June 11, 2014
Mayfly hatches have started to wind down and it was a great annual event. When they first show every fish in the river wants them. Ten days later, fish begin refusing your best imitation and presentation. Talk to any other fisherman and the story’s the same. “ We can bring’em up for a look but no takers.” It’s just like a garden, when the beans come in we can’t get enough but a week later we stop picking and wait for what’s to come, our taste buds long for the next crop.
For salmon and trout the next banquet is the caddis. Hatches are due to show any day now. There are a few adults around to let you know it won’t be long but not enough to get fish very excited. Remember a bug in the air is of no use to fish and ten bugs on the water is not considered a hatch.
So we say they are in transition, those few days between good hatches when we wonder what happened to all those feeding fish. All of a sudden nothing is feeding on the surface, mainly because there isn’t much for them to feed on. A fish here and there is spotted going for something on top but they don’t show a second time and can’t be caught. What do we do while fish are in transition and won’t take anything that was working for the last week.
The time has come to move on and put the mayfly box on the shelf until next season but keep the mayfly nymphs in your bag. They’ll come in handy later in the season.
We know caddis are about to show so it’s time to start trying your caddis pupa.
They are all over the bottom eager to get on with their adult life. Fish are now ignoring pheasant tails but are eager to grab caddis pupa bouncing along the bottom of an eddy line.
Around here the first caddis to show are standard Elk Wig in size 12-14 but with a bright green body followed by one with an olive body, then tan, then brown. They may all have a similar color wing but the fish know the difference.
The time is coming to start rattling the bushes around the river to see just what caddis is there. The right size and body color and you’re playing the game, something different and no one’s eating your bug. A little streamside homework will go a long way.
Our rivers have already been producing some wonderful fishing. Water flows couldn’t be any better and caddis blitzes are just around the corner. It is a sight to behold and you’ll smile when you talk about it years down the road.
See you on the river.