The Colorado Caddis of Summer

The Chaotic Caddis of Summer

Caddis DryCaddisGreem Caddis Pupa

Summer is here and time is right for fishing those crazy chaotic Caddis.  Fly fishers the world over spend a good chunk of their lives chasing the caddis hatches that can occur on most rivers worldwide. The caddis fly in the order of Trichoptera has over 1,300 sub species making it one of the most prolific insect hatches there is.  Here in the Rocky Mountain west the hatches of Caddis can start in mid spring and last well into fall.  It’s during this time of year when the spring run-off begins to subside and the water levels drop and the temperatures become a consistent 45-55 degrees that these bugs come off in such huge numbers that it can make the fish go absolutely crazy. Known as an aquatic moth they Caddis fly is very noticeable by its haphazard, skating like movements on the water and flight.  It’s this very chaotic moving that makes the Trout strike out at them with such ferocity that the fish sometimes come whole body out of the water to eat them.  The sound of Trout slapping the water is what we refer to as a Caddis rise.  The Caddis goes through a complete metamorphosis.  We as anglers key in on the emerger (cripple) and the Adult stages of the caddis life cycle.  It’s during the emergence that often these bugs will sit trapped on the water’s surface for a long period of time waiting for their wings to fully develop and they actually begin to run or skate on the water surface.  Trout will need to act quickly to eat them thus creating the loud slapping rises that alert anglers.  The Eagle River that runs through the heart of the Vail valley is home to one of the most amazing Caddis hatches.  At the time of publishing this post we are at the start of this crazy fun time that make many Fly anglers forget about family, friends and work! So stop reading this and get into your local Fly shop, gran a fistful of Elk Hair Caddis and hit the water!  This hatch is very prominant on the Roaring Fork, Colorado, Frying Pan Rivers as most smaller tributaries of these major waterways as well.

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