We have entered our summer caddis pattern when you’ll find sporadic caddis hatches here and there throughout the day. Fish can be found casually feeding in most pools. Often there will be a substantial hatch early in the morning and late in the evening. Nowadays there are multiple species of caddis hatching. A shake of the alders around the river will reveal who’s around. There are orange body, olive body, tan body, brown body and even a few tiny black body caddis. The trick this time of season is finding which one fish are keying in on. At the end of a day our fly patch is usually full. Some days we need a lot of different imitations to fool fussy fish. Every pool can be different as can be every fish. We cycle through a lot of flies in order to get the job done.
Fish will sip crippled caddis drifting on the surface, caddis bouncing about trying to take to flight, dead adults in the film of the water, and emerging caddis.
The trick is figuring out what fish are feeding on and how to present your caddis imitation. One sure fire way to get a fishes’ attention is by twitching your bug a bit as it drifts along on the surface. Keep your rod tip high and flip the tip slightly as your fly fly moves downstream along an eddy line. Then at the end of the drift scoot your fly back upstream 5-10’ then dead drift it back over the same water. The scoot will get a fishes attention and the drift back will get the fish. Cover every squre foot of water. There are plenty of fish looking for something to eat and don’t want to have to work very hard to get to something.
A splashy rise indicates a fish going for a caddis as it becomes an adult just under the surface. Often you’ll spot a caddis fly away from the splash indicating a fish missed its attempt to get an emerging caddis. The fish is always right under the splash. Try skipping your fly over that spot a few time and you’ll probably fool the fish. If you get no results change the body color of your caddis. It makes a difference.
If you spot fish just making a boil of water and no splash they are likely feeding on crippled caddis in the film of the water. These are fish you want to swing a soft hackle by, the slower the swing the better your chances. Cast 45 degrees drown stream and across the current then mend upstream to slow down the swing. We tickle some of our biggest fish swinging soft hackle wets just under the surface.
With the warmer weather coming Drake (Hex) season is just around the corner. Dust off those big bugs and get extra batteries for the flashlight. It’s time to babysit your favorite trout pond.
Have a great weekend on the water.