Fly Fishing in May

by David Hulsey


May in the mountains is a magical time of the year for the fly fisher. Trout are looking up to the surface for an easy meal and we’re glad to help them out. Caddis, mayflies, stoneflies and even a few ants and beetles can be on the daily menu for our colorful friends. The water temperatures are still very comfortable, and the little guys’ metabolisms are running full tilt. This is perhaps the perfect time to get someone started fly fishing, as it is probably the most fool-proof time of the year to get a trout to eat a fly. Dry flies are much easier to cast than a double nymph rig or a two-pound streamer. We use this stuff when the trout are hanging close to the bottom of an icy cold wintertime piece of river. The trout are also more likely to move a farther distance to eat the fly. An errant drift a foot or two off the mark might still draw a strike. A skittering Elk Hair Caddis swung out at the end of the drift isn’t a bad thing like it is at other times of the year. May is also sulphur mayfly time on our waters here in North Georgia. Good-sized yellow bugs are easy for us old dudes to see.

Fishing a nine-foot 5x monofilament leader is about right for the size 12 through size 16 dries, and a 6x leader will suffice for size 18 Blue Winged Olives or a teeny Black Ant one might use.  A long medium or slow action 3, 4, or 5 weight rod is the stuff to use to toss a weightless dry accurately and make it land softly on the water. My favorite dries for late spring jaunts to the river are a Parachute Sulphur size 16, a Parachute Black Ant size 18, a Catskill Style Adams size 14 and an Olive Elk Hair Caddis in size 14.

Don’t forget to head out to your favorite bluegill cove or pond in May. Around the full moon the scrappy little rascals should be bedding and will not tolerate a popping bug chugged along the surface over their bedding area. Bluegill are the gateway drug for many that starts a life long love of fly fishing. Bream are easy to catch and the action is usually fast and furious, perfect for a kid to get started.

Give us a call at Noontootla Creek Farms in Blue Ridge, Georgia at 706-838-0585 or visit our website at to book a trophy trout trip of a lifetime. See you on the river!