I really wanted to fully test out a new fly that I have been using lately that a friend of mine gave me a few trips ago…. But since that day I was curious how the fly would do on a heavily fished river. I felt that this would truly be a great test and this water would either make or break this fly, in my book.
The past week I fished this certain river three times. All with the same results, hands down dynamite! I have never fished a Caddis hatch where almost every cast was a strike, unbelievable.
I would arrive at the river about "Caddis time". I would gear up as everyone was making his or her way back to the paring lot to go home. My thought was that either the hatch wasn't as good as I had hoped or that these particular folks aren’t aware of the hatch at all. I found it to be the latter. Arriving on this river you might wonder where all the people are, isn't this river supposed to be a zoo? Un-crowded to say the least, I was the only one in sight. After gearing up instinct kicked in and down the trail I went, hiking for a good half-hour if not more. Why I walked all the way in I have no idea. Perhaps I just couldn't believe that I was the only person there and needed to find out if anyone was down here, so I just kept walking.
I sat on the bank and started rigging when the first sign of fish appeared. A slurp here a splash there, slowly it was beginning. In no time at all the river came alive, every run and pool was full of energetic feeding fish. A slow start gave way to a full-blown kamikaze hatch. Bugs covered the air and the water and so did the fish, airborne to say the least. First few casts had hits, and then the hook-ups came. One after the other, this went on until you couldn't see any longer and it was dark. The walk back to the car was full of smiles, laughter and I was simply amazed how great this fly did, not to mention how well I could see it in the twilight.
A few days later I decided to give it another try. Same exact thing! Everyone is leaving as I am getting there, walk in, yada, yada, yada, fish going nuts and me catching more than a fair share using one fly and no dropper. I again left feeling like I was fishing a secret river that nobody else knew of. The fish didn't refuse my offering agin! Not only is the size too big compared to the naturals it not even the right color, awesome. I was still not really convinced started to think that maybe nobody is fishing here during the day and these fish haven't been pounded to death like other spots. Yet I was still amazed that I fished in solitude and did really, really well on pressured water.
The last test was actually the toughest of all. I went to a place that I know for sure gets pounded by guides, locals and beginners alike. As I was looking for my reel I remembered right where it was… at home. The next thought was %%^& &^&& (*@#@% )$%^ &^$%!!!!! I was lets say a little bit frustrated, with me being to blame I did what anyone else would do, swore until I was out of words and made up words that don't really sound like anything, too mad to swear. Good thing nobody was around to see me throwing a hissy fit, oh except my buddy that was with me, he laughed.
I almost left my rod in the car but at the last second I brought it along. The plan now was to just go along for the ride and enjoy the river… yeah right… On the walk to the bank I had an idea. I found some 3x tippet and strung it though my guides. I secured it right above the handle; the tag end was about two feet in length past the tip of my rod. I then attached a 9-foot leader and tied on the warrior, the Palomino Caddis. I could kind of cast but not efficiently. My buddies first two cast produced fish. Now I was waving my rod frantically in the air, trying to get the line to lie out. If I shortened the overall line it would cast better using a double haul. I was figuring it out when I realized that the fish are about 15 feet further than I can cast. Well #@%#!!!! I realized that the only way this is going to work is if I am right next to them. So I crawled in to the zone as if I was fishing a spring creek. Slowly got into position and started my wand waving technique that I picked up from watching a Harry Potter movie. The line went out and I found out that I can only get a five foot drift, need to still be closer. Now I am in arms length of rising fish and cast out again. This time at the end of the drift I skidded it back to another feeding lane, started a new drift and bam, I was on. The fish went nuts and I now was faced with the task on landing it. I had not thought about this yet, but managed to pull it in just fine. Well I figured it out and continued to pick of fish in arms length for the remainder of the night. My buddy didn't catch another fish. What a week, the fly has proved itself once again. No more wondering about this fly, it’s a workhorse for sure!