Mother’s Day Caddis on the Lower Madison River – Fins and Feathers Bozeman
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Mother’s Day Caddis on the Lower Madison River

Caddis Caddis Caddis…why all the fuss? Besides being one of the most mind-blowing natural phenomenons on the planet, it’s also a really fun hatch to fish. I always count myself lucky whenever I have the opportunity to fish during this hatch on the lower Madison.

I have been running out to the lower Madison on warm days in late April with the anticipation of a steady thumping on the windshield for over 20 years now. There’s nothing like the jolt of excitement I get once I see a few bugs near Camp Creek. I try to keep my expectations in check as I round the corner at Black’s Ford until that moment of truth comes and green egg sacks find their way across the windshield, signaling that the hatch is officially on.

In the early days, there were patterns like the RAM Caddis and Goddard Caddis that were my go to standards. Fish them upstream, letting them swing at the end when that Ram Caddis would work its wonders. Over the years, I’ve just become more stubborn and prefer to just fish a dry and there is none better for me than a Peacock Elk Hair Caddsi in a size 14. I know that the fish are eating pupa for the most part, but I just cant help myself to fish a big dry over the boils, twitching it down and across. It’s just an awesome experience and one that I look forward to like few others throughout the year.

The hatch has been going, more or less, for the last few days on the lower Madison. The warm weather that is forecasted for this week should only bring more and more of the bugs out which will get the fish looking up more and more throughout the day. Personally, my favorite time to be out there during this hatch is in the evenings after work. Once the shadows of the surrounding mountains cover the water and the winds die down, heads generally appear just about everywhere and the dry fly fishing becomes both productive and easy!

Definitely plan on getting out this April to see the spectacle for yourself! Plan on taking a few Caddis dries in the 12-14 range (Peacock or Dun Elk Hair Caddis are my recommendations) and a few Caddis Pupa patterns like the Mother’s Day or Sparkle Pupa. This is the one time of year when I actually use a fly sinket treatment to help get lightweight pupa below the surface. I like fishing my Sage MOD 590 for this type of fishing with a Rio Gold WF floating line as I like the close range accuracy with this setup and it just has a ton of feel to it when fishing dries.

Fins & Feathers of Bozeman’s fly shop has a ton of Caddis dry and pupa flies to choose from right now. Stop in the shop or browse our selection online, either way, we will be happy to help you get the right bugs for this hatch before you head out to the Lower Madison River.