Experienced fishermen turn to the caddisfly | SierraSun.com
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Experienced fishermen turn to the caddisfly

Bruce Ajari

For the experienced Truckee River flyfisherman, this time of year on the Truckee River means that an angler can have some pretty good dry fly fishing in the evenings with a caddisfly imitation or little yellow stonefly imitation.Caddisflies are characterized by the tent-like wings that they exhibit at rest. They also tend to congregate around the bushes near the edge of the water, and fly very erratically.Caddisflies are found on most western freestone streams such as the Truckee River. The reason for this is the fact that they like the highly oxygenated water that the tumbling waters provide. The two types that typically emerge on the Truckee River at this time are the Hydropsyche and Ryhacophila. Both of these forms of caddisflies do not make a case.The Hydropsyche builds a silk lined netting near their retreats that are located between cracks in the rocks and woody debris. Nets are also built to catch drifting bits of food that the larva eat.Both the Hydropsyche and Ryhacophila larva are curved worm-like creatures. The best way to identify them is that the Hydropshche has bushy gills on the underside of the abdomen where the Ryhacophila does not.The Ryhacophila larva is commonly referred to by fishermen as the “green rockworm.” It is a free swimming caddisfly and the larva is very available to the fish. As a result, fishermen imitating them often find themselves very successful.Because caddisflies go through a complete metamorphosis, an egg stage, various larval stages, a pupal stage, and an adult stage, the angler should be aware of the other stages.The pupal stage occurs during the last instar of the larval stage within a sealed cocoon. The pupa then rips its way out of the cocoon and ascends quickly to the surface. It is during this period that many anglers may mistakenly fish the adult form of the insect with very limited success.Fish are chasing the pupa to the surface and it often appears that they are taking the insects off the surface. In reality they are chasing the fast ascending pupa and exploding through the surface of the water. It would look much like the rise to an adult insect.Perhaps the two best patterns that anglers utilize for this stage are the Bird’s Nest or a Lafontaine Sparkle pupa. Either of these work exceptionally well with a dry fly such as the elk hair caddis fished in tandem.This method also eliminates the doubt as to whether they are taking the adult or the pupa. I have found myself catching fish exclusively on the pupa at one point in the evening, and all of a sudden the fish would transition to the adult stage and I would find myself catching all the fish on the adult imitation. The transition from one form of the insect to the other happens so quickly and often times without notice. When fishing two flies to imitate the stages, you can really appreciate this fact.Adults can be important to the fisherman because they generally return to the water around dusk to lay their eggs. Adult imitations are generally fished actively since adult caddisflies are seldom found drifting.This makes fishing the adult easy for most anglers. There is no real wrong way to fish it. Since egg laying caddis even dive below the surface to lay eggs, the angler can even pop the fly below the surface and strip it back. Try that with a mayfly imitation and you wouldn’t have much success.Both of these caddisflies can be imitated with simple patterns such as the two indicated above for the pupa and the elk hair caddis for the adult. The larval pattern is a simple one dubbed with the appropriate color body and ribbed with a gold or copper wire to provide the segmentation. A dark head can be imitated in a variety of means and that is all that is necessary. Try this with a bead head pattern as well.While there are many other patterns that you can experiment with for the caddisflies, these basic patterns will work. To learn more about this insect tryreading Gary LaFontaine’s book Caddisflies. It is sure to provide you with a wealth on knowledge on this insect and, more importantly, how to fool the fish. At over 300 pages, it is long, but well worth the expenditure.Fishing ReportWith the warm weather most lake fish have headed for the comfort of deeper water. As a result anglers fishing early or late in the day, or those fishing deeper water have been most successful. Keep this in mind for your fishing outing.Boca – (38,414 ac. ft.) Boca has been fishing fair to good. Most anglers fishing from shore near the inlet and dam are having some success. Most anglers use nightcrawlers or Powerbait. Boaters are having fair success on Kokanee. Most are using a combination of flashers and a wedding ring or Kokanee Bug with a piece of white corn. Those trolling for trout are using a combination of flashers and a nightcrawler or minnow imitating lure. Flyfishermen near the inlet should have fair to good action using a variety of nymphs, streamer, and emergers.Donner – Fishing has been fair to good. Most anglers fishing for rainbows on the west end and near the launch ramp have had some success. A few large fish have also been reported Nightcrawlers and Powerbait seem to be the main bait. Trollers using minnow imitating lures have had fair to good success. Kokanee fishing has also been fair to good. Most are trolling Ted’s Bugs, Kokanee Bugs or wedding rings with a piece of white corn behind a flasher.Lake Tahoe – Fishing has been good for mackinaw. Most fish are in the five to seven pound range. A guide is highly recommended if you are fishing for mackinaw for the first time. Toplining and shore fishing is fair. Remember tributaries to Tahoe open July 1 and will close again on Sept. 30.Martis Lake – (Martis is restricted to artificial lures with barbless hooks. Zero fish may be bagged or possessed.) Fishing is fair to good. Most use nymphs such as the Hares Ear, Pheasant Tail, Damselfly imitations or the A.P. Small midge patterns have also been good at times. Streamers that imitate small fish, and woolly buggers are also good choices. For surface activity, patterns such as the Quiqley Cripple, Martis Midge, Parachute Adams, and Griffith’s Knat are good choices.Little Truckee River – Fishing has be en fair to good. Most anglers are using nightcrawlers, Powerbait or salmon eggs at the inlet of Boca reservoir. Flyfishermen are taking fish on nymphs, emergers and streamers.Prosser – (28,855 ac. ft.) Fishing here has been fair to good. Bank fishermen use nightcrawlers or Powerbait. Most trollers are pulling a combination of lashers and nightcrawlers or a minnow imitating lure. Flyfishermen near the inlets have taken a few fish mostly on nymphs and streamers.Stampede – (233,558 ac. ft.) Stampede is fair to good. Most shore anglers are taking a few fish, still some very nice size ones. Most use the typical baits, nightcrawlers or Powerbait. Those throwing lures are also having some success. Topliners have fair to good success for kokanee salmon. With the warm weather the fish are being found in deeper water. Most use a flasher of some sort and a kokanee bug or wedding ring with a piece of white corn.Truckee River – The release has been lowered to 308 cubic feet per second from the dam at Tahoe City. Typically these flows have been adjusted on Tuesdays lately. If it is held here the fishing in the river should be very good with the reduced flows. Bait, lures or flies have been successful in the river between Tahoe City and Truckee. In the wild trout section below Truckee flyfishermen are using nymphs such as the caddis larva, prince, birds nest, hares ear, or pheasant tail with good success. For dries try a humpy, elk hair caddis, or a parachute adams.Other Waters – Frenchman flshed fair this past week. The latest reports indicate that the fishing has slowed a bit. Davis lake has been planted and was fishing well at last report. Jackson Meadows is fishing fair to good. Milton Reservoir has been fishing fair to good for flyfishermen. Middle Fork of the Feather River & Portola Area – The Middle Fork of the Feather River and many of the smaller streams in the area have been heavily stocked and are fishing fair to good.Sierra Sun E-mail: sun@tahoe.comVisitors Guide | News | Diversions | Marketplace | Weather | CommunityCopyright, tahoe.com. Materials contained within this site maynot be used without permission.About tahoe.com… 


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