About a week back, I drove along the river on the Pennslyvania side to the Westfall boat access. It was a nice sunny day with the temperature just under 60 degrees. The first thing that I noticed …
About a week back, I drove along the river on the Pennslyvania side to the Westfall boat access. It was a nice sunny day with the temperature just under 60 degrees. The first thing that I noticed when I turned onto Delaware Drive was the huge number of flying insects visible. After I reached the access and got out of the car, I got a chance to look at a few of these insects close up. They appeared to be little black caddisflies.
Fly fishermen keep an eye on little black caddisfly hatches, as well as hatches of other species of insects. As trout are focused on eating whatever food source is available at the time, a facsimile or a little black caddis is a good bet for that portion of the river. Knowing when the different species hatch is another plus for fishermen. A chart for the Upper Delaware from the Delaware River Club can be found at www.bit.ly/hatchchart16.
A couple of these little black caddisflies landed on the asphalt launch ramp. I saw some that were walking with a jerky gait; they were not moving in their normal manner. On close inspection, I saw that they were being carried off by ants. I saw one by itself, and in the space of 30 seconds, an ant approached from its left side and grabbed the fly.
There will be more hatches of various species over the spring and summer; some will be tasty meals for fish, birds, or other insects. Some will live to reproduce and set the stage for life to start anew in this flowing ecosystem we call a river.