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Fishing With Willow Flies – All You Need To Know

Elvis Elvis

Here in the southern states we are blessed with a little insect known as a willow fly or mayfly. They start to hatch as soon as the temperature warms to the eighties in the later part of spring and they last nearly all summer. When you find a hatch the flies will be everywhere! You can even be hundreds of yards from them out on the water and see the husks they shed when they hatch.

Let me tell you, every fish in the river or lake will eat them. I have fly fished under a hatch and caught bass, crappie, bream and catfish feeding on these winged insects. I am not much on fly fishing, but it is some really good fun with willow flies. Every cast will produce some kind of fish. It’s really interesting to me to see what kind of fish I will catch next.

When willow flies hatch they will fly to trees or shrubs next to the water which makes them easy prey for the fish. You can sit next to a hatch with a rod and reel and catch fish all day, never knowing what the next fish will be. If you find a hatch, make sure you have a bucket or sack with you to catch these bugs for future use. They can be frozen and thawed for any type of fishing you want to do. These bugs are ten times as good as any live bait you can find. I have used them for stripe fishing in the middle of the lake and it’s like ringing a dinner bell for a herd of hungry cows. I use them to night-fish with lanterns for crappie or stripe. The only thing bad about using them for bait – one bite and they are gone; and believe me it only takes a second to get a bite.

I usually rig it like minnow fishing for crappie. This consists of a hook and a couple pieces of split shot. The hook size will be determined by what you are fishing for. All you have to do is put a couple of the willow flies on the hook through the upper part of their body and cast it out. Just be ready to set the hook as soon as it hits the water!

Fishing With Willow Flies   All You Need To Know

The next time you are on the water in May though August, be alert to the overhanging bushes and trees on the bank. What’s really weird about these bugs is if you find a hatch they will be there year after year, at about the same time each year. They only live a couple of days so they lay their eggs right where they hatch. Rough life to live only a couple of days and get eaten before you die. Oh by the way birds love them to. Anyway I could go on and on about willow fly fishing, so I am just going to say give it a try. It’s lots of fun – especially for the kids. ‘Til next time – good fishin’!