- Mid-April to Mid-May
- #12-14 Tubed Peeping Caddis Nymph
- #14-16 Grass Green Pupa
- #16-20 Dry Flies in Varying Colors (See Below)
The spring caddis hatch is more difficult to define than mayflies and as such there is some debate as to exactly what caddis specie is emerging during the prime spring emergence. What is not debated is the importance of spring caddis to the driftless fly angler and the trout, this is one of the most prolific hatches in S.E. Minnesota. It can be found on most streams and the emergence is often large and sustained with some instances of emergence being so great that the angler can lose their fly among the naturals. The main specie of caddis hatching during this spring period which begins typically a few weeks after the Baetis emergence has finished (typically around the end of April into early May) is Brachycentrus. These are the caddis larva in little dark colored “round” tube cases stuck to rocks in our riffles and its cased naturals are what a “peeking caddis fly pattern” is attempting to mimic. The two main sub-specie are B.numerous and B.lateralis. The “grey” caddis is often the spring caddis hatch that is referenced in Minnesota when speaking of this prolific emergence but often the emergence of the grey caddis is overlapped by one or potentially several other caddis specie and is the reason they are grouped together in this reference.
As a general rule try switching caddis dry flies from say a larger tan caddis to a smaller grey caddis during an emergence if you’re not sure which one is the more prevalent specie emerging. I typically switch my fly a few times starting with the larger fly and adjusting down focusing first on size, then shape and finally color. Finally, I can’t over emphasize the amazing strikes and fun you can have when properly “skittering” a well treated, high floating caddis dry fly pattern. There are many patterns to choose from but often a standard elk hair or deer hair pattern matching the color specifics below work very well.
- #18-20 Grey Caddis Imitation: Medium Grey Dun Wing, Charcoal Grey Body and Dark Dun Legs.
- #16-18 Tan/Olive Caddis Imitation: Light Tan Wing, Medium Olive Body and Tan/Orangish Legs.
- #18 Black Caddis: Dark Tan Wing, Black Body and Tan Legs