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Old 07-22-2008, 08:46 PM
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Default Ffishing the Hatch

This has bugged me for 3 weeks. When Lauri and I were in the Black Hills in early July there was a small caddis hatch in the evenings. I caught a few of the flies and they had an olivish body. So I put a olive elk winged caddis with an olive emerges as a dropper. Not on hit on the dry fly. We did catch fish on the emergers.

We were careful to not bee seen. We tried different presentations, sized flies, tippet size, colors, dries alone and no hits.

I've have rarely fished a hatch. In the past I have had a few hits during March Brown or caddis hatches on the Lower Mountain Fork. But very few.

Any ideas what to change?

Scott
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Old 07-22-2008, 09:03 PM
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Default Re: Ffishing the Hatch

Good question Smith. When you figure it out let me know. About a month ago there was a monster caddis hatch on the Platte, fish rising everywhere. You coulda thrown a puked up fur ball and caught fish. Since then the hatches have been sporadic, mostly just at dawn and before dark and there are very few fish rising to what is landing on the water. Emergers are a great dropper behind a caddis dry. Here in Colorado Barr's olive is a great one. You still have to figure out the feeding depth of the fish and adjust the dropper appropriately.
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Old 07-23-2008, 02:10 PM
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Default Re: Ffishing the Hatch

It appears you have answered your own question, they were feeding on emergers not dries.
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Old 07-23-2008, 03:14 PM
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Default Re: Ffishing the Hatch

A Caddis hatch can be some of the more frustrating hatches to fish. If you would like to understand them better I recommend you get Gary Lafontaines book Caddis Flies. You should be able to find a copy in just about any fly shop.
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Old 07-23-2008, 04:39 PM
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Default Re: Ffishing the Hatch

I ran into that too. In my case it wasn't a hatch that was just hatching, but females laying eggs. When I switched to an egg laying EHC I started to get takes.
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Old 07-23-2008, 06:21 PM
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Default Re: Ffishing the Hatch

Since I wasn't there to see, I can't say for sure. Some guesses follow... It could be that your presentation wasn't spot on. If the real insects were twitching on the surface of the water and you were just dead drifting your flies, that could have been what you were missing. I've found that in some evening hatches, perhaps due to the low light conditions, the "dancing" insects caught in the surface film are the quickest to get eaten. Although, I've only ever seen mayflies dancing on the surface film like this... Perhaps because caddis flies, as I understand it, congregate on rocks to molt rather than risking it in the surface film like mayflies will. So, if the fish were keyed in to freshly emerged adult caddis flies, it might have been near rocks and your fly just wasn't positioned in the right place. Otherwise, if you just noticed the adults flying in the air, and not so much on the water surface, I think it must be as imxer pointed out and the fish were actually keyed in on the emergers.
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Old 07-23-2008, 06:32 PM
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Default Re: Ffishing the Hatch

Quote:
Originally Posted by Davo View Post
A Caddis hatch can be some of the more frustrating hatches to fish. If you would like to understand them better I recommend you get Gary Lafontaines book Caddis Flies. You should be able to find a copy in just about any fly shop.

+1 Excellent book! Depending on how hungry the fish are and stage of the hatch helps to dictate what form the fish will take.
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Old 07-23-2008, 07:44 PM
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Default Re: Ffishing the Hatch

You guys bring up some good points.

I did mostly dead drift the flies. I didn't notice any twitching in the flies on the surface. But did see some fish taken of the top. Most were dimples on the surface but few were fish just breaking the surface.

Like imixer said the fish could have keyed on the emergers and not the adults on the surface.

Caddis Flies by LaFontaine has been on my wish list. I'll have to get it and study some more.

Thanks guys
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Old 07-23-2008, 08:08 PM
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Default Re: Ffishing the Hatch

La Fontaine's Sparkle Caddis Pupa is an excellent choice. Another thought. If the fish you saw rising for bugs were just sipping them off the surface you may have mistaken that for fish feeding on emergers just under the surface or in the surface film. Been there, done that.
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