Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Lots of Bugs, Fish and More Bugs

I've been back fishing the last week or so, albeit like a one-armed paper hanger, but with the all the bugs on the water and the fish rising to them its got to be good for the healing process. (I got crushed by some guy texting and driving on Route 84 in CT 6 weeks ago.)   I can use my left hand to hold the line and tie knots, and that gets it done as long as I don't have to lift or bend the elbow too far.  Fished the last 3 of 4 evenings, and a couple were great, and one challenging, all of them well worth the time and effort.  Here's a nice 14-15" rainbow that took a Light Cahill just after dark the other night.

The dry fly fishing has been great lately here in the Northeast, with excellent river conditions and tons of hatching insects to bring the trout to the surface.  Last evening we saw several species of mayflies, caddisflies, and stoneflies in the air and on the water.  There were Sulphur duns and spinners from size #16 down to #20, many of the females struggling to carry their oversized egg-sacs as they flew over the river.  Isonychia dun and spinners #8-10, Light Cahills #12-14, Pink Cahills #14, Blue-winged Olive spinners #16-20, Rusty spinners #12-16, Little dark grannoms #16-18, Apple caddis #16, Cinnamon/speckled caddis #14-16, Golden stoneflies #6-8, Yellow Sallies #12, and a bunch of other assorted small caddis, midges, and craneflies.  After we got done fishing, Vinnie and I were covered with these insects as they congregated in front of my car lights and on our clothes.  Here's a Light Cahill spinner on my pant leg:

Where we were fishing, the trout seemed to prefer the small dark caddis that were hatching.  I spoke to others folks that said they did well on small sulphurs - duns and spinners - on the stretches they fished.  It all depends on where you are as to what the fish may be keyed in on.  The trick is to carry a basic arsenal of patterns that both cover most of the primary hatches, and that you have confidence in.   Across the board, we all did best using 6X tippet in fairly long leaders - I was using a 12-13 foot leader.

As I said, last night, the fish were on the small dark caddis, and took most of our fish on my Caribou Caddis - tan-gray body.  After I caught a number of fish, I decided to experiment and did manage a few on a Light Cahill, and one on a sulphur emerger.  Vinnie and Tim got their fish on caddis.  Here's the well-chewed Caribou Caddis I used last night - this one has a Zelon trailing shuck.

The other evening a bunch of us fished above Califon, covering a lot of water as we spread out, and the results were mixed. It did rain on and off throughout the evening, and that may have effected the outcomes.  Some of us got fish on caddis, others on sulphurs, Jim got his on a #18 Parachute Adams, and I got one on caddis and the others on a Light Cahill.  I think that night, like most, it was more a question of getting the right drift with a fly you had confidence in.  I had seen a number of Light Cahills disappear from the surface where I was, so that's what I fished with confidence.

We didn't make a video this weekend, as we had lots of family obligations during the days, but we'll be back next week........maybe with a Sulphur thorax style pattern.  

Get out there and enjoy the great dry fishing to be had, and sharpen those hooks when they need it.


Brk Trt said...

I'm not much on hatch matching, but the fly posted will work on all the little streams I fish.
Sorry about your accident... I84 and texting...a bad combo.

Mr. Q said...

Looking forward to the video!!!!!!

Unknown said...

sorry to hear about your accident, heres to a quick reovery. thanks for the work you and tight lines are doing, love the blog and videos. could you tell me where to get caribou hair? have tried several places, no luck, thanks again, psu fly fisherman.

Matt Grobert said...


I had no idea it would be so hard to find when we made the video. Try Blue Ribbon Flies in West Yellowstone, that is where I get it and most of my tying hair whether it be caribou or deer or elk.

Matt Grobert said...

Mr. Q, we decided to go with another fly pattern that has been killing them this past week or so. Should be out in a day or so......