Monday, July 6, 2015

Iris Caddis - Don't Leave Home Without Them

I've fished a bunch of evenings the last couple of weeks, and this fly has taken the majority of fish for me.  Just about every evening on trout streams from the Northeast to Northern California, caddis hatch and trout feed on them.  One of the primary caddis genera that hatches is the Hydropsyche, of which there are over a dozen species that hatch throughout the warmer months of the year.  This pattern, designed by the folks at Blue Ribbon Flies in West Yellowstone, MT, imitates the emergers very well.  So, tie some up, buy some, or have someone else tie some up for you, and fish them with confidence.

Just sayin'.

And sharpen your hooks.

Sunday, July 5, 2015

A Quiet Summer Evening On the Water

A couple of days ago my son Matt and I fished the South Branch late in the day.  He calls me most every day to see if we can fish, but lately it has been hit or miss with either night meetings, or the water temperatures are too high for the trout. It had rained the night before and that day the skies were mostly cloudy with moderate air temps, so we were in luck.  The water was 66 degrees F when we arrived, a little off color with a decent flow.  I didn't see another angler as I drove along to river to our meeting spot, so we had our pick of where we wanted to fish.   

After gearing up we carefully waded into the long pool as cardinals and other song birds watched and sang from the walnut trees scattered along the opposite bank of the river.  A few light colored caddis fluttered about along with some midges and the odd cranefly, and fish moved in the darker, deeper runs and pockets as they took insects in the water column and just below the surface; the flash of their flanks revealing their locations.  

We both tied on an Iris Caddis and spread out to give each other plenty of room.  We each settled into positions within casting distance of active fish, and planted our feet so as not to disturb the water any more than necessary. It was a wonderful night to be on the water; the air was calm and warm and enough fish rose to keep us both occupied.  And the fishing was good.  We caught only rainbows, although Matt had a nice brown working on and off near him most of the evening, but it was having none of what he offered.   Every fish came on the Iris Caddis. Here's my fly at the end of the night.  I love it when I tie on a fly and fish it the whole outing and it works like a charm.     

If you don't carry Iris Caddis in the summer months, you are likely missing out on some great fishing. This fly imitates the light colored caddis that emerge to some degree just about every single evening on trout streams across America.  Notice the bottom photo; the hook point is blunted, and when I checked it as darkness took over the light, I knew it was tie to hang this one up and quit for the night. If it were earlier in the day, I would have sharpened that puppy up and kept fishing it. We had another great night on the river, and hopefully this week the expected rains will give us some more summer nights like this one.

Sharpen your hooks.......unless it's time to retire the fly.  

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Learning to Fly......

My daughter sent me this photo she took of Henley fishing with his dad last evening.  It was Henley's first time fishing, and at 18 months old, she said he wasn't about to let go of that rod for anything.

My mother said the same thing about one of her sons some 55+ years ago.......

Sharpen your hooks.        

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Rainbows On the South Branch

Late in the afternoon Friday my son Matt called me at the office to see if I would meet him on the river after work to fish that evening. It had been a warm day and I said yes, but we would need to check the water temperature first. Since I live only a few miles from the river, I told him I would go home, grab my gear and go down to the river and check the water temperature and call him before he made the half hour drive from his home.  

When I got to the river an hour or so later, I was hopeful the water temperature would be safe for catch and release fishing as the level was up some from recent rains and it was cool the evening before.  We were in luck, the water was 66-67 degrees F, so I called Matt and told him where to meet me.   While I waited for him, checked out a few spots along the river and was surprised to see only a handful of anglers with the weather being so nice.  It was warm, with hazy clouds dimming the sunlight, and the air was calm.

When Matt arrived I told him to leave his waders in the car, we were going to wet wade.  After getting ourselves ready we walked to the river and slowly waded in spreading out a comfortable distance, but not too far apart in case he need some help.  The last few years he has been concentrating on college, and now that he's graduated he's getting back into fly fishing, requiring some refreshing on knots and fly selection.

The only flies we saw were clusters of tan/ginger caddis fluttering over the water surface, and an occasional golden or brown stonefly adult.  Fish rose sporadically along the opposite bank and in the deeper runs and pockets.  Fortunately, this is one of the easier late spring/summer situations to figure out most nights - the clusters of fluttering, light colored caddis in the air over the water, with no adults on the water surface, and fish rising = speckled caddis (hydropsyche) emergence.  In this situation I have found that a size #14-16 tan Iris caddis works wonderfully, so I tied one on.  Matt tied on a tan caribou caddis, and we both began waiting for rises and casting to those targets.

We fished until dusk turned to dark, and we could no longer see our flies on the water.  We had a good evening, having caught a number of nice fish, some in the 8-10 inch range, and few 12-14 inch fish. I caught all of mine on the Iris caddis, and Matt got his on the caribou caddis, and later on the Iris caddis as well.  He also had few long distance releases, the result of being a little rusty after a few years off.  The bottom line, he is doing things right and hooking fish after a long hiatus from the sport. After we packed up I took him to dinner at a local Italian eatery, where we had a good meal and a couple of beers, while we talked about the fishing and other important what was happening in other sports.

Sharpen your hooks!  And take your kids fishing, it's great fun

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Mayfly Swarms Close PA Bridge

A massive mayfly hatch on the Susquehanna River near Lancaster, PA, led to the closing of the Route 462 bridge Saturday night after they caused several motorcycle crashes.  Now that is a hatch!

LINK:Swarming Mayflies Close PA Bridge  

Hope everyone  is alright.