Happy Independence Day!!
The caddis fly hatch is going off on the Lower Deschutes River. Fishing has been great from Warm Springs down to Mack's Canyon. Swarms of caddis are dancing around every tree and bush and the trout are keying in. Size 14ish X-Caddis, Elk Hair Caddis, E/C Caddis set the standard for trout catching flies.
The hottest days produce the best dry fly fishing, while cooler or windy days keep the caddis in the brush. Those days there will still be dry fly opportunities in the best spots, but nymphing will pick up the slack a bit (pun totally intended).
I was asked yesterday, "if there are so many typed of caddis, how do you know just what one to fish?"
I thought for a moment, because I don't know every one of the 100+ species of caddis on the Deschutes. But I do know just what to tie on to catch trout. The answer is simple... its all about size. Assuming we are chasing winter steelhead during the March/April mayfly hatches, we begin our dry fly season with large salmonfly and golden stone patterns. Eventually the trout wise up and Yellow Sallies become important (smaller than goldens, larger than most caddis). Then for the most part we fish the caddis hatch. We will be fishing caddis flies through the summer before Blue Winged Olives hatch again in the fall. As the season progresses the trout get smarter and smarter, and smaller flies and lighter tippets are required to catch fish. So... I like to scale down fly and leader size only as necessary. I begin the stonefly hatch with 2 or 3X tippet. 4X for yellow sallies and early July Caddis. 5X for caddis once the trout start demanding size 16 and smaller.
Long story short, start with a the largest tippets and caddis patterns the trout will take, usually about a 14 on 4X. Don't educate the trout on small flies before you have to.
Thanks for checking in,