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Time for Tricos

Time for Tricos
by Matt Chapple

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A pair of Cedar Waxwings enjoy a meal of Tricos too

There are many small streams in Central New York, like the Oriskany Creek that produce excellent hatches of the Tricorythodes or tiny white and black mayfly. The Tricos start to emerge sometime in July.  Look for them as a swarm-cloud over the  riffles of the stream, which indicates a strong population.  They exist in good numbers  in streams with some silt.  One of the most beautiful sites of the year is looking up into the morning sun and seeing the a cloud of Tricos. Though they are incredibly small, ranging from size 20 to 26, these tiny mayflies can provide some of the most exciting action of the year. The hatch is usually very reliable. Once the first hatch starts sometime in July, expect to see a hatch every morning until the first really hard frost.

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The Oriskany Creek low and clear, but a nice 62 F during Trico Hatch.

Male Tricos, which have an entirely  black/dark brown body, emerge overnight and take refuge until the emergence of the female duns.  Females have a white abdomen and a black thorax. Emergence of the female duns will occur in the morning from sunrise to 9am depending on the weather. A really hot morning will cause an earlier emergence and colder weather will push it back towards noon. From sunrise to emergence fishing a sunken fly is possible, and during the emergence you may elicit some strikes with a dry fly/surface presentation, but the best action comes when the Tricos molt and mate.  Some publications have stated that Tricos duns molt into spinners in the air.  It is thought now that hey must land to molt.   Some of them may take flight  with the  dun exoskeleton  still attached to the  tails. This may give the illusion that the spinners are molting in the air.  The spinner fall will happen in a relatively short period of time, sometime from 9am-12pm.  There will be countless dead and dying Tricos drifting on the surface , in the film or just below the surface.  It looks like the fish are taking nothing! They can feed on the dead spinners for quite a while after all the spinners have dropped.

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My Dad took this picture of me fishing the Trico hatch on the Oriskany years ago. You are likely to have the stream to yourself.

A stealth approach is critical to success on smaller central New York streams. The water will most likely be very low and clear. Casting accuracy is also important.  Fish spook very easily in the low clear water of summer. The best tackle to use for these small central New York streams is a 3 or 4 weight 7 to 9 foot rod, which will help with a delicate presentation.   Cast well above rising fish 10-15 feet if possible in slower water.  The between rising fish and the cast is not as critical if fish are taking spinners in more choppy water of a riffle or head of a pool.   Use 7X or 8X tippet, and a leader of at least 10-foot.

 

trico2Trico Hare Spinner

One my favorite flies to fish the trico hatch has been the Trico Hare spinner or dun. It is easy to tie and is very suggestive to trout.

Trico Hare Spinner Tying Specifications

Hook #20-#22 dry fly(I like straight eye hooks so I have room to thread the tippet)
Thread White 8/0
Tail Snowshoe Hare Foot under-hair
              Body
Abdomen White thread
Thorax Black Beaver Dubbing
Wing Snowshoe Hare Foot under-hair tied flat (spent wings) or upright like a comparadun also works.
 Don’t let the hot summer days put an end to your trout fishing. Get out in the morning and challenge the trout and yourself  with a Trico imitation. Both the Oriskany Creek and Sauquoit Creek in central New York produce good hatches of Tricos.

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