Wednesday, September 21, 2011

The Real Orange of Autumn

The Great Autumn Sedges have been hatching quite well this year on our streams, despite the recent floods and prior summer heat.  If only we could get our asses away from work long enough to fish, we might enjoy the colors of Autumn both in the trees and on the water.

This is a big mother of a bug, size #8-10, and quite the looker.  Wings bathed in a soft orange, clearly veined, and with large rust colored eyes and long antennae, this caddisfly is loved by both trout and fly fishers alike.  Although it hatches primarily very late in the day and after dark, it hangs around flowing trout waters in the early morning hours and at dusk enough that the fish are familiar with and will feed on them.  In fact, we will blind fish our low-floating dry version over likely holding water and take plenty of eager risers.

For you eggheads, these are the eastern October caddis - Pycnopsyche (sp.).  They hatch from August through October, with the apex of the hatch occurring in late September into early October most years.

A large orange and partridge soft hackle is a good wet for the emerger - add a fur dubbed thorax to add a little bulk and lend a better silhouette to the mix. 

Here's the adult:       

Here is my low riding adult imitation: Ruddy orange body; amber zelon underwing; orange dyed elk body wing; touch dubbed hare's ear for the thorax.  Size #10 dry fly hook.  This pattern has worked well for me as a general searching pattern early and late in the day this time of the year.

Here's is an elk hair caddis version I tied for those of you that prefer this style.  The body is ruddy orange, the hackle is bleached grizzly, and the wing it natural elk hair (the color is washed out by the flash). 

Tie some up and give them a shot.  And be sure to fish them in the skinny water and right up against the bank.  Trout will lay in water only a few inches deep this time of the year if left undisturbed.

Good luck, and sharpen those hooks. 


Brk Trt said...

They're both great flies.

I love that first one.

Anonymous said...

Nice flies

MarkW said...

Thanks for the October caddis patterns ! Been trying to find some ideas. I've heard wets do better than dries because the fish prefer the puppa - is this your experience?

e.m.b. said...

Those both look great...beautiful colors. Like the aspens. I love fall. :)

Matt Grobert said...

Mark, I didn't post a photo here, but I tie a soft hackle on a size #12 dry fly hook, using orange thread, with a tapered body of orange squirrel/antron mix ribbed with brown 3/0 thread. Pick it out with a brush or velcro, then a couple of wraps with a rusty speckled hen feather and you're done.

Anonymous said...

Soft hackles are the best flies, you can fish them dry or wet, at any depth and if you can't get a natural drift...the fish eat 'em any way!!!!