Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Caddis, Caddis, More Caddis

Matt Hargrave from Montana River Outfitters and I went out last night for a short recon mission to check out the caddis activity down by Pelican Point. We put in at Mountain Palace and started with what was working throughout the Canyon the other day, which was the worm and a caddis pupa running deep in the soft inside out seams. When we didn't get anything that first pass, we switched up to the "marshmallow rig" and turned to the tight seams along the bank and scum lines...we had a lot fun.

The marshmallow rig or the short-short leash is just a nymph rig set at about 18 inches with the first fly being a Czech nymph for a little weight and the second, some kind of nymph to match what's hatching. Yesterday was micro-mays at first and then when the rain stopped; caddis pupas. They crushed the pupas as caddis were popping all over.

We could have targeted fish on dries, which is what most of us do when we fun-float but I also wanted to figure some things out as an arsenal for clients that might not have the skill set or the patience for dry flies. That's the beauty of the marshmallow rig is that you can throw it over rising fish and they will eat it and although it's more technical than deep nymph rigs, it's not as technical as getting a fish to eat a dry. And, it can be a lot of fun for even the best of anglers because even when fish aren't rising, if you can read water and make pin-point casts, you'll definitely be rewarded.

With the water warming up and bigger bugs hatching; those big browns are moving onto the seams along the hard banks and under trees. The marshmallow rig allows you to target those fish and test your skills at hitting small targets and get a drift. Last night was an exceptional night for doing this as fish were definitely keyed in. Although we had brought a dry-fly rod, we actually were having so much fun fishing the banks and seams that we just kept rocking it and kept hooking really good fish like the one Matt's holding in the pic.

Keep 'em where they live...which now seems to be changing over from soft bends to hard banks.

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