Tuesday, 25 April 2017
The feast of Saint Mark commemorates Mark the Evangelist and today is St Mark's Day. A national holiday throughout Italy and a day that is celebrated lightly here - for me, the angler and especially one who is fishing for trout with artificial imitation flies at this time of year I give thanks to St Mark.
I will doff my cap to St Mark the Evangelist, but raise my rod and a libation to St Mark the fly! A little known insect that gives me great pleasure at this time of year - the Hawthorn Fly (Bibio marci), also known as the St Marks Fly.
I have always had likings for it - a friendly sort of insect that usually coincides with my first real trout forays of the season. The large females hatch around now,although the males have been around for quite a few weeks on my local West Dorset Streams and the trout have been enjoying them.
The nippers asked what do they do? Do they bite? The answer is no of course and they are one of the unsung heroes as far as pollinators go.
The deceased example you see on my fly box was not hurt as part of this post - it was found in a web on my fishing shed window. So, if like me, you are fishing today or this evening and using a Hawthorn pattern please give thanks to St Mark as well as the fly of the same name - it's always good to cultivate your luck where fishing is concerned.