Western Washington Stillwater Caddis Flies

Discussion in 'Fly Fishing Entomology' started by ceviche, May 26, 2008.

  1. dryflylarry

    dryflylarry "Chasing Riseforms"

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    Good subject. I have been having a little luck using a soft-hackled wet with a red body lately. I've been using a few turns of badger hackle and tied swept back on a plain red-dubbed body. I don't know if they have been taking it for a caddis pupa or what, but it's been working when other things have been slow. Beats me. Size 10-14.

    You guys might want to get in on a new fly swap that Fly Punk is trying to put together. I'm thinking about it. He's doing an October Caddis swap.
     
  2. scottflycst

    scottflycst Active Member

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    BJG,
    In the stillwater environment, the caddis in their cases live right on the bottom of lakes and ponds. They move about very slowly in their cases made up of the different debris found on the lake floor. For this reason, and the fact that trout aren't usually bottom feeders, cased caddis aren't available to trout. This is a good thing because the caddis protected and camo'd in it's case needs time to mature into pupal form and prepare for emergence. Trout in stillwaters find caddis available most of the time in pupal form (during emergence) and in the adult form (winged). Like other aquatic born winged insects, after mating, females will return to the water to lay their eggs. It is at this time when they are most vulnerable to feeding trout.

    So to answer your question, stillwater fisherman don't usually imitate the "cased" (larva) form. Instead we'll find greater success imitating the pupal and adult forms since these are the opportunities the trout recognize most.

    For stream fishermen, cased caddis are available to trout and trout feed on them regularly from mid summer into fall (body of water specific). There are several popular imitations that work well. Two that come to mind I've had great success with are the "Muskrat nymph" and "Peeking Caddis".

    Great question, I hope this helps.

    Scott
     
  3. Tony

    Tony Left handed Gemini.

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    I haven't really ever tried to fish a cased pattern in stillwater but in one of the books I've read they suggest slowly working it along the bottom leaving a trail in the mud, I'm not so sure how well this would work. I have witnessed floating cased caddis stirred up by the wind knocked free from whatever they were crawling on at one of the lakes I fish and I went so far as to tie a few patterns for that condition but have not ever really tried them but its a thought that might work.
    tony
     
  4. Jim Wallace

    Jim Wallace Smells like low tide.

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    I bonked a 15" hatchery swag from a local lowland OP lake the last time I went there, and it had several cased caddis in its stomach. Cases were made from pebbles, and looked the same as the ones we find in streams here. Good sized, about an inch long. The lake is an impoundment of a small creek. I figure, all of the lakes that are impoundments on the wet side probably have these caddis that are the familiar "periwinkles" we used for bait when we were kids, and that were in the creeks before the dams went in.
    I have also found smaller caddis larvae in the same lake, with skinny cases made from waterlogged evergreen needles and small pieces of twigs.
    This lake gets a good Alder Fly hatch, too.

    The trout in this lake must feed off the bottom much of the time. Of course, at times there is lots of surface feeding going on. I have found at least one of either crayfish claws, snails, or cased caddis in the stomachs of most of the trout I have bonked in that lake. I have bonked about one hatchery trout per trip from this lake, sometimes 2, and usually ones with torn up mouths or some other injury. I always examine the stomach contents.
     
  5. ceviche

    ceviche Active Member

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    Do you remember the color of the larvae of both of the caddis flies you describe here?

    --Dave E.
     
  6. Jim Wallace

    Jim Wallace Smells like low tide.

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    Dave, the pebble cased ones were the yellowish tan bodied ones with black head parts. They looked just like the ones i usually find in most of the local streams here.
    The others, I can't really say, since they were smaller, narrow in diameter, tapered to narrower at the back end, and I didn't rip them out of their cases.
    I don't know doodly squat about all the different species of caddis, mayflies, and stoneflies. Just some bare basics.
     
  7. ceviche

    ceviche Active Member

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    Okay. Thanks anyway.

    --Dave E.