May 4th, 2011: Continuing Caddis

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Fished for three hours from ~1pm to ~4pm, hatching Caddis were beginning to show on arrival and continued to swell reaching a peak at ~3pm. Fish were caught on a #18 and #20 EHC with a Greyish Wing and Black/Grey Body. I fished a pupa trailer for the 1st half hour or so and picked up a handful but dropped it after the trout really began concentrating on surface adults. I lost count of how many trout were caught after 25 but it was substantially more than that, fairly easy pickings with a dead drifted EHC. The “wave” phenomenon that I had documented previously this season occurred again with long lulls and no rising, when the trout began rising again they would swell to a boil then drop off abruptly. The rising sections seemed to decrease in duration as the afternoon wore on with the length of the lulls getting progressively longer. There also seemed to be a relationship between the wind and rising, the windier it got the fewer fish rose, likely because the caddis just weren’t hovering over the stream during the wind gusts. I attempted various presentations and was surprised how many fish would take a sunk EHC stripped in like a streamer (very interesting). I attempted skittering for a while but found a dead drift producing more successful rises. I fished a single spot and didn’t move more than fifty feet but suffered a bit due to my choice of casting location, my belief is that when dead drifting a fly that is supposed to riding high any amount of drag can turn fish off, especially when they have so many perfectly safe choices swarming around. Due to my casting location I was crossing a couple currents leaving my “dead” drift a fairly short time frame before any drag would set in even when mending. I did fish a couple #18 and [singlepic id=2589 w=320 h=240 float=left]#20 EHC Puffs when the going got tough and I wanted something that would ride high but as with most things CDC after the first good dunking it lost some of its effectiveness. The afternoon ended with a fair amount of observation and camera work. Honestly I’m not thrilled with most of these photos the sun seemed to be working against me and I was trying different settings on my camera. Note the darker appearance of some of the caddis.

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3 Comments:

  1. I’ve noticed the “wave” thing this year as well. Its an odd phenomenon and I havent figured out why it happening either. I do know why your sunk caddis stripped in is working though. Female caddis flys dive under water to lay eggs. During a good hatch I will often let the fly bury itself at the end of the drift and strip it in for a few feet. I think of it as the musky “figure 8” of fly fishing. it can trigger a pretty aggressive strike

  2. Luke, thanks for the thoughts. I can see the sunk caddis triggering the strike based on specie that have female egg layers but I didn’t see many exhibiting that behavior, maybe it happens at another time not associated with the hatch? Maybe I just missed seeing diving females, either way your right the sunk and stripped EHC can produce flashy agressive strikes.

  3. I read that a guy can dry the CDC flies using a desiccant powder. Have you ever tried that? If a fish eats a CDC pattern once, it is shot for the duration of the outing it seems.

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