It's almost upon us, probably the best hatch of the year on the White River system, and if the historical trend continues one of the best caddis hatches anywhere. So we thought it appropriate to update our Guide to the Caddis.
The so-called “Mothers Day Caddis”hatches on the Arkansas River in Colorado and other waters have achieved cult status, like the Salmonfly Hatch on the Gunnison, or the Green Drakes on the Henrys Fork. But if the 2010 White River Caddis was anything to go by our waters perhaps hold their equal. Last year the hatch kicked off the week before Sowbug in the first half of March and was still throbbing in May.
It fished well on highwater and spectacularly well on low water, and seems to be getting stronger and longer every year. Once the caddis hatch was a down river affair, now the caddis are relatively common even under Bull Shoals Dams. As an eco-system the White River system is in its infancy, barely 50 years old birthed by the cold water releases from the USACE Dam.
Turn some rocks on the riverbottom and there are caddis cases everywhere, if you have been nymphing over winter you probably have been picking up grannom cases on your hookpoint like we have.
Seriously this is an event not to be missed, and the trout seems to go giddy when the hatch is in full swing.
If you want to learn a bit more about Caddisflies generally, or in particular theBrachycentrus and Rhycophilia Caddis so important here check out the links toTroutnut.com. Jason has some stunning images.
Now Click over for the Subsurface Fly Box:
Here’s our selection of must have subsurface patterns for the Caddis Hatch. We will also be adding a couple of new very special custom ties to this selection. Stay tuned.
John Barr is arguably the number 1 commercial designer in the country still churning out patterns, the Copper John is. Those that know him describe Barr as a fish predator, and his flies as predatory.
Barr’s Graphic Caddis: You would have to be nuts not to have this pattern in your box. Tied on the widegape super sharp TMC 2499SP-BL hook its has everything except weight. Great profile, color, sparkle and movement. Run it as a dropper when the fish are on top,or trail it behind heavier patterns when fish are deep.
Glo Bubble Caddis: Mike Mercer is a great West Coast fly designer with the same sort of success rate as Barr. This an overlooked pattern in this part of the world. Definately worth having for low water and faster riffles. Mercer’s Tungsten ZWing Caddis is a great pattern for probing faster runs and deeper slots and the Caddis Green Psycho Prince (back in stock) is another killer.
LaFontaine’s Sparkle Pupa: Almost venerable among the other flies on this list but still incredibly effective. Fish it on the drift in the bead head versions or work the surface film on the drift or swing with the standard version. This fly made caddis hatches so much easier for the Journal it wasn’t funny. Buy here
Clint’s Sunday Special: It could be a sowbug, it could be a scud or even a caddis. This pattern works on caddis worldwide, fish it hard. Makes a great lead fly for lighter patterns in higher flows. Buy here
PROBABLY not a fly you want to try at home. Fox’s Radical Caddis has some good things going not it, none the least that very cool greed body. Very popular in the larger sizes, which have more hook gape. Available here.