More Than Looks Matter When Fishing a Caddis Hatch
The water has been so crazy high this year. For a guide who depends on good fishing it's been a little frustrating. Frustrating until you catch a fish and see that they are fat, healthy, and very strong and frustrating until you remember that from mid Summer on into the Fall the fishing this year will be epic. High water does have some benefits for the fishery for sure, however, not as many benefits for the fisherman. That said, the river threw us a bone the other day and gave us a killer caddis hatch. We did great, but it took 20 minutes or so to work into our groove. This reminded me of a few things to think about when matching a caddis hatch.
1. Watch for splash. You know its a caddis hatch when you see splashy rises. Fish are often following hatching caddis to the surface. These bugs rise quickly and the fish that are following them up often break the water's surface with a splash.
2. Mimic movement. As mentioned, caddis move rather quickly, for bugs anyway. Sometimes a little twitch and wiggle is a good thing when fishing caddis dries or a href="http://www.riverbum.com/Emerger-Flies/">emergers. Also, soft hackles that move in the water are great during caddis hatches.
3. Fish short droppers. If you're going to drop an emerger or a nymph during a caddis hatch, which can be very effective, keep your dropper a little shorter than normal. I like around a foot if the hatch is on. Fish are near the surface and if your dropper is too long your nymph will go under them.
4. Double dry flies work great during caddis hatches. Use something you can see like a Stimulator and something more sparse like an X Caddis. You'll catch fish on both and the combo simply increases odds.
Caddis hatches are quick and exciting. If you're lucky enough to hit one try to keep your wits about you and remember these few little things and you should have some great fishing for a few hours.