Hendrickson and the Red Quill:
The Hendrickson and the Red Quill are a little different from most mayflies in that
this species has a common name for the male and another for the female. The
reason for that is that they are different enough in size and color that they require
different imitations. The Hendrickson is the female subvaria and the Red Quill is
the male. The hatch is often just called the Hendrickson
The Hendrickson and Red Quill belong to the Ephemerella genus of the large
Ephemerellidae family. The larger “Hendrickson” or female is also called the “Light
Hendrickson”. The smaller “Red Quill”, or male, is sometimes called the “Dark
Hendrickson”. These names actually came from flies that were designed to
imitated the male and females.
During the hatch, It is possible that the trout may become selective on either one -
the male or the female. I say possible but I will also point out that it is not
probable. Some anglers think they do and for that reason, we offer them an fairly
realistic imitation of both so they have a choice.
Although the subvaria nymphs inhibit a very wide range of water, it doesn't
compare to the area of water that's better suited for the clinger nymphs. The
crawler nymphs don't handle the fast, turbulent pocket water nearly as well as the
clingers. That's why you will only find them in isolated areas of some streams,
especially stream consisting mostly of pocket water.
When you are fishing the Hendrickson hatch, general rules don't necessarily
apply. Even though you may not run into the Hendricksons and Red Quills just
anywhere you decide you want to fish, when and wherever you do, you will find the
trout feeding on them. Being prepared for this hatch could very well make the
difference in success or failure.
Although trout eat the emerging duns, they are even more prone to eat the
spinners. That's because the spinner fall often congregates the helpless, dieing
spent spinners into certain areas of water where they can easily pick them off one
at a time. The spinner fall is considered by most anglers that fish the Hendrickson
hatch, to be the highlight of the event.
Copyright 2013 James Marsh
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