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Showing posts with the label caddisflies

Up and Down

Up and down.  So go the river levels.  It's absolutely confounding.  Between the rain, runoff from snowmelt and dam releases, fishing conditions change, every day.  
It was eighty-eight degrees early one evening last week.  I usually dread the heat.  But, since a guy doesn't know how many trips around the sun he has left, I went anyway.   The river had dropped to around 2400 c.f.s.  Wading is possible at that level, one can nibble around the edges.  If lucky, I thought that I might find a few rising fish.  Maybe a few caddis too.  They like warm weather.
Shuffling my way through the grass, I stirred up some caddis.  Like hoppers, they were up and right back down into the safety of the grass.  Like me, they were waiting for the wind to die down.
I found a bit of soft water and settled in to watch.  At 7:30 the caddis dance began.

And, soon after, a few fish began to show their noses.  I tied on a nine foot leader, which, after fishing a fourteen or sixteen footer was quite a c…

Bear Trap

It was warm.  Heat radiated off of the canyon walls.  The temperature on my car gauge stretched into the low 80's.
Geez, what's this?
Sweat.
I've avoided Bear Trap Canyon, outside of winter, for decades.  It can be hot.  Dry. Theres snakes.  The last summer hike that I took, I saw seven rattlers, on the trail.   That's plenty for one day, don't you think?
Then there's ticks, poison ivy too.
It's really not that bad.  One does need to watch where one places important appendages though.



Ah, poison ivy.  It's incorrectly been called poison oak.  What we have here is western poison ivy.  It  grows as an upright vine and can be found along the banks of the Madison.  While fishing, I've also seen it along the Missouri and Clark Fork Rivers in Montana, the Selway, Lochsa and Clearwater in Idaho, and the Grande Ronde in Washington.  I still have flashbacks to childhood summers spent broken out and itchy from rashes.  The rash on unmentionable body parts i…

Madison Caddis

The caddis made their inaugural appearance of the season this week.   Normally, I find no need to hurry out to the river.  You can if you like.  Arrive too early, and its too bright, and surprisingly, a bit warm already.  The last hour or two is the best time of the day.  Once the wind settles, clouds of caddis fly en masse.  It's an incredible sight.  I think that you'll agree.
This week, I went twice.  When I arrived at the river, a few tree swallows busily flew over the water.  They're a good indicator of the presence of winged insects.  In this case caddis!
Once fishing, I stuck with adult caddis patterns.  Basically an elk hair type.  I also use deer, caribou and antelope for the wings.  They all work.  The antelope and caribou hair is more brittle though.
On the first night I had a devil of a time trying to spot my imposter on the surface of the water. So, after I got home,  I tied a few with a fluorescent post.  That helped a little.




Interestingly, the real bugs, b…