Mothers day caddis

The mothers day caddis hatch is in full swing here on the Lower Madison. Although there is high water, clarity in the first few inches is OK and the bugs and fish are out. I've never really had a hatch where I've had to wear my buff to keep the insects from my face... oh apart from the sandflies in NZ! (More like a swarm than a hatch!)

Using an X Caddis in 12 and 14 was the trick and when faced with fish that had obvioulsy seen anglers all day I switched out to an emerger (Iris Caddis) or a deep sparkle pupa. I spoke with a number of anglers on the water and all had some success. It did vary though between parties. Some of course doing better than others.

My own approach is to walk along the bank and to look for risers. I tend to fish a longer leader than I saw bankside (About 14 foot) tapered to a 5X leader. My rod of choice is my sweetgrass 8ft 4wt (Bamboo) and I always try to wade quietly within 20 feet of the fish before casting. The edge of the Madison has multiple currents and getting close helps to get a good drift, taking out difficult currents.

I believe a softer rod capable of casting short distances helps as does the longer leader. I don't lead the fish too far and try not to "flock shoot" if I find a pod. 

One of the challenges is to see your fly amongst all the naturals. Lifting purposefully and not ripping line off the water keeps spooking fish to a minimum on false strikes. I used a small bright fly as a sighter a couple of times and do use the loon float putty too. It really helps  to focus your eye on your fly.

The cool thing about the Mothers day caddis hatch is that the flies are quite large (14) ..I used a 12 to good effect to stand out sometimes.. and the hatch occurs from early afternoon through to dark. 

Although the river was quite busy with anglers there were fish aplenty and bugs too! I hope you get a chance to experience this hatch. It really was fun and some good size fish came out to feast on the caddis.