White River stream report 14 March, 2013
They say you can’t get enough of a good thing and we certainly took that to heart when we headed back down to Rim Shoals for some extra Caddis action!
The weather was forecast to be wonderful and so it turned out to be with balmy 60 degree temperatures and just enough wind to make casting challenging although on this occasion I was suitably tooled with my Helios 5 weight.
Once again it was a shock to find the parking lot almost empty of cars; maybe everybody had headed off for the Sowbug Roundup preparations in Mountain Home. Later in the day the stream did receive an influx of fly fishers although they seemed to prefer the upper reaches so we enjoyed solitude in our chosen riffle.
As we headed downstream I recorded a water temperature of a chilly 44 degrees although readings during the day showed and increase to 46 by noon and 54 by six in the evening. The water had been on until around 11pm the previous evening, and had been off since so we were expecting a drop during the day with maybe a slight increase for a blip in release at 7am.
It was too early in the day to expect the Caddis to begin their flights upstream so I tied on a Greenbutt which immediately took a couple of smallish rainbows. My fishing partner had good success using a Red Ass so it looked like posterior flies were the flavor of the moment!
Steady progress downstream didn’t produce many more fish and when I finally reached the riffle I had been aiming at I decided to tie on a Caddis adult to “test the water”.
The time was 10.30 in the morning and the sun had begun to beat down on the stream so I had high hopes for some attention from eager trout awaiting their favorite food during the month of March.
I was rewarded with a hit on the first cast and so began one of the most productive seven hours of dry fly fishing I have ever had.
As the day progressed the Caddis began to make an appearance; the first being the tan and then the white winged insects joined them.
I had my “furry” foam caddis in a number of styles and the grizzly hackle appeared to be the fly of choice at the beginning. Once these had all been chewed up I resorted to the brown hackled fly which seemed to be very acceptable to the fish. Both of these flies were in size 16.
Initially the fish were low down in the run although they slowly moved upstream into the shallow water once the caddis were in larger numbers and I was amazed how many had slipped passed me into the upstream pockets.
Although on this occasion the real “monsters” eluded us, we both caught fish in the 17-18 inch range and ended up with three species; Browns, Rainbows and Cutthroats (some were “Cuttbows”).
The “catching” really began to heat up as we moved into middle of the afternoon and on many occasions we were treated to “doubles”.
The fish were all in great shape and many had bulging bellies which was probably the result of the abundance of Caddis that was now available. It was surprising how strong even the relatively small fish were, sometimes giving the impression of a much bigger fish until they were brought to hand.
There was never a break in the action and only the two hour drive home really put an end to our day on the water.
I am not a “fish counter” although I know when I had a good day and when it’s been slow. On this occasion I will let you do the math; I estimate that I caught approximately fifteen to twenty fish an hour and the fishing stayed hot for roughly seven hours!!!!! And all on dry flies! An incredible day in anybody’s books and Caddis season has only just begun!