Feliz Cinco de Mayo!
A few years ago my regular partner and I were fishing the annual Ephemerella pretentiousa mayfly hatch on the Henry's Branch of the Madison Fork of the Delaware River. We were catching a lot of nice trout over 20 inches. This is a pretty common thing for us because we are experts. You can tell that we’re experts by all of our slick new gear, and because we write for magazines and websites and because we drop the names of our expert/famous angler friends whenever possible.
On one particular day, after releasing another five pound brown, the action suddenly stopped. Nobody was catching anything. Foolishly, all the other anglers reeled up and left. But we knew what was happening. A few minutes later the faint sound of an old Pink Floyd song whispered through the willows, and, as if on cue, it all happened.
We were fortunate to bear witness to one of the most elusive hatches of all. A fishing event to rival the famed salmonfly out west, the palolo worm hatch in the Keys, or a mouse year in New Zealand. An event so rare that it literally defines the phrase "When Pigs Fly". In my experience only a few anglers know about this emergence, and no formal literature has been released on it because nobody reading it would ever believe how incredible it really is, or be able to fathom the astounding selectiveness of fish to the hatch. But this is Sexyloops, where everything happens and all the secrets are revealed.
This is how you fish the Green Eggs and Ham.
Little is known about the ecology and biology of this incredible phenomenon. The only research ever done was conducted by a team of Soviet biologists in the early 1980s. Tragically, their entire body of work was lost during a high speed tank chase and subsequent firefight following a failed attempt to sneak the papers over the Berlin Wall just before the end of the Cold War.
What we do know from personal experience is that the fly patterns required to fish this hatch are very specific and very unique. To match the two key stages of the emergence, we have found it best to fish a Dry/Dropper rig during the hatch.
It is virtually impossible to get lucky in fly selection. The only patterns you need are The Green Eggs, and The Ham. The Green Eggs is the dropper pattern, typically fished two to six feet below The Ham, a most unique dry fly.
A side note on this technique is that the nomenclature is non-customary. That is, the dry fly is named second in the title of the technique. Compare this to more popular methods such as the Hopper/Copper rig, and others which name the dry fly first. This is brilliant for several reasons. First, it is confusing. We all know that in flyfishing, confusing is better. 7x is weaker and thinner than 1x. Of course it is, you idiots. And remember, if it is confusing for people, it must be confusing to the fish. They won't even know what hit them. The reversed nomenclature and seemingly innocent common name is also handy because you can freely talk of the technique in the company of other fly anglers who know nothing of the method. Rather than catch on to the secret, the other anglers will merely think like you are discussing breakfast options rather than the most epic angling experience of all time.
This is the only straight forward part of the technique for fishing The Green Eggs and Ham. Use a modified greased line presentation, with a drag free dead drift transitioning into the waking dry fly/dropper swing to cover all likely holding lies. This presentation mimics the natural emergence pattern where the Ham hatches from its green egg near the surface and then swims to shore where it dries out before flying away. Don't be too fussy about the presentation, as fish have been observed to move over 15 feet from their holding lies to eat The Ham.
Fish prefer to take The Ham fly compared to the Green Eggs fly by a ratio of about 4 to 1. We aren’t sure why, but it may be because eating green eggs sounds nasty.
Incidentally, nobody has ever witnessed an egg laying event, and the actual reproductive strategies associated with this spectacular species are completely unknown. Some anglers have postulated that the sexually mature Ham may actually lay its eggs on caddis which venture away from the river. The parasitic eggs then are returned to the river when the caddis believe they are laying their own eggs back into the river. Other anglers suspect that the Ham molts and becomes a ninja sometime after flying away from the river, and it returns to lay eggs during the busiest fishing days of the year, drawn by the commotion and frothing of the water caused by all of the horrible fly casters. Of course, nobody sees them because they are ninjas.
Tying The Green Eggs
If we told you how, we'd have to kill you.
Tying The Ham
See comments on tying The Green Eggs.
Thinking Outside the Hatch
Once you’ve had our first experience fishing the Green Egg and Ham hatch you may find yourself shaking with excitement, waking the next day feeling unfulfilled without the rush of seeing a huge brown trout, rainbow, steelhead, bass, carp, pike, walleye, or catfish rush across a pool to engulf your floating Ham imitation. You won’t be the first or last to experience the addiction and withdrawal symptoms. Unfortunately, the hatch is unpredictable, and NEVER happens twice in a single season. You literally have to hit it perfectly.
Fortunately, we discovered that the fish become as addicted to eating the Green Eggs and Ham as anglers do fishing the hatch. The result is that, in addition to being an incredible hatch matching tool, the dropper/dry rig combining the Green Eggs and Ham patterns is also deadly as an attractor setup that draws savage takes almost any day of the year. We’ve found that on bright sunny days, adding sunglasses to The Ham imitation will double or triple its effectiveness. Though we’ve not had a chance to experiment with it, we suspect that adding a poncho and galoshes for fishing on rainy days would be similarly deadly.
A Word About The Future
Using the Green Eggs and Ham regularly is borderline unethical because it is so deadly. If you’ve ever been to a steelhead river that has no fish in it, you can bet it’s because the locals know about the Green Eggs and Ham. There are other reasons that you should limit the use of this technique but they are far too complicated for most anglers to fathom. With this knowledge comes great responsibility.
Next issue: The Real Location of Mystery River X
Best not to take this flyfishing stuff too seriously.
Have a great week everyone.
Take Care and Fish On,
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