Copyright 2013 James Marsh
Hatches and Trout Flies for the Batten Kill
The Batten Kill has a lot of different types and species of aquatic insects and of course,
that means a lot of hatches. A quick look at our
hatch chart will indicate that. I think one
main reason is the different types of bottom composition ranging from the soft mud like
bottoms of the upper river near Manchester to the gravel and small rock bottom that exist
in the middle and lower sections of the river. There are lots of different species of clinger
nymphs as well as burrowers, both of which require a completely different stream makeup.
There are also plenty of swimmers and crawlers. The stream's PH level is normally high, or
certainly high for a freestone stream, partly because of the terrain the river flows through.
The drainage from the agriculture and dairy farms add to the alkalinity of the stream.

I suppose the most famous of the hatches is the Hendrickson and Red Quill hatch. It
usually starts near the opening of the season or from about the end of April to the first of
May. As with most Eastern streams, the first hatches are the Blue Quills and Blue-winged
Olives. Not long after that the March Brown mayflies will begin to appear. Close to the same
time, Light Cahills show up. By the middle of May, there is a dining table full of bugs for the
trout to eat. Figuring out which bugs the trout are eating can be a problem. I haven't yet
mentioned the stoneflies or caddisflies that also make their home in the Batten Kill.

By the first of June both Yellow Drakes and Golden Drakes will be near their hatch times.
So will the Sulphur and Eastern Pale Evening Dun mayflies. Soon thereafter, the Cream
Cahills and Tricos will appear along the last of the mayfly hatches. It is a mayfly menu from
about the end of April through the month of June. On top of everything I have named, I
haven't mentioned much about the most plentiful species or group of mayflies that exist in
the river - the Blue-winged Olives.
Baetis species along with many other species that are
called BWOs exist there and hatch off and on just about the entire season.

There is also a huge diversity of caddisflies. The most plentiful are the Cinnamon Sedges.
Several species of these net-spinning caddis live there along with their Little Sisters. The
large Blue Dark Blue Sedges are also present. In the fast water sections you will find plenty
of Rock Worms or Green Sedges. You could add to that a lot of minor caddisfly hatches.

It would be much easier to say which aquatic insects are not present in the Batten Kill. You
need to know your aquatic insects well and make some careful observations when you fish
the river or otherwise you may be making a lot of wasted cast. If you can and do handle the
hatches well, you can be in for some action when everyone else in complaining.

When it comes to trout fly selection, the choices are simple. You must use flies that look
and act like the real things they are imitating. The closer they come to that, the better off
you are. This is no place for attractor or generic imitations. About the only place they will
work at times is for the smaller trout found in the riffles.  When a hatch is underway, you
need to match the insects as close as possible. Naturally, we recommend our own Perfect
Flies. It was this type of stream that inspired us to develop the far better than average,
difficult to tie patterns. We have had a lot of our customers report our flies are helping
them increase their catches on the Batten Kill as well as many other difficult to fish streams.
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