Isonychia bicolor [Slate Drake]

catskilljohn
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Isonychia bicolor [Slate Drake]

Post by catskilljohn »

Family: Isonychiidae [eye son ick e day]
Genus: Isonychia [eye son ick ee uh]
Species: bicolor [by color]

Also know as the white gloved howdy, its one of the Catskills staple mayflies. These are found most of the year from late spring to the fall and are most active from the middle of June to the end of July, but you will see them late in the season. A great dry fly insect, the Dun Variant has been imitating it since Art Flick first tyed it, but any #10 or #12 dark/ brown dry fly does a good job. The famous Leadwing Coachman is the wet fly for this hatch, and the Zugbug and Prince nymph do deep water duty.

Here is a Iso spinner, taken on the Willow Aug 6th...
Image
And another from the Big "D"...
Image


Info from Caucci's "HATCHES II" and Tom Ames's Hatch Guide

CJ
"Gentlemen,remove your hats,this is it"
"This is where the trout was invented?"
"Oh he existed in a crude,primitive form in Waltons England"
"But this is where they painted spots on him and taught him to swim"

redietz
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Re: Isonychia bicolor [Slate Drake]

Post by redietz »

They're also multi-brooded on many rivers, with a second hatch in the fall. The later iso's tend to be smaller than the earlier ones.

They were the first hatch I ever paid any attention to. A Royal Coachman/Wulff/Quack is a good imitation towards dark.

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Eperous
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Re: Isonychia bicolor [Slate Drake]

Post by Eperous »

redietz wrote:They're also multi-brooded on many rivers, with a second hatch in the fall. The later iso's tend to be smaller than the earlier ones.

They were the first hatch I ever paid any attention to. A Royal Coachman/Wulff/Quack is a good imitation towards dark.
All good points and very true for the Esopus Creek in the Catskills... first hatch normally in late May, early June - a size 10 Haystack is often the ticket... second hatch sometime late August through early October, size 12 and 14's dry flies produce far better... Hairwing Royal Coachman - always a good choice for a dry fly...

Ed

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northcountryman
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Re: Isonychia bicolor [Slate Drake]

Post by northcountryman »

First time I ever really paid attention to spent cases was an Iso hatch on the Esopus last year. I had the good fortune of fishing w/ a super knowledageable local guy a.k.a Esopus guy who showed me all the Iso cases underneath the rocks that day. We both used Princes and cleaned house!!

redietz
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Re: Isonychia bicolor [Slate Drake]

Post by redietz »

northcountryman wrote:First time I ever really paid attention to spent cases was an Iso hatch on the Esopus last year. I had the good fortune of fishing w/ a super knowledageable local guy a.k.a Esopus guy who showed me all the Iso cases underneath the rocks that day. We both used Princes and cleaned house!!
Another thing about them is that the nymphs are quite active swimmers, and sometimes emerge out of the water. Sometimes stripping that Prince or Zug Bug toward the bank an inch or so a time is a productive tactic.

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northcountryman
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Re: Isonychia bicolor [Slate Drake]

Post by northcountryman »

Is an upstream or downstream retrieve better in that "toward the bank" scenario or, does it matter? I've always used upstream exclusively because I thought it would keep the nymph in the strike zone longer but maybe downstream might be productive too?

redietz
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Re: Isonychia bicolor [Slate Drake]

Post by redietz »

northcountryman wrote:Is an upstream or downstream retrieve better in that "toward the bank" scenario or, does it matter? I've always used upstream exclusively because I thought it would keep the nymph in the strike zone longer but maybe downstream might be productive too?
You're probably right , but I've always used a couple of pieces of shot to get the fly down, cast 1/4 up and start retrieving when the fly was right across.

Thinking further about it, what I just described is what I do when I think of my fly as being a "nymph". If I'm thinking of it as a "wet fly", then no weight, cast almost straight upstream and retrieve fast than the current. (This is obviously not toward the bank.) I've said for a long time that there's really no difference between a Prince nymph and a Coachman (what difference should it really make if you take the wing from the leading or trailing edge of a goose feather?) but it seems that somewhere in my unconscious, there is a difference.

dennis
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Re: Isonychia bicolor [Slate Drake]

Post by dennis »

A Picket Pin works good too.

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northcountryman
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Re: Isonychia bicolor [Slate Drake]

Post by northcountryman »

Dennis;

What's that?

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Eperous
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Re: Isonychia bicolor [Slate Drake]

Post by Eperous »

dennis wrote:A Picket Pin works good too.
Works great, especially as a dropper wet fly on the Esopus in late summer and early autumn... size 8 and 10...

FYI: viewtopic.php?f=3&t=437&hilit=+picket+pin

Ed

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