Winter Caddis Revisited...
The New Year is here and we have had some warm days and just about no snow. I have made my way out a few times and have hit it just right. Between the Winter Caddis, assorted stoneflies and little midges the fishin' has pretty good for most days. I have said it before that there are only a few fishing spots if any where you can cast to feeding trout when Old Man Winter has settled in and the Farmington River is where it is at.
If there is open water some of my favorite times to fish is in the winter months. And this year we have got plenty of open water & good wading. Besides If I can see Andy wading up to the top of his waders in lower Church - I know I'll have no problem. Just about exclusive to our river, the Winter Caddis hatches in the early part of the day have been great. The caddis emerger, occasional little winter stonefly and midge dry fishing over the years has left me with some of my more memorable fishing experiences on our beautiful Farmington River. Hope to See you on the water soon !
The Winter Caddis hatch throughout the year and are at their heaviest from November until early spring. The way in which these species of caddis hatch is more unique this time of year. The way you make your presentation can catch more fish, obviously. Sometimes you must vary the way you work your caddis fly imitation on the water when presented to the trout - especially when the dead drift isn't cutting it. The winter caddis is most predominant and found hatching in slower pools just off of faster runs and riffles. Church pool is a good example. The winter caddis make their way to the surface and attempt to emerge but mainly have to very poorly swim or make their way to the river’s banks and bushes to finish molting. Most of the females of this caddis species are born wingless leaving them even more vulnerable in the film.
One fact is that this is a vulnerable hatch and it is available as easy pickings to the trout.
The best hatches occur on brighter and sunny mornings but this hatch can be around all the time early in the day. Most of the time in slower water with a good dead drift over a feeding trout you will hook up. If the trout are not taking a dead drift your method of presentation should encompass some type of slight movement within the retrieve of your fly. Working your fly by slight, slight twitching, swimming or last minute swinging over and across fish that are feeding can be a welcome surprise, especially at the head and tail outs. Most of my hook- ups lately have been when I was slightly working my fly as opposed to a dead drift. But we all know that can change day to day and it all depends on how active the fish are. The type of winter caddis patterns that work best are emerging styles, wingless females and I always have some tiny winged caddis dries as well. The size of your flies should range from sizes #20 to #28 and use your 6x, 7x, and smaller if you prefer.
This time of year can be a blast to get into some nice sized trout on the Farmington River. So don't let the frigid Old Man get you in his grip. I plan on getting out again soon. So check the weather channel, dust off your fly rod & reel and make your way to the river. Maybe I’ll see you there.