Re: EHC Tips and Tricks?
I just wanted to chime in with what I learned. The weather here has been terrible, so the hatch was delayed by 2 weeks. The caddis hatching off were black-bodied caddis with tannish-grey wings. Knowing this, pretty much everything I tied was black-bodied. The first time fishing the hatch, I didn't realize the caddisflies were size 16 and everything I tied was too large (size 12). I had a couple hits on the size 12 but didn't hook up. Fortunately, a size 16 royal wulff and a size 16 black adams were close enough to catch fish. I only hooked up ~50% of the time, though. I still caught ~14 browns. Best was 12"
For the second outing, I was better prepared with a variety of patterns in the right sizes. Pretty much everything I tied caught a fish or two. They seemed to prefer the adult females coming back to lay their eggs rather than the emergers. Only flies that were sitting up nicely on top of the film produced strikes. I didn't get a single take on an emerger or pupa. What worked the best was actually a size 16 1x fine dry hook wrapped with peacock hurl and oversized grizzly hackle all the way down the shaft. I think this was because it always landed sitting up right and I could twitch it across the water to immitate the female caddisfly's boucey motion. A simple no-hackle deer-hair black caddis pattern also caught many fish. With both patterns, I had >90% hook-up rate so I knew I had 'em spot on. All told, I caught ~25 browns. Best was 14" and at least 6 were 12"+, which is very good for the streams I was fishing in the Driftless region.
Thanks for all the tips and patterns, guys!