Well, it’s official. Winter has ended. The biggest snowstorm in Central Pennsylvania occurred in October, so it’s not like winter was slow to release its grip. But yesterday’s spring arrival brought an unexpected visitor. After fishing elsewhere for a few hours in the morning, I decided to take a look at Upper Penns Creek in front of my house. I saw the usual Blue Winged Olives and stoneflies fluttering in the air. But then a larger mayfly lifted from the water. Then another. Trout began to rise, and I grabbed my butterfly net to capture and identify these bugs. They were Hendricksons, a month before they’re supposed to be here.
The weird weather in recent years has made hatch charts completely unreliable. But my friend Charlie Meck reminded me, just a few days ago, that he doesn’t use hatch charts. He looks at the flowers. Forsythia has been blooming for two days around my home. And when the Forsythia is in bloom, the Hendricksons emerge.