Yakima Report - swinging/tight line Caddis pupas.

Discussion in 'Fly Fishing Forum' started by Patrick Gould, Sep 25, 2013.

  1. Patrick Gould Active Member

    Posts: 2,356
    Ellensburg, WA
    Ratings: +688 / 1
    If you haven't tried this method, it really works. I just got five fish on five casts plus four more over the next 1/2nhour using it! Cast down and across, mend, let the fly swing through the seam/current. At the end of the swing let it dangle and give a couple of strips. Strikes come at any time and are not subtle.

    ImageUploadedByTapatalk1380141703.855211.jpg
    The only pic I took.
  2. kmac Active Member

    Posts: 122
    Bellingham
    Ratings: +35 / 0
    Glad to hear you had success. I hadn't used this technique for trout fishing before, but accidentally discovered it while wading on the upper skagit in bc earlier this month. I was having little success drifting drys and nymphs. Just a few small eager fish took my fly. I was fishing a run and getting no strikes when I let my dry fly drift all the way down while I was not paying attention and looking around. There was some contrary currents below me and the fly got sucked down. As soon as my line went tight, bam! It was a hard strike but I didn't hook up. So, I tried that again (paying close attention this time) and was able to hook up a nice size rainbow. I spent the rest of that day doing the same with both nymphs and a drown dry fly with good success, the biggest ones (14-16") were on a weighted nymph. I wished I'd had a sink tip to get down deeper. I'll keep this technique in mind when the fish won't take a dead drift and also have since added some wet flies to my fly box. There's a good chapter I found in the Orvis book Prospecting for Trout by Tom Rosenbauer that explains the technique in great detail.

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  3. Patrick Gould Active Member

    Posts: 2,356
    Ellensburg, WA
    Ratings: +688 / 1
    I think kmac is spot on. It's a technique to add you arsenal when others aren't working. There are certain types of water where it's an obvious choice. When you've come to a spot where you can't wade further downstream because of bank topology or water depth, but you still want to cover a long seam it really makes sense. A steamer would also be a good choice, but at this time of year I'm using a 4wt and it's easier to throw a light, but dense caddis pupa than a heavy streamer.

    BTW: my pupa pattern of choice this year has been a bird's nest in various sizes. It's only vaguely suggestive of the bug I'm trying to imitate, but it works.
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  4. Jim Speaker Active Member

    Posts: 2,215
    Mill Creek, WA
    Ratings: +518 / 0
    There was a really simple fly I tied in my truck in MT because it proved to be the best:
    #14 3768 hook
    Ribbing fine amber wire
    Body olive hares ear dubbed
    Thorax peacock
    Bead head copper

    They ate this thing all day long thinking it was a free living or net spinner Caddis that had gotten sucked into the current.

    Caddis are a trouts #1 food source. May flies are awesome and sexy, but... learning the nuances of Caddis has turned my trout fishing from good to really good. Time to really learn Caddis behavior and move on to great!

    Movement is key. Caddis don't play. They move up and fly fast. They struggle. The takes are, as you've said, violent.

    Pupa: yes. Just as you've said, tight line, swing, it's a bug really swimming to the surface.

    Emerger: fine, dead drift... but if not getting strikes pop am inch and still not getting strikes go to pupa.

    Adult: are the adults emerging or egg laying? Observe them. Emerging they are trying to fly... struggle, pop, maybe skate. Egg laying? Watch... does the natural go under? Drown. Does the natural dab the surface? Pop. Is the current such that it grabs the natural and pulls it? Skate.

    Caddis are awesome. I'm just learning (finally) to present them correctly. My 2-cents so far.
    Nooksack Mac and Patrick Gould like this.
  5. Derek Young 2011 Orvis Endorsed Fly Fishing Guide Of The Year

    Posts: 2,702
    Snoqualmie, WA
    Ratings: +888 / 1
    That Bird's Nest was one of my two recommendations for the PHW event..turned a certain lady steelheader from Bellingham into a bonafide trout bum...she landed 12 and missed as many! :)
    Patrick Gould likes this.
  6. Patrick Gould Active Member

    Posts: 2,356
    Ellensburg, WA
    Ratings: +688 / 1
    It's pretty amazing watching a big trout expend tons of energy chasing down a skated caddis. Hook sets are usually not necessary!
  7. Patrick Gould Active Member

    Posts: 2,356
    Ellensburg, WA
    Ratings: +688 / 1
    I was wondering when you would join this thread. I'm sure I learned the technique from your posts over the last couple of years. Steve Worley recommended the fly. I'm not surprised that it's one of your favorites too.
    Derek Young likes this.
  8. PT Physhicist

    Posts: 3,593
    Edmonds, WA
    Ratings: +752 / 2
    One of my favorite ways to trout fish. Took a guided trip on the Bitterroot many years ago and caught a few fish here and there fishing tricos and small stuff. Came to a big pod of fish and starting swinging those caddis on a floater. The guide knew I was a steelheader and suggested we switch up and swing caddis. Fun as could be. Started picking off the fish at the top of the pod and then the inside edges. Love it!
  9. Randall Clark Active Member

    Posts: 712
    Orygun
    Ratings: +221 / 0
    I've just started playing around with that type of fishing as well. The pupae (almost more of an "everything" pattern) that I tie up looks almost exactly like that birdsnest, except that I'll throw a couple of wraps of CDC around the head where your soft hackle is on the birdsnest. Works great...I do think that it's more overall movement though based on my limited hands on observations of specifically trying to mimic the caddis pupa behavior.
  10. Derek Young 2011 Orvis Endorsed Fly Fishing Guide Of The Year

    Posts: 2,702
    Snoqualmie, WA
    Ratings: +888 / 1
    Variation on the YakCaddis...YakSkater. :)

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  11. Rudedawg New Member

    Posts: 23
    Kalama Wa
    Ratings: +0 / 0
  12. Rudedawg New Member

    Posts: 23
    Kalama Wa
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    Thanks for the tips fellers The wife wants to go and fish something she hasn't fished yet. Been wanting to try the Yakima.
  13. pigburner Active Member

    Posts: 26
    Richland, WA
    Ratings: +65 / 0
    I remember fishing the Yakima in the Ensign ranch area as a kid when I knew even less about fly-fishing than I know now, and watching a guy come upstream on the opposite bank fishing a soft, brown wet fly in the manner you describe. It seemed like he caught more fish than I had years at the time. He was nice enough to share some of his knowledge, and I learned a little more about fishing that day. Your post is a good reminder to remember some of these sometimes forgotten techniques.