Saturday, October 10, 2009
Fishing the October Caddis
The October Caddis (Dicosmoecus) is by far my favorite aquatic insect as well as my colleges, we have done an in depth study of this insect for the last 10 years and have learned so much. Great hatches of this bug occur on the McCloud, Upper Sac, the Pit, and Truckee rivers. There are many other rivers and streams that hold the Oct. Caddis as it is a very prolific insect. The larvae builds a case out of small pebbles and spends 1-2 years in the river before it seals the case up and begins pupation, This transformation takes about two months. When ready to hatch, they chew their way out of their case and hatch mid stream or on rocks that are in slow skinny water between noon and evening. Known as the "Big Bug" these insects are 30mm long, and thick! Pupa imitations should be tied on a #6 or #8 3xl hook with a burnt orange body, burnt orange front hackle, black ostrich collar and a black bead. I prefer Gary LaFontaine's deep sparkle pupa as it holds many air bubbles that shimmer and shine. Short line high sticking pocket water will get good results.
Fishing the adult is my true love for this bug, after all, fishing a big dry is simply the best game in town. Many anglers fail to catch large numbers of trout on the Oct. Caddis due to the fact that they simply cast and watch the bug drift. There is so much more to it than that. First, the fly should be of the right size, shape, and profile. You would think that color is of high importance but it is not, which was proved by a college of mine who used a blue bodied pattern on the McCloud and caught fish. Your pattern should sit low in the water, be able to float in all types of water, and be very durable. The color of the wing is important though, on the natural the color of the wing is of pine bark - this is how it camouflages itself from the birds. Also note that the Oct. Caddis loves sunny sections of the river, so find a good bend in the river that gets all day sun.
I tie the Oct. Caddis on 3x, this way when I get hung up in a tree or on an elephant ear I can get my prized fly back. Using a short line I dab the pocket water keeping most of the leader off the water. Here is the key to your success, you must twitch the fly like a natural, even bringing it off the water and back down several times. When a longer drift is needed, cast downstream and drift it fly first so the fish do not see your leader - much like a Fall River drift. The Oct. Caddis lives quite a long time for an aquatic bug, but the cold weather usually gets the best of them. Snow - Some of the best days fishing this bug has been on snowy days when the insects fall from their perch, whether it is a tree or stream side foliage and are helpless drifting down the lanes into a hungry mouth of a trout.
Best game in town folks, so get out there and experience this fascinating hatch!