June 21, 2016
June 21, 2016
Things are starting to heat up on the Double R Ranch water. Yesterday morning I fished the field water with a good friend and encountered a much denser flight of White Miller Caddis than I saw earlier this week. The wind laid low other than an hour of an east wind. During the flight trout could be taken on my #14 Pheasant Tail soft hackle. Then some #20 Baetis duns appeared just to complicate matters. A few #18 Callibaetis showed up. We were surrounded by reluctant target fish. Very reluctant. But, we each managed to fool a couple of fish. When the hatches finally subsided, “trash time” ensued with some rather large fish swirling subsurface and taking tiny spinners. I fooled a nice Brown trout on a terrestrial pattern which is becoming one of my stand byes, the ‘Ant Misbehaving.” By the time we quit fishing around 2:30 p.m., our frozen bottles of water were warm and liquefied and our roast beef and Swiss cheese sandwiches were spoiled from the 90 degree heat.
I also had three fish strike a #16 Crowe Beetle pattern cast against the bank during a period of wind. While I waited at the takeout for my friend to catch up and exit with me, I discovered why the Crowe Beetle had been of particular interest to the trout. I observed about 2 dozen extremely small beetles float by, perhaps a size 29, something I had never seen before. I’m sure that the beetles had been migrating all morning but I uncharacteristically had not been paying much attention to what was on the water once I had seen the Baetis and Callibaetis. So, my message today is to never stop looking at the water and what is in the air. Be observant. We all religiously check the bushes during Brown Drake time, but shouldn’t we take a look every time we fish, just in case something is going on? It can change your day. Also, don’t neglect a peek at the spider webs that adorn our access handrails. They can divulge a wealth of information regarding what has been hatching over the past several days.
I am going to start fishing after dinner. The past two evenings there were thousands of white Miller Caddis in egg laying flights over the field water, as well as some large Callibaetis spinners. It is easy to tell them apart. The caddis move horizontally across the stream whereas the Callibaetis spinners move up and down vertically. You don’t really have to choose between dry patterns tied specifically for the different species. A #14 or #16 Callibaetis Hatch Matcher works for the dry offering and the Pheasant Tail soft hackle produces when drifted under the flights of caddis. Last season I had a 31 fish evening under these conditions. It should start any day now. Give a “cigar flat” a try some evening anywhere downstream of the bridge.
Doug Andres, Stream Keeper Double R Ranch