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#1313349 - 05/03/09 08:22 PM willow flies
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Blister
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Registered: 09/29/03
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When do they come out?
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#1313390 - 05/03/09 08:39 PM Re: willow flies [Re: ]
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Blister
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they are those ugly looking flies long sleek body that kinda curve up and they hang around on tress near rivers creeks and lakes. Fish feed on them.

not sure if that helps with the confusion or not.

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#1313401 - 05/03/09 08:46 PM Re: willow flies [Re: Cuttin Caller]
Kirk
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Registered: 08/07/01
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Loc: Cleveland, TN USA

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Usually in June. You will sometimes have them show in late May.
Best Bream and Bluegill fishing you will find is when those little monsters are swarming. Find a tree hanging over water that has bunch of them hanging on them and knock them off. Then back off and start tossing a fly or Meps where they landed. You will catch a fish on literally every cast.
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#1313757 - 05/04/09 07:11 AM Re: willow flies [Re: Kirk]
bowriter
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Registered: 08/31/02
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Don't know about where you are CC but I am covered up with them here at the house.
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#1313780 - 05/04/09 07:30 AM Re: willow flies [Re: ]
Kimberman
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Registered: 10/30/05
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I saw some on Watts Bar yesterday, but not enough to get excited about yet. Usually mid to late June around here b4 it gets real good.
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#1313868 - 05/04/09 09:20 AM Re: willow flies [Re: Kimberman]
gil1
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Registered: 04/06/07
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Loc: Nashville, TN

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Around here, they generally hatch heavy around mid-June and can intermittently hatch until September. "Willow fly" is an extremely general term for a mayfly or Ephemeroptera. There are at least 500 species of flies and maybe thousands that folks call willow flies.

The ones we generally think of as willow flies are really big specimens (around an inch) that are usually on or near slow water. You rarely see them mainland since they usually hatch from slow water and their adult (flying) cycle only lasts from a couple of hours to a couple of days.

Willow flies are sensitive to water pollution, and since water quality in our reservoirs is often not what it once was, we don't see the huge swarms we did 30 years ago. On the other hand, there are areas where they are so thick that you can't motor your boat without a mask. A buddy whose office is overlooking a cove of the TN River in Alabama showed me pics. where they are an inch thick on the brick.

I chase them mainly because willow fly hatches are one of the only instances that will bring the carp to the surface for flies. Obviously, bass and bluegill and many other fish do the same. The lake surface can be covered with billions of them one day and void the next. What a ball, though!

Some folks get them mixed up with crane flies (those big-azz mosquito looking flies), but that's a different species that can be found near streams and in moist woodlands. Some crane flies hatch earlier, too, so turkey hunters often kick them up by the hundreds in May or see them dancing on the walls inside their house.

I mention crane flies mainly because this is a sleeper hatch for trout and bluegill. Fish key in on these suckers, but normally, fishermen don't. For trout especially, this can be an absolute bonanza, and it's happening right now, especially in East TN. Try a sulphur emerger or a yellowish soft hackle in size 16 (or match what you see streamside).
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It is not the killing ...; it is the contest of skill and cunning. The true hunter counts his achievement in proportion to the effort involved and the fairness of the sport.

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#1313897 - 05/04/09 09:46 AM Re: willow flies [Re: gil1]
A.K.A.
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Registered: 11/11/08
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June in ETN. Good time to use a artificial fly too.
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#1315433 - 05/05/09 06:26 AM Re: willow flies [Re: A.K.A.]
bowriter
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Gil is right but for many years I have had them around the house. Iguess they hatch on the creek behind the house. Anyway, last week they were so thick I could hardly mow. Saw a few on Priest but the real hatch is yet to come.

When that June hatch hits, itis time go bream fishing.
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#1317578 - 05/06/09 11:41 AM Re: willow flies [Re: bowriter]
7mm08
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Registered: 09/12/07
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End of June, first of July is when we usually find them heavy on Watts Bar.
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#1317934 - 05/06/09 03:02 PM Re: willow flies [Re: 7mm08]
gil1
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Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 6339
Loc: Nashville, TN

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Great photo! Imagine gettin' all those bug guts in your teeth while motoring on the lake. Good protein, though. \:D
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It is not the killing ...; it is the contest of skill and cunning. The true hunter counts his achievement in proportion to the effort involved and the fairness of the sport.

Dr. Saxton Pope

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