On The Fly: Caddis the fly of choice in area
On The Fly
While discussing float trips with the guide staff this week, the main theme was certainly how the Roaring Fork and Colorado Rivers are making the switch from blue winged olives to steady caddis hatches.
The first few days of the hatch are always interesting, because it takes the fish a minute to remember what the heck caddis are, and whether they are food. They remember now, and are looking up and eating adults after a week of snacking on emerging pupa and caddis larvae.
Last week’s refusals on dry flies are turning in to this week’s ferocious takedowns. Running double dries is already a deadly combination, and if you have trouble with one fish on the end of your line, try fighting two at once!
The Roaring Fork River is absolutely crawling with caddis larvae, and this is their time to start annual rituals of hatching, mating, laying eggs and dying.
There are a few techniques that will intensify your fishing time, starting with having plenty of floatant. Your whole line, leader, tippet and fly must float well, or you will be missing fish all day. Sunken dry flies usually don’t cut it with finicky trout, and caddis fishing requires high and dry presentations on your part.
Another requirement is imparting motion to your dry flies from the second they light upon the water until you go to recast, every single time. Real caddis don’t just sit there and wait to get eaten. They are struggling to launch or, at least, make it to shore before trouble comes in the form of a hungry fish. Move them, skate them, bump them all the way through your drift.
Lastly, across and downstream casts make this much easier to do on your part. This technique has trickled into most of my dry fly fishing, whether it’s caddis, blue wings, pale morning duns, green drakes and even midges. Repositioning or twitching your flies is much easier when they’re downstream versus upstream. Be sure to get on the water on our upcoming hot and bright days, then get back to the water at dusk to catch the egg layer caddis frenzy.
This column is provided weekly by Taylor Creek Fly Shops in Aspen and Basalt. Taylor Creek can be reached at 970-927-4370, or on the Web at http://www.taylorcreek.com.
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Born in New Castle, Alice McKennis Duran learned to ski at 2 at Sunlight Mountain with her father and older sister, Kendra. She also had a brief stint training with the Aspen Valley Ski & Snowboard Club prior to joining the national team.