Caddis, Caddis, Everywhere

June 15

It’s caddis, caddis, caddis everywhere now. If this says anything about how fish love caddis I had customers on the West Branch below Rip Dam the other day and they brought up over 100 fish to caddis imitations. Every fish in the river loves to eat caddis.

For a while it’ll be elk wing caddis in sizes 12-16. Have a close look at early season caddis from the top and they all look just about the same but flip them over and look at the bottom side from a fishes angle and you’ll find, bright green, olive, brown and black bodies. Believe me the fish know the difference.

We like to rig a second caddis as a dropper behind the lead fly. Use about 2 feet of 4X or 5X tippet and tie it to the bend of your first fly. Choose a different color body or a different size caddis for the dropper. Dead drift your flies much like you do mayflies but at the end of the drift lift your rod-tip and skitter the caddis upstream a few feet then drop your rod-tip and dead drift them back over the same water. Unlike mayflies, caddis often skittle along the surface in an attempt to fly and fish often key in on the tiny v-wake they are making. You’ll be surprised at who might take a stab at the helpless caddis you are dead drifting back over the same water you just fished.

Even though there may not be a caddis hatch going on at the time you are fishing, every fish in the river is now looking up and with water temperatures still cool they have no problem coming to the surface for your dry fly.

Nymphing is always in season and now is the time to break in your caddis pupa in all those popular colors. Work the eddy lines especially at the heads of the pools. Make sure to let your nymph drift to the surface before you recast them. Fish are used to chasing caddis as they naturally head for the surface to hatch. Don’t be surprised if something nails your nymph on the pick-up.

As the caddis hatches progress and fish start getting a bit fussy about what they want try not treating your dry fly with floatant and fishing it in the film of the water as a cripple or take your nipper and trim it back a bit to imitate the emerger instead of the adult. It’s good to have a few tricks up your sleeve, you’ll start fooling a lot more fish.

Start making plans for the Green Drake (Hex) hatches. They haven’t started yet but predictions have the event scheduled to start sooner than later.
So polish off your monster mayflies and if you need a few new ones go to our
Our on-line Catalog where you will find a great selection of proven winners.