Sunday, July 18, 2010

Caddis in the Canyon

Most creeks and rivers in Colorado have seen the peak of our annual runoff pass. Now we are on the home slide into what is arguably the peek fishing season. The stream flows across the state are still dropping steadily, making one week better than the last. With these lowering water levels, diminishing snow pack and brutally hot days, bring rising water temps, which both accelerate trout metabolism and trigger the hatching of the mid-summer mass of bugs. I am seeing PMD (Pale Morning Dun) mayflies hatching, Golden Stones crawling around on the bottom, the occasional big Green Drake appearing seemingly out of nowhere and hoards of grasshoppers flushing out of the tall grass as I pass by. But it is the caddis that get me riled up! You may not always see them dancing around over the surface of the water, but they are there…in force. Naturally camouflaged to mimic the colors and patterns of the lichen. Brush up against a bridge piling or rock outcropping and you will disturb the apparent rigidity of the large, inanimate objects. The surface comes to life in a hurry…moth-like adult caddis flies scatter frantically about, tangling in your hair and nearby spider webs. And every trout knows they are there. The water may still be a tad high, but dare to drift a bushy, little dry fly through any open pocket water and it will get eaten!

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