About Brown Drakes
Brown Drakes are burrowing mayflies (family Ephemeridae). Nymphs live in slow sections of rivers where the bottom is fine silt, sand, or gravel. They leave their burrows at night to forage, which means that nymph imitations have some small utility for anglers where night fishing is legal and the angler is idiot enough to risk live, limb, and dry clothes by wading rivers in the dark while tumbling a marginally important life-form imitation near the river bottom.
Hatches typically occur in late May or early June, but may happen later in the year, depending on the river. They start near dark, with nymphs swimming quickly toward the surface; they are often taken by trout while enroute. Because the nymphs live in slow sections of rivers, cast your imitation into slow runs, slackwater sections, and slow backeddies where you see duns resting on the surface. Use the rising nymph or vertical retrieve presentation. Put a little speed on the rise: these nymphs are good swimmers.
Shortly before the nymph reaches the surface, the dun emerges. So it is the dun that arrives at the surface, not the nymph. While duns don't drift long before flying off, cripples can struggle atop the water for a long time. So cripple patterns may be your best bet when trout are feeding on the surface.
Spinners come to the water a day or two after the duns hatched. Spinner falls occur at dusk and can generate eager surface-feeding activity from the trout.
Articles About Brown Drakes
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Fishing the Brown Drake Hatch Brown drake hatches don't happen everywhere, and they can be notoriously elusive. But one it happens, it's an event you don't want to miss. Jeff Morgan