June 25TH Double R Fishing Report
Wednesday, June 25, 2014:
Over the past week I have begun to see a few of the White Miller Caddis which usually blanket Silver Creek in early June. Yeesterday morning there was a bona fide flight of White Miller Caddis down in the field water. I have no explanation for the relatively late emergence of White Miller Caddis this season. I would have expected an early hatch this year due to the low creek level which has warmed the water, particularly downstream of Highway 20. But, I feel the White Miller Caddis is about to become a significant event in our daily fishing. Keep your eyes open, particularly in the evening.
The term “White Miller Caddis” is a label applied to the family of caddis flies featuring antennae unusually long for a caddis fly, also colloquially known as the Long Horned Caddis. The species we encounter early season on Silver Creek is the Oecetis. A similar but somewhat smaller species distributed all over Yellowstone National Park and nearby waters is the Nectopsyche.
On Silver Creek the initial hatches of the White Miller usually occur during the first week of June but may be present on Opening Day if Spring arrives early. The conventional wisdom at Point of Rocks is that the Brown Drake hatch will start 4 or 5 days after the onset of the White Miller emergence. This season the Brown Drakes preceded the White Millers, if the White Millers have yet even came off at Point of Rocks.
A hot afternoon winding down into a warm evening is the prescription for a dense White Miller hatch in the evening. One will see swarms of White Millers dancing over the creek surface in the morning, often before the day’s mayfly hatch. In the evening there can be a thick emergence, often a blizzard hatch blanketing the creek from bank to bank, from the Gazebo Bridge (Beat #14) down to Beat 10 or 11.
Your Stream Keeper finds the White Miller to be one of the most difficult caddis to bring to the dry fly, at least in the morning. I’ve had only sporadic success with standard caddis patterns such as the X Caddis, the EZ Caddis or the Elk Hair Caddis. In fact, my effort to solve the “White Miller dry problem” led me to develop my “Nectarine” series of caddis dries which turned out to work well on every species of caddis except White Millers. I have much better success with the White Miller flights on Silver Creek by running a #10 Pheasant Tail Soft Hackle subsurface under egg laying flights of White Miller caddis; a size 14 might be a better choice this season given the low creek conditions. I have a theory that the fish you see swirling below clouds of White Millers or coming out of the water are really chasing White Miller Caddis making their way to the surface. That could be why swinging a soft hackle can be so effective. Last year when the White Millers emerged in force below the Gazebo Bridge I had a succession of four nights where in the two hours before dark I landed 21, 17, 19 and 31 trout, respectively. So, once the White Miller hatch is upon us, don’t hesitate to come down and fish the evening hatch, err flight, of White Millers.