Originally Posted by fysh
Gary LaFontaine was one of a kind, his humor and quick wit always kept everyone laughing and on their toes.
I had the pleasure of spending time with him, Mike Lawson, and Jack Dennis on a few occasions during the early 90's when they did a yearly seminar during the Winter called 'The Traveling Fly fisherman'. It was a two day event on trout fishing tactics and the second day was spent tying with them teaching you tips and techniques on their popular flies. Classes were always limited so everyone got 1 on 1 time with each of them.
I agree Kerry, if a person ties and fishes Caddis Flies, they need to have this book, and refer to it often
If a person is not tying and fishing caddis flies, it should start doing those asap. Caddis larvae and pupae represent a higher percentage of the invertebrate biomass than all other bugs combined in most of the rivers the have them. True, not all sections of the rivers have an abundance of caddis (i.e. tailwaters or high gradient mountain creeks), but in most of the trout holding water caddises are well represented.
There are periods (seasonal and daily) when there are more caddis in the drift than other species of "food items" combined. We tend to disregard caddises because we can't see frequent hatches and "spinner falls" and come to the conclusion that somehow they are less important, but caddises are very active from spring to fall . A good amount of caddis flies are nocturnal (or prefer low light conditions), so fishermen don't notice the activity, but the larvae and pupae are very active underwater, and trout notice and take advantage of this.
Caddis larvae and pupae imitations occupy a good chunk of my fly boxes. I caught a good part of my biggest trout on caddis larvae and pupae imitations, some of them during hatches of other species (BWO, PMD). My personal best (27.5" brown) fell to a #14 cooper tung bead brown caddis pupa during a PMD hatch just below a riffle.
So if you are not fishing caddis imitations, you should start doing that as soon as the water warms up a bit. The main thing is that you have to drift your larvae and/or pupae imitations close to the bottom in the spring. Pupae/emergers can be worked anywhere in the water column.
European style nymphing, especially czeck and polish, were developed though presenting caddis imitations to trout and greyling on the bottom of the river. The effectiveness of this style is unquestionable.
I hope i made some of you thinking a bit and give caddis larvae and pupae imitating flies a fair chance.
And yes, "Caddisflies" is the best book about this subject in my opinion. It is a bit too scientific for most fishermen, but well wroth reading and re-reading and re-reading... You don't need all the variations and sizes described in the book, you only need to imitate the species that are predominant in the water you fish. I mostly fish size 12 to 16 green, olive, and tan larvae, and 14 and 16 pupae in grey, tan, olive, brown, and black. Most of them have CDC incorporated in the pattern, some of them have a hot spot.