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Having a drink in The Buff
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi. Some questions regarding fishing spruce moth patterns. I did a forum search and found some info but will throw out some additional questions:

Where and what time of year do you fish spruce moths? (not necessary to name specific rivers. state or region is fine)

Once it starts how long does the hatch go or how long is it fishable? (i.e. is it a one week kind of thing or one month or ?)

What time of day is best fishing?

Any tips on patterns or tactics? all dry?

Thanks in advance, FAF
 

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Triploid, Humpy & Seaplane Hater....Know Grizzler
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Generally, early summer into October, is when I most often see them.
It seems I've seen more in the mornings and evenings. Might be due to either driving to or from fishing during those times and noticing them more often.
Don't limit yourself to streams. I've seen fish go crazy for them in lakes as well.
Bleached elk or deer hair on a stimulator or elk hair caddis has worked for me.
Hope this helps,
SF
 

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BigDog
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Mid-August to early September in my experience. Some years there aren't many and some years there is an outbreak with millions of them. Bear in mind that they are terrestrials, so there isn't a juvenile sub-surface phase. I've tied soft-hackles in appropriate size/color to imitate drowned bugs, but I usually just fish dries.
D
 

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Just to add a note, a friend of mine was working for WDFW a couple of years ago doing stomach content surveys involving sea-run cutthroat in salt water and told me that they had found surprisingly large numbers of spruce moths in their stomachs at certain times of the year. This might account for the success reported by Steve Raymond with his Cutthroat Candy fly. Dry flies for sea-run cutthroat in the salt is an area that might be worth looking into a bit more deeply. I know they'll go nuts on flying termites along the beaches during prolific hatches.
 

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Coast to Coast
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Just to add a note, a friend of mine was working for WDFW a couple of years ago doing stomach content surveys involving sea-run cutthroat in salt water told me that they had found surprisingly large numbers of spruce moths in their stomachs at certain times of the year. This might account for the success reported by Steve Raymond with his Cutthroat Candy fly. Dry flies for sea-run cutthroat in the salt is an area that might be worth looking into a bit more deeply. I know they'll go nuts on flying termites along the beaches during prolific hatches.
It was probably a decade ago now that we had a very large spruce moth hatch. I witnessed multiple searuns coming up to them in the salt that year and caught many fishing a stimulator. Short twitches worked best as the naturals would flutter their wings and create a pretty good disturbance on the water until they drowned.

I've caught searuns on stimulators at other times, but mostly when skating them.
 

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Mad Flyentist
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Just to add a note, a friend of mine was working for WDFW a couple of years ago doing stomach content surveys involving sea-run cutthroat in salt water told me that they had found surprisingly large numbers of spruce moths in their stomachs at certain times of the year. This might account for the success reported by Steve Raymond with his Cutthroat Candy fly. Dry flies for sea-run cutthroat in the salt is an area that might be worth looking into a bit more deeply. I know they'll go nuts on flying termites along the beaches during prolific hatches.
I was just gonna say Ive see them fluttering on the surface on several beaches during the late summer/early fall.
Never really tried to dial it in though due to the lack of rising fish, and they are generally in the duck holding water where I don't try to fish. Maybe super early on a high tide from a boat
 

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Having a drink in The Buff
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks to all for the info!! So ... as far as patterns, it sounds like EHC, stims, and other caddis patterns can work ....

Bleached elk or deer hair on a stimulator or elk hair caddis has worked for me.SF
I've tied soft-hackles in appropriate size/color
D
My favorite dry is Hemingway Caddis.
... so now the question is: what size? what color body? what color wing?

also - are there rivers in WA with fishable spruce moth "hatches"? (again, no need to name rivers)
what about the ID Rocky Mtn Westlope Cutt streams (ditto)?

thanks again!
 

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Justified
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Hi. Some questions regarding fishing spruce moth patterns. I did a forum search and found some info but will throw out some additional questions:

Where and what time of year do you fish spruce moths? (not necessary to name specific rivers. state or region is fine)

Once it starts how long does the hatch go or how long is it fishable? (i.e. is it a one week kind of thing or one month or ?)

What time of day is best fishing?

Any tips on patterns or tactics? all dry?

Thanks in advance, FAF
Man, don't pass on fishing a huge, I mean big hares ear during that hatch!

I'm talking like size 10!
 

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Triploid, Humpy & Seaplane Hater....Know Grizzler
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Size 10 to 12 for me. Bigger if you are going to impart action on them as the bigger fly will float a bit better.
I agree with spadebit on the cream colored belly.
SF
 

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BigDog
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3,554 Posts
Thanks to all for the info!! So ... as far as patterns, it sounds like EHC, stims, and other caddis patterns can work ....

... so now the question is: what size? what color body? what color wing?

also - are there rivers in WA with fishable spruce moth "hatches"? (again, no need to name rivers)
what about the ID Rocky Mtn Westlope Cutt streams (ditto)?

thanks again!
I usually tie them in size 12, although as you can see in the pics below, that is a tad bigger than the real bug. 14 would probably be better if you are striving for realism; as Stonefish mentioned bigger keeps 'em up longer and may attract attention more.

I've seen them in the forests on the east side of the Cascades, but it is western Montana where I've really encountered them in abundance while fishing. I think they tend towards dryer forests than those on the west side of the Cascades or Bitterroots, but my evidence is anecdotal, so may be incomplete or flat out wrong.

Here are a few patterns I've tied and a couple pics of flies next to the real McCoy. I think my favorite is the one with an antron yarn underwing and deer hair overwing. The same fly without the deer hair works and is a much quicker tie, but doesn't float as well. The body is cream, but will appear to have darker spots due to the legs and spots on the wings. Chances are an EHC will work as well as any of these. The last pic is of the softhackle I tied to represent the drowned moth.

Dick
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Having a drink in The Buff
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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I usually tie them in size 12, although as you can see in the pics below, that is a tad bigger than the real bug. 14 would probably be better if you are striving for realism; as Stonefish mentioned bigger keeps 'em up longer and may attract attention more.

I've seen them in the forests on the east side of the Cascades, but it is western Montana where I've really encountered them in abundance while fishing. I think they tend towards dryer forests than those on the west side of the Cascades or Bitterroots, but my evidence is anecdotal, so may be incomplete or flat out wrong.

Here are a few patterns I've tied and a couple pics of flies next to the real McCoy. I think my favorite is the one with an antron yarn underwing and deer hair overwing. The same fly without the deer hair works and is a much quicker tie, but doesn't float as well. The body is cream, but will appear to have darker spots due to the legs and spots on the wings. Chances are an EHC will work as well as any of these. The last pic is of the softhackle I tied to represent the drowned moth.

Dick
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DJ Olmstead ... BOOM!! (mic drop ... walks out on top)
 

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Having a drink in The Buff
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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
DJ Olmstead ... BOOM!! (mic drop ... walks out on top)
Seriously Thank You All. I'm going to try to put your great info to good use. Nature willing.

Now... As a poll ... Everyone!! if you like fishing spruce moth hatches *OR* if you like the Idea of fishing spruce moths then select "like" below on this post! (Plus any of my posts above)

It will be Really interesting to see how much interest there is in spruce moths out there!!!! please just click like. It feels great when u do
 

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West Yellowstone puddle outside the grocery store.
I use a clipped caribou body with a loop of orangish antron ala the Irise Caddis (the orange helps!) with a tan antelope overwing. Ginger variant hackle sometimes. Sort of a cross between an Irresistible and an elkhair caddis. Floats forever and can be skittered if that's what's required.
Road surface Asphalt Tar Grass Soil
 
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