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Inventor of the "closed eye conjecture"
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Yesterday there was a blizzard of caddis all over the place, but unfortunately none were hitting any of my presentations. I tried several different caddis sizes and colors to no avail. I did get a smaller trout on a caddis sparkle pupa, but immedately lost the fly on a snag. Were the fish being selective for the pupa, or was there something else going on? I'm leaning towards the pupa explaination as there were several "jumping" trout, which I was told happened as they chased quickly rising nymphs and pupa to the surface.... Ideas? Suggestions? Consolation?
 
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What the heck was being eaten on the Yakima yesterd...

What size were the caddis? Color? 14-16 tans or 12-14 dark tans? Sounds like they were indeed on the rising pupa, but under blizzard conditions I'd think they'd at least take an X-Caddis, if not a full on low-floating adult (sans palmered hackle). Then again, I wasn't there :( so really have no idea...
:dunno
 

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Inventor of the "closed eye conjecture"
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
What the heck was being eaten on the Yakima yesterd...

>What size were the caddis? Color? 14-16 tans or 12-14
>dark tans? Sounds like they were indeed on the rising
>pupa, but under blizzard conditions I'd think they'd at
>least take an X-Caddis, if not a full on low-floating
>adult (sans palmered hackle). Then again, I wasn't
>there :( so really have no idea...
>:dunno

The caddis ranged from pretty tiny grey 16's to some larger green ones, probably around size 12. We got some hits on a brown size 14 X-Caddis, but Elk Hair's (with hackle various sizes and color) didn't do so hot.
 

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What the heck was being eaten on the Yakima yesterd...

The same event also kicked my butt on the Yakima yesterday. Below is a nice picture I took of the bug in question on my rod. I ended up actually shooting a nice Quicktime video of a pod of ~10 fish feedingly like little piggies on this hatch (after I gave up trying to catch them on everything having to do with Caddis in my fly box).

I did manage about 10 fish later in the day on traditional nymphs. Beautiful day....

http://www.washingtonflyfishing.com/dc/user_files/468.jpg
 

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Whammo!
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My brother and I fished the Yakima yesterday and did the float from Ringer to Umt. From Ringer to about 1/4 mile above the train tressel the water was clear with good visibility and we landed a bunch on dry's, irresistable's, caddis and emergers. I forget what creek that is that dumps into the Yak right before you enter the canyon.. but it was pumping muddy/dirty water into the river and from there down we took nothing off the top but had some decent success nymphing a sparkle caddis pupae and throwing black buggers. It just seemed with the lower visibility the fish were finding it difficult to key on the dry's ??? That is my take, I think if we would have done a upper yak float the dry fly fishing would have been much better.....:thumb

just my 2 cents..

Mike
 

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What the heck was being eaten on the Yakima yesterd...

I floated Ringer to Umtanum on Sunday and had the same frustration. We were able to get some to take the caddis at a hole just before Wilson Creek, but it was tough downstream from where Wilson dumps in. It was an amazing site when the fish were feeding, thousands of bugs in the air and on the water and fish splashing all around. It was frustrating to see them take a natural that landed right next to my offering:beathead.

It sounds like the upper portion was better. We decided to fish the lower when we heard that there were 7-boats at the put in at Rinehart. That upper stretch can get pretty crowded. The lower was very open, how were the crowds on the upper?

I was with a group that floated Rinehart to Mile 19 on Saturday and had a great march brown hatch after lunch, but other than that it was pretty slow. The nymphs and streamers made the day fun after the hatch died.
 

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What the heck was being eaten on the Yakima yesterd...

Welcome to flyfishing. Often times the best conditions produce the toughest fishing. Your flies may have been fine, but when the fish have that many naturals on and in the water to choose from, they're going to have a hard time even finding your fly, and they have no reason to go even an inch out of their way to take it.

These are the conditions that really test your skill. The right fly and a perfect drag free drift aren't enough. You've got to virtually drift your fly down the fish's throat. Pick an individual riser; determine if he is coming up in any decernable rhythm. Then put the exact right fly in the exact right place at the exact right time. It's simple.

What I like best about getting my butt kicked under these conditions is that there's no way I can even say the fishing was no good. It's only my fishing that was no good. It's kind of an odd species of fun isn't it? And if you like that, try the Henry's Fork for the green drakes, or Silver Creek for the tricos, or even Chopaka Lake for the callibaetis. The best fishing is the hardest, that's what makes it the best.
 

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Floated Sunday from Reinhart to Bighorn. I didn't really figure out the midday caddis hatch either, but it did not seem like the fish responded to the bugs much. Picked up a few on soft hackles or sparkle pupa, but not the numbers you'd expect from the size of the hatch...no risers anywhere. I figured that it was too early for the fish to have a keen interest in mother's day caddis yet and wrote the whole game off as a non-event (not so, read on).

March brown hatch lasted only about 15 minutes but really brought the fish up to feed on the surface. Fish would only take a 14 brown sparkle dun in my hands, but it was a fish a cast during that 15 minutes. I should have broken off the hook point so I wouldn't have wasted so much time trying to land fish...cause I would be working hard for fish the rest of the day.:7

Shortly below the mud-spewing Wilson Creek at about 6:00, we came across high concentrations of caddis and a frenzy of feeding trout. Good-sized rainbows leaping completely out of the water and occasionally smacking the surface in classic caddis takes. Rises would attenuate when the bugs dissipated, but would peak again when another cloud of bugs went by. I had very little to show for the 50 or so casts and several caddis surface patterns I tried. Getting a dead free drift was certainly tough in the complex currents and casting under overhanging brush was technical to say the least, but what gives...I had gotten a few good drifts through the ZONE. Finally, on one particularly bad cast, I figured it out. As I was delivering a curve cast into the feeding lane near the bank, my leader caught an overhanging branch and sent the elk hair caddis spinning horizontally around the branch like a tetherball. While I cussed over the probable loss of yet another fly, I was stunned to see a 15+ inch bow lunge out of the water in an attempt to grab my bug. Ahhuhhh! Subsequent observations confirmed it...those fish were keying the clouds of caddis IN FLIGHT. No wonder these fish were not interested in my single fly offerings, they were leaping into clouds of a hundred caddis with their mouths open eating not one, but probably a dozen caddis adults at once. After many attempts to reproduce the accidental "flying caddis" presentation, I called it a day. In the end, I was able to pick up 3 fish in that run on elk hair or dark x-caddis patterns, but the bug at the end of my line next time out is sure to have hackle barbs at least 2 feet long.

-Crock
 

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Driven by irrational exuberance.
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I've been doing great on the mid day caddis with #14-#16 CDC caddis with natural dun CDC and dark olive brown pudgy bodies, or dark brown bodies. It's a good thing they're easy to tie, because they're not very durable. The elk hair caddis I have look way too brown on the water compared to the naturals. These 2? caddis have a mainly gray wing. When I run out of CDC caddis or I need a change up, I'll go to a parachute caddis, same size and color.
 

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(I know this is an old thread but...)
Just was over at the Yakima for a couple of hours yesterday. Did well with #14 sparkle caddis fishing when there were no visible rises... The big hatches I saw last time (two weeks ago) didn't seem to materialize at all, but the sparkle worked well for what ever reason.
 
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