Hendrickson Mayfly – Fly Patterns and Hatch Information

This post was last updated on October 15th, 2014 at 01:27 am

A light hendrickson fly pattern. Tan colored body with blue dun hackle.
The traditional light Hendrickson trout fly pattern.

The Light Hendrickson is a representation of the hatch Ephemerella Subvaria Mayfly. One of the First big Hatches to hit in the spring. It is advisable to keep a few of these in your fly boxes if you live in the Midwest. They will also work well during PMD/Sulfur hatches all over.

The light hendrckson fly pattern


Materials for tying the Light Hendrickson Fly pattern include:

  • Dubbing: Hendrickson pink or any cream colored fine textured dubbing
  • The Tail and Wings: These are tied using natural blue dun hackle
  • Wings: Made from wood duck or dyed mallard flank feather (as shown in the image above)
  • Thread: Grey or brown

This old faithful fly pattern has caught millions of fish throughout the years and does a decent job of imitating the Hendrickson.

Hendrickson (Ephemerella subvaria)

Quite possibly one of the most looked forward to hatches in the Eastern US. Once the long cold winter has finally subsided, the Light Hendrickson mayfly is typically one of the first decent fly hatches that takes place. I can still recall my first time in the river during this hatch taking place. I could not have been more than 10 years old at the time, when I finally realized why insects play such a massive role in the life of fly fisherman. As the Hendrickson flies filled the sky, the fish started feeding heavily and I was caught off guard with fly patterns that could not fool the trout or perhaps my drifts just weren’t quite good enough. It was during that fishing trip that I vowed to ensure I had a ton of flies to choose from every time I go out fishing.

The Light Hendrickson Hatch and Spinner Fall

This hatch usually takes place in April or May in most Mid West areas, but can vary by weeks depending on the springtime temperatures. It seems to usually coincide pretty well with many states trout season opening day, which is the last Saturday in April. The hatch normally lasts 2-3 weeks and can provide great fly fishing opportunities. The spinner falls for this mayfly take place at dusk and can bring extreme fast paced action for a brief period. As the surface of the water will be filled with dead or dying Hendrickson mayflies that have successfully mated.

Hendrickson Mayfly Ephemerella Subvaria
A nice Hendrickson specimen found during a large spinner fall in Michigan.

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