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  #1  
Old 07-09-2019, 08:06 PM
BornToFish BornToFish is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Appleton, WI
Posts: 1,023
Default May Flies

Greetings,

The wife and I arrived at a lake north of Red Lake, Ontario on Saturday, 29 June. A full-fledged may fly hatch was in progress. This may fly hatch was pretty much over by the middle of the week. The consensus of the folks at the camp, including the lodge owner and guides, was that the may fly hatch this year was about two weeks later than "normal".

I haven't fished for walleyes during a full-fledged may fly hatch before. I have encountered the tail end of the hatch in previous years, such that the flies weren't much of a factor.

This year, the may fly hatch coincided with a transition of walleyes from shorelines to off-shore structure. The walleyes lingering around the shorelines seemed to be feasting on the may fly larvae. We were able to catch walleyes fishing the edges of weeds in areas where the flies seemed to be hatching - sand + weeds. We casted jigs + live bait along the edges of the weeds and into pockets within the weed edge. This pattern was challenging as the walleyes seemed to be on-the-move. We would be knee-deep in walleyes, and then ten minutes later we couldn't buy a bite. We simply waited for the next school of walleyes to move through the area.

Is the above pattern for targeting walleyes during a may fly hatch common? How do you target walleyes during a may fly hatch?

By the end of the week, we were catching good numbers and size of walleyes fishing the off-shore structure that could be reached without having to cross deep water.

Good fishing and tight lines!!
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  #2  
Old 07-09-2019, 10:58 PM
ltrain ltrain is offline
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I've encountered full blown hatches on Turtle Flambeau flowage both times I've been there and they completely shut down the bite, never did figure them out there. I just got back from Mille lacs and a big hatch started our second day there and it did slow or should i say change the bite but we were able to figure it out and still catch plenty of fish. When the hatch started I moved away from leeches and started using crawlers as īt seemed the walleyes just turned off leeches. I focused on mud flat ledges for most of my fish. Also it got tougher when the lake became flat calm combined with the hatch. I moved my baits away from the boat with planer boards and that seemed to help.
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  #3  
Old 07-10-2019, 05:44 AM
tv4fish tv4fish is offline
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We were up on Lac Seul 06/23 to 06/30 and we also "hit" the mayfly hatch.
My opinion - it SURE does affect the walleye bite (keep in mind that I live on Mille Lacs, so I have also experienced how the hatch affects "catching" here).

There is NO doubt in my mind that it will slow down how well you do. The fish gorge themselves on the larva as they come up off the bottom during a hatch - all you have to do is cut open their stomachs to see..............
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  #4  
Old 07-10-2019, 06:30 AM
kona77 kona77 is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2013
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Our group ran into heavy mayfly hatches twice (3rd week of June) and we struggled to catch fish for a couple of days.. We tried everything from down sizing jigs, using crawlers, fishing real small hard baits in brown/neutral colors and even trying some trout flies on the surface.. The crawlers worked the best but the fish we were catching were gorged with mayfly's and many would be spitting up mouthfuls when they got to the surface.. I know it can be great to fish just at the start of the hatch when fish start gorging themselves but it does get challenging at the peak and end of the hatch.. Once again we still caught fish but the numbers were down.. I still remember going to our dock on consecutive mornings and literally seeing tens/thousands (probably more) empty husks covering the shoreline (windblown point on this lake) and just being happy we were catching some fish with all the other available food..
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  #5  
Old 07-12-2019, 08:32 AM
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Rondogpike Rondogpike is offline
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Join Date: Jun 2018
Location: Madison, WI
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We have encountered large hatches over the years. On one particularly clear lake we could see schools of walleye swimming around the bay we were fishing. I said guys we're fishing way too deep! Switched to small floating Rapalas (blue worked great), blade baits, etc. and caught a lot of fish. When you and the boat are covered in regurgitated mayfly and walleye/mayfly **** it's been a good, albeit messy day.
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  #6  
Old 07-12-2019, 08:42 AM
Obabikon Obabikon is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Lake of the Woods, Ontario
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My opinion, you have two options... turn into the curve or completely bail...


Fish mud bottom areas. That's where the bugs are hatching out of. Often the walleyes are stacked up in these spots because of all the food. You can often piggy back good fishing by doing where the flies are hatching from. This works for halgermites too.


Second option, on a big lake, different areas of the lake have different water temps... meaning the hatch typically occurs at different times. It certainly isn't easy, but sometimes going for a longer boat ride to find warmer/cooler water is the key.
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  #7  
Old 07-12-2019, 01:51 PM
Pink Unicorn Pink Unicorn is offline
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Join Date: May 2017
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Last yer I experienced the exact same conditions and results. Our key to success was to locate areas on the lake that were distant from the hatch. The entire lake wasn't focused on the hatch, just those fish that considered home base close to the hatching locations were feasting. On the north end of the lake we were fishing there were not hatching locations and the fishing was normal. Otherwise, we broke out small, dark colored grubs and had success like you spoke of.



Quote:
Originally Posted by BornToFish View Post
Greetings,

The wife and I arrived at a lake north of Red Lake, Ontario on Saturday, 29 June. A full-fledged may fly hatch was in progress. This may fly hatch was pretty much over by the middle of the week. The consensus of the folks at the camp, including the lodge owner and guides, was that the may fly hatch this year was about two weeks later than "normal".

I haven't fished for walleyes during a full-fledged may fly hatch before. I have encountered the tail end of the hatch in previous years, such that the flies weren't much of a factor.

This year, the may fly hatch coincided with a transition of walleyes from shorelines to off-shore structure. The walleyes lingering around the shorelines seemed to be feasting on the may fly larvae. We were able to catch walleyes fishing the edges of weeds in areas where the flies seemed to be hatching - sand + weeds. We casted jigs + live bait along the edges of the weeds and into pockets within the weed edge. This pattern was challenging as the walleyes seemed to be on-the-move. We would be knee-deep in walleyes, and then ten minutes later we couldn't buy a bite. We simply waited for the next school of walleyes to move through the area.

Is the above pattern for targeting walleyes during a may fly hatch common? How do you target walleyes during a may fly hatch?

By the end of the week, we were catching good numbers and size of walleyes fishing the off-shore structure that could be reached without having to cross deep water.

Good fishing and tight lines!!
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