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Tips and Flies for the Mother's Day Caddis Hatch

Tips and Flies for the Mother's Day Caddis Hatch

The hatch is eminent. We are right on the cusp of seeing this hatch explode and as we impatiently wait for the bugs to pop, it's important to go into this spring with a little more knowledge and a plan. As of today, the hatch is spotty but it will blow its lid here any day!  Here is shot of what it is going to look like when it finally happens.  The cool weather has kept the hatch from blowing up, but on the upside - water clarity as of today is excellent.

Caddis Hatch on the Yakima River

Dry Fly Fishing Tips

A few years ago I just couldn't help myself while working the shop floor, I could see the swarms of Caddis and a few feeding fish across the river. I grabbed a teammate and we put a boat in and rowed over to where we could see the splashy rises in the shadows along the brush from the shop. I filmed a short video clip with a few great tips on how to approach fish when dry fly fishing.

Dry Flies for the Mother's Day Caddis Hatch

Presentation is 90% of catching fish on dry flies, but you'll want to be able to trust your fly. When I have absolute confidence that my fly works, it instills focus and diligence in my casting and fishing.  Get good flies. Flies that float good, are tied with good materials so they dry out on a single false cast, hold together after catching a few fish, and feature quality hooks.  

I like a Caddis that skates well when I mend and doesn't take a nose dive, so buoyancy for me is an important attribute. If the fish are feeding exclusively on emergers, I'll sometimes trail an emerger or a soft hackle but my go-to bugs are always going to be good floaters. A deadly accurate cast will often entice a fish that had been feeding slightly sub-surface to come up to the top.

Top Picks for the Caddis Hatch

For me, this small group of Caddis will make up about 80% of my fishing. I'll grab a few other flies like a Missing Link Caddis or a Corn Fed Caddis when a fish is feeding a bit low in the film, OR when I have a really picky feeder a Partridge Soft Hackle fished wet behind a dry fly is my killer.


RIO's Parachute Caddis Dry Fly

Good floater, great mender (skates up on top as you mend) and it's easy to see. I can catch several fish with it typically before it needs more floatant and the clean body (no vertical hackle) helps the fish identify it as a late stage emerger IMO. 


This fly pretty much does it all. I've used it in a variety of situations and it always seems to produce. Simple, effective, good floater and easy to see.  The exposed Peacock body seems to get bit. Plain and simple.
If you ask Bobby our shop manager what fly to use all season, he will tell you a #14 Crime Scene Caddis. If they don't like it, move on and find another fish cause if they don't have good taste in flies that fish doesn't deserve a fly this good.  He talks to all the guides, all the customers, and this is his #1 pick. For me it's in the top 3 for sure.  It scoots around on the surface quite well and seems to "act" the part of a Caddis as well as look the part. 

Leader Setup for Dry Fly Caddis Fishing

On our river, the Yakima, we fish tight into the sticks and brush most of the time. You'll find yourself in awe of how some of these big trout bury their heads right in the sticks feeding on egg-laying Caddis as the walk off the branches. I swear the trout chew on the branches like corn on the cob!  It's incredible.

With that said I personally like nothing less than 4X tippet, a heavier tippet provides some abrasion resistance because inevitably my tippet will wind up with some nicks and scars in it. 

My preference for fishing the tight edges is also to use a 7.5' leader on a #4 or even a #3 weight rod. The lighter line, thinner line, and touch of a lighter rod for close range fishing yields a significant advantage.

RIO Suppleflex Trout Leader 7.5' 3X or 7.5' 4X




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Mike B. - May 21, 2022

Awesome insight, I’m a major rookie and am looking for any pointers you may have.

GARY HOLSCHER - May 18, 2022

Thanks again Joe for the springtime hatch and catch tips. Your tips have increased my strike, catch and overall fishing enjoyment this spring.

John - May 16, 2022

Keep them coming,I am enjoying all the fishing tips and how to do it.

Willam Swanson - May 16, 2022

Thanks for sharing your top picks on Caddis really enjoyed that

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