Caddis - Sign of Spring and Good Things to Come – Fins and Feathers Bozeman
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Category_Vintage -

Caddis - Sign of Spring and Good Things to Come

The early season Mother’s Day Caddis Hatch is one of the most anticipated hatches only second to the Salmon Flies. To me, nothing symbolizes Spring fishing and the promise of warm weather like the Caddis Fly. When these moth like insects reach maturity and the water temps start reaching the 50’s, the hatch can be so intense you can scoop the bugs off the water and in the boat with both hands. The picture of Charlies waders above show a couple perfect specimens. The picture below is from this day last year on the Yellowstone. It’s a pretty good example of what the hatch can look like.

These insects are usually about a size 14. Sometimes going a little larger to a #12 helps so you can see your fly and from the fish’s point of view, it stands out from the billions of naturals. The body color of these early season gems is a dark olive and the wings are a light ginger or tan. Caddis can be present all day but have large surges early morning and just before dark. Caddis are cool because you can almost always tell when the fish are eating them. If the fish are jumping all the way out of the water, it usually means they’re eating Emergers. Caddis fill themselves with gasses and rise to the surface so quick that the momentum of a chasing Trout takes him all the way outg of the water. When I see this I usually try to swing a Soft Hackle through them or fish a Dry like an X-Caddis or Emerging Cripple pattern. If the fish are relaxed and just seem to be sipping at will along a bank or under a tree they are probably eating Egg Layers or Spent Adults. A Spent Partridge and Peacock usually works fine for that scene. Here are a few of my favorites.

The Lower Madison has been seeing Caddis for a week now, the Yellowstone just started going off this Saturday, the Upper Madison, Ruby and the Beaverhead should be soon.