As winter spits its last few storms at those of us in the East, our minds naturally turn to the first main-event hatch of the spring. Hendricksons are on the horizon, and I’m planning my pilgrimage to the Au Sable for a few days of cold fingers and a few nights of huddling in a frosty tent.
This pattern from John Collins boasts some of my favorite features for what I think of as broad-purpose, hatch-matching flies. Unless it’s clear that the fish are eating spinners, I tend to start off fishing crippled emergers. All predators are opportunistic and the success I’ve had with these flies suggests that even while keyed in to specific insects, trout often preferred an easy meal to one that may take to wing at any moment.
Designed to look like a stuck-in-the-shuck Hendrickson female, I love the Hendo Hammer’s low-riding profile and antron shuck. A heavily hackled wing post ensures visibility and the addition of UV cure resin adds a great touch of realism.
So while you’re watching the forecast, grab your vise and tie up a few of these great flies.