Down in the south we have huge hatches of insects which we call a "Willowfly.
In the rest of the US this is called a "Mayfly".
These hatches result in some of the very best smallmouth bass fishing in the entire world up on the Tennessee River on Wilson Lake, Pickwick Lake, Guntersville Lake, and Wheeler Lake.
These hatches are so big that they can actually obscure the entire sky.
These hatches occur beginning in mid June and continue until early August. There will literally be Billions of insects visible at one time, and they will be so heavy that the trees will actually droop under the immense weight and actually appear brown or gray according to the particular hatch that is occurring. The earlier hatches are usually gray and the hatches that occur after July 4th are usually brown.
Panfish, bream, bass, stripe, catfish, shad, and shell crackers all feed on the bounty. Squirrels, foxes, racoons, and all sorts of birds enjoy the feast as well.
Fly fishing is the best method of fishing during these hatches. Fish generally feed during the early morning and late afternoon hours. The insects are harmless and only live approximately 3 days after hatching from the water. Hatches usually occur immediately after thunderstorms. The fishing action during a hatch will be fast & furious. The insects swarm around dusk in order to mate and lay their eggs for the succeeding years' hatch. After spawning, the insects die, and the fish literally gorge themselves on the spent insects. At certain times, the water will be covered in literally millions of live, wiggling insects, and the fish go crazy.
Information on these hatches can be found at the Fisherman Resort Bait Shop Website or call
Willow Fly Photos
Willow Fly Specials
Willow Fly Site Map