June 24, 2017
One of our favorite times of the year has arrived. Caddis hatches are now in full swing and feeding fish are eager to grab a caddis bouncing about on the surface. And yesterday was the best day of dry fly fishing we have seen yet. All the guides reported great dry fly action all day everywhere on the East Outlet and on a variety of caddis imitations. We were all using different caddis imitations successfully but with one common approach; bounce those bugs around.
Caddis emerge as adults just below the surface and take to flight as soon as they break through the film. It’s like they magically appear before you very eyes. And a bug in the air is of no use to the fish or fisherman. But if you watch as many caddis appear as we (guides) do you’ll find many malfunctions in the system that have crippled caddis bouncing around on the surface, not able to fly. Follow enough bouncing caddis as they drift down the river and you’ll spot many of them targeted by actively feeding fish. Imitating the flip-flop over a feeding fish and if you have the right bug out there you’ll probably interest that fish.
It’s very easy to do. Make sure your bug is greased and floating well on the surface film. When you finish greasing a fly your fingers still have silicone on them. If you run your fingers up your leader and grease it as well and your fly will stay on the surface longer. If current grabs a leader and pull it under your fly will soon follow. A greased leader remains on the surface film longer and a fly will skitter about better. If you’re drifting to a feeding fish begin with a drag-free drift and keep your rod tip high. As your fly approaching the fish twitch the tip of your rod slightly to move your fly just a touch and be ready. Move the tip of your rod too much and you will likely move the fly too far. Fish usually won’t chase down a bug. It takes a bit of practice but if you get the fly flirt drift down you’ll interest way more fish than a pretty drag-free drift will. Caddis are not mayflies so the game changes.
If you don’t see any feeding fish try this method along eddy lines where fish hold and you’ll likely entice a fish sooner than with a dreg-free drift. Also try lifting your rod a couple feed at the bottom of the drift to skip your fly back upstream a couple of feet then let it dead drift back over the same water. The skip upstream will get a fishes attention and the drift back will get the take.
And remember when you spot a feeding fish there is no rush to drift your bug over it. We put feeding fish on the clock all the time and a fish that is eating will be a couple minutes between eats. After it grabs a morsel it has to get back to the bottom, return to the sweet spot, then start looking up for anther tid-bit. So don’t rush it, he’s not going anywhere. If the fish makes a swipe at your fly and you don’t get a hook-up don’t hound it with drift after drift. Fish around and when you stop him feeding again give’em another try. Your odds of fooling him will be way better.
Lots of different caddis are hatching theses days so a variety of different body color elk wing caddis need to be in your box. What worked in the morning may not work in the afternoon. Yesterday we did well with olive in the morning but had to switch to orange after lunch and finally a brown one. Keep an eye of what is in the air and flopping around of the water. Rattle the alders and catch a few caddis. They may all look similar from above but are very different in appearance from a fishes view on the bottom. Size and color are key so when one color starts getting ignored change to another.
This is a lot to mull over but put it all together and you just may have one of the best days of dry fly fishing of your season. This is the time of season when our customers will raise over a hundred fish in a day and put 25-50 fish in the net.
It doesn’t get any better.
It’s also time for you pond fishermen to get ready for the event of the season; the Drake hatches. The week of the 4th is always a good bet to visit a trout pond near here.
Didn’t we already say it doesn’t get any better?