Trip Report: Spotty

I got out yesterday evening and today. While caddis were around surface activity was spotty. So we’re the trout!

A few smaller fish took the fly dead drifted but I found much better luck, and much larger fish, when the fly was sunk and twitched or skittered. We had a few rain events earlier this week but it’s had very little effect. The rivers I fished were both still very low and clear.

This little guy has very unique markings! While there was no discernible hatch I didn’t deviate from the gray sz 16 caddis until I threw a streamer on the hike back to the car. No love. Today I decided to cash in a personal mental health day that my job offers (sweet deal, right!?) to chase trout and de-stress. With temps forecast in the mid 60’s and sunny skies I anticipated a great hatch. What I found was wind. Still, fish came on a caddis dry dead drifted, skittered, and (most frequently) twitched. Driftless trout love a little movement on the fly.

I’ve noticed that the bigger fish tend to push farther into the run and porpoise as they eat. This pattern helped me target larger fish and avoid the hundreds of young of the year dinks that are numerous.

Around 30 came to hand with many more small fish than the last few times out. I think because of the wind the bigger fish weren’t willing to surface for less payoff. The rain may have also cooled the water down and messed with the hatch. I found two distinct periods of hatching caddis, around 1230 and another around 130. A size 18 (spotted sedge I believe) and a size 20 black caddis. The size 16 gray I fished all day seemed to work just fine.

I suspect the caddis are waning, but will continue for at least another week or two. Yesterday I spotted a few mayflies, but far more caddis. Streams are busy but vegetation is still low so hiking is easy. Spread out and go get ‘em!

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