guns, so I guess they could make up there own army.

I hear talk of a turkey breast frying, but have yet to get into one of those. The good thing about that is I know it will be coming. If you happen through and look a little hungry, they will feed you. They certainly don’t want to see anyone leave their place hungry. If you make it by on cook day, you will not leave hungry.

Having had an extra hour or so built into that day I drove down to Wewa and looked at the water called Dead Lakes. The water is pretty. It is clear, but looks dark and with all the trees and stumps there are, it looks spooky in the late afternoon.

I have never been there after dark and probably won’t ever go there after dark. Coming from that water the fish would have to be on the large side. Catching a small fish would make me want to throw it back as there would surely have to be something wrong with that fish.

My oldest grandson, Brantley, says there are plenty of fish there to be caught. He is grown now, but when he was smaller he went down there with the mighty 202 and mopped up with the fish. Always careful to stay within the limits of the law he did not wind up in the pokey for over the limit. Dead Lakes is not far from the beach, so the grown young folks may be tempted to leave the fishing waters and go to look for other species. At their age even that can’t be all bad.

This is May and the month that the mayflies start hatching. Boy, will they bring the bream to the surface and other fish also, though not nearly so as the bream. If you hit it at the right time you may be able to catch some good bass where there are may, or willow, flies on the water.

A mayfly and a willow fly are the same thing and though you may not enjoy the taste of them, the fish certainly do. The flies are attracting bream and other smaller fish to a certain spot. Bass can be attracted to that same spot, though they will be chasing the fish that are eating the flies. So a spot that might give up a bream weighing over 1 pound may also give up a bass weighing better than 5 or 6 pounds.

These spots are great to fly fish around. You can also use you pole and fish with worms or crickets. You can also catch a mayfly buzzing around your head and put him on your hook. It is better to put two or three flies at the time on the hook. You will get rewarded as the panfish can’t resist them. Fish bed on just about any moon, but especially the full moon and new moon. Mayflies hatch on the full moon, so you may have been seeing some already.