The craneflies are hatching anglers. They are hatching and it is glorious.
As I say constantly…the fall is my favorite time to chase trout and guide. The late season fishing is ushered in by a very distinct hatch…the cranefly.
What my kids call a Mosquito Eater, it’s actually a cranefly. There are multiple species, both terrestrial and aquatic. We shall focus on the latter of course. Trout can’t eat the ones hatching in your lawn.
The larva of the cranefly are algae eaters. They hang out in the slower shallow water munching on that sludgy green stuff. They are usually tan, brown, or green and resemble a big ass caddis pupa. Size 10 and 8 anglers. It’s like a grub. Or a underwater Caterpillar . Then when the water drops they all congregate in the slow slack water and typically hatch in the mornings. They like it under 75 degrees in air temp. When the adults hatch they go and find mates and do thier thing. It’s a mad dash across the river to find mates and spawn on the river banks and in the grass. They bumbled and skitter across the river and fish take advantage, the water here is lower flow, the fish are a hangry as they know winter is coming. Gotta pack in the food to store up for the winter just like every other critter.
So suffice it to say…they are aggressive. They chase down food with a purpose. They search cranes out of the air they want then so bad. It’s amazing to watch and even more incredible to fish. Unlike any other time of year the fish resist the urge for cover, food, and oxygen and will only focus on food, sacrificing themselves to predators to eat as much as possible. They can get that way with drakes too. But it seems to be more intense with cranes on the Yakima.
For the next 2 weeks these dangly bugs will be one of the key food sources for trout in the upper river. BWO and Mahogany Mayflies are there on cooler and soggy days and I’ll become more prevalent post crane hatch. There are caddis coming off frequently, a few large October Caddis but that hatch is still weeks out.
It’s all about cranes anglers. The time is now. It’s on and I’ve got open days this weekend and into next week. So come get in on the peak of the cranefly hatch.