It's been a strange old year so far! Normally I'm able to predict with some certainty when, and what, will be hatching on my local river Touvre, but this year it's been all about the weather?
In my opinion the main foods available to trout on the river Touvre are scud and caddis. With every handful of weed, you discover hundreds of scud, and caddis hatch each and every day throughout the trout fishing season, mayflies are a secondary, but less important source of food.
Normally by mid May (the time wading starts, and proper fly fishing commences) the trout have seen many PMDs and other small to medium mayflies. However the hatches of mayflies on the river, are rarely large enough to bring the bigger trout to the surface. With such large quantities of scud and caddis available, its just not calorie efficient to switch their feeding habits to mayflies, from caddis and scud!?
However in past years, the mayfly hatches have been fairly predictable, and during the daytime you could expect a rise of short duration, provided you knew just 'when and were'. But this year because its been to cool, or due to heavy rain (hail at times) it's been almost impossible to pin anything down?
For example last week a good friend told me when, and were, he caught a few fish on dries, during a small hatch of mayflies. The following day I took up position in the place, at the appointed time, but no hatch came off, well a few, very few. But not enough to get fish to the surface. And that's just what its been like since the start, up and down.
In the past it's been all about the late mornings or early afternoons, but now it seems to be late evening, into dark. Then you can have multiple hatches going on, caddis, mayflies, midge and spinner and your changing flies like a whirling dervish. It's difficult, very difficult!