Sunday, May 19, 2013

Bring on the Caddis

The annual Craig Caddis Festival was yesterday, which seems a bit apropos as yesterday was the first I've seen of fish eating caddis through the canyon. I've been seeing them down by Cascade and we've been crushing them on pupas down there but I hadn't really seen trout coming up for them. Eating lunch yesterday above Mid-Canon, we noticed a few fish sipping mayflies at the bottom of a riffle and then a big caddis came fluttering down. As it danced a foot or so above the water, a decent sized trout lunged out of the water at it.

I rigged up a caddis rod and had my guy throw a couple casts over it. At one point his fly swung across the seem where the fish had come up and bam! The thing ate it. With his line already tight when he ate, we couldn't keep the fish pinned but it was a good sign. It's time boys and's time.

A few of us were hanging out Friday night at the Trout Shop sampling some tasty smoked ribs and sausages Rocky, a local fire-fighter, was preparing for the Caddis Festival when my clients from yesterday walked in. It was a bit ironic that I had just set up my calendar on the Trout Shop website and had been talking to them about doing some trips. Apparently, the guys had fished that day above Craig with absolutely no luck. They had talked to someone at the ramp who had been roping them so they walked down to the shop admitting defeat and decided to hire a guide. I just happened to be standing there so Mike Bushley looked at me and pointed, "There's your guide."

We put in at Stickney Creek, about 3 or 4 miles down from Craig. Once we got all rigged up and I explained some of the intricacies of fishing the Missouri and how important getting a good drift was, I had the guys cast just down stream from the first riffle, dumping their bugs in the bucket below. They doubled up.

"I think we made the right choice," Bo said to his buddy Damien and from there on we roped 'em.

The boys did well and were the proverbial sponges they claimed to be when I picked them up; wanting to learn everything they could about the Missouri and fly-fishing in general. Those are my favorite kind of dudes. They come out here thinking they can figure it out and try their hardest but at some point they realize they might need a little help, so not only do they ask but they actually listen. Nice work boys.

I've only done a few days for the Trout Shop in the last six years--in large part because I'm not an outfitter, which means I can't be listed on their website but also because I haven't been very good about establishing that relationship with them. I appreciate the opportunity though and look forward to doing it again.

Keep 'em where they live...

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