Little Black Caddisfly - Adults (brachycentrus species)
Newly Hatched Adults:
The newly hatched adults are sometimes eaten on the surface before they
depart the water. As I said in the pupa article, I think many more pupae are eaten
than adult but that doesn't mean that the trout won't take a dry fly imitation of the
adults. They will do just that. Many anglers use the dry fly exclusively during the
hatch simply because they prefer the dry fly.
The occidentalis body is a dark gray/brown color. Wings are gray with black veins
showing. These caddisflies are normally imitated using a size 18 hook. The males
are a little smaller than the females. We use the size 18 because the females are
the ones that are laying eggs. Normally the water is fairly cold, approximately 50
degrees, when these caddisflies hatch. They do ride the water for a short time
before they fly off to the banks. Sometimes it's so cold in the mornings during the
hatch that the adults are almost dormant. I have seen many occasions when you
could pick up several of them off of the rocks and plants when they made no
effort to fly off. On cold days, it's usually mid-afternoon after a hatch has started
before the adults start flying. On these cold days, the hatch will start during the
warmest part of the day.
As mentioned before, the adult females usually start the egg laying process prior
to the end of the hatch. When this happens, maybe an hour or two, there are
usually a lot of caddisflies on the water. The females either deposit their eggs on
the surface of the water, or depending on the species, they dive and deposit the
ball of eggs they carry. The trout eat them in both cases. They ones that dive
return to the surface of the water for a short time before flying away.
When the egg laying first starts, the most productive fly is still the pupa imitation.
At some point, the hatch will stop and things change. At that time, I suggest you
try a dry imitation of the egg layers.
You should fish the adult dry fly in a dead-drift fashion where you see the most
activity. Most of the time, I fish the adult fly down and across. Usually the dry fly
works great but factors such as the water and air temperature can affect the
activity and results.
Very late in the day, near dark, there may be a lot of spent caddisflies on the
water. They usually collect in the eddies and slow, calm pockets along the banks.
In this case, this is where you want to fish the adult pattern. Sometimes the trout
will rise to it when it's just drifting slowly around in circles in the eddies. They will
also collect at the heads of the pools below the riffles and runs.
Copyright 2013 James Marsh
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