Memorizing these hatches is not essential to having a fine day on the stream. You can certainly use your own powers of observation. Take a close look at the insects on the water and tie on the closest imitation from your fly box. Tip: keep a small aquarium net in your fly vest. Netting a passing sample is a lot easier than the near impossibility of trying to pick one off the surface with your fingers. Look your live sample over for size, color and conformity (underside too).
The last resort might be to stop by the local fly shop and ask, “What are they biting on?” We have many fine shops along our rivers, and these pros really know fishing. Most often, advice on fly selection is freely given and you just might get a suggestion or two that could really make your day. Tip: Suggested flies for early April, according to Dennis Skarka of Catskill Flies in Roscoe, are small Brown or Black Stoneflies, Hare’s Ear and Prince Nymph (or as Dennis says, anything that looks like food).
Oh yes, on the old question of reel set-up, right or left handed? Left is definitely correct, although the 50% of fly fishers who prefer right-hand retrieve aren’t wrong either.
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