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LaBonte207

Little Green Caddis (Pic Heavy)

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Took an annual 4 day trip up north to a well known river. Temps were cool at night, warm during the day and not a drop of rain fell on us. It was about as glorious of a trip as you can get. Big stone fly casings were in the thousands along the river's edge, which unfortunately means we missed the big stonefly hatch which seems to happen every year between July 25 and August 3rd on this river. We missed it by what I assume is a day or two. However, nights were filled with great hatches of small (size 18) green caddis, literally in the thousands. At times so thick you didn't want to put your hand lamp on as you'd be swarmed by caddis. Mornings were somewhat unproductive, the golden hours seemed to be 9-11AM and 7-9:30PM. Caddis dries and small green caddis emergers (size 18-20) brought many good sized salmon to hand. Wetflies swung also fooled a few. Mid days were filled with stone flies and caddis nymphs, green seemed to be a theme. A surprising amount of larger fish were willing to strike a swung caddis emerger, at least a dozen caught between 18-22" and many more lost, including one monster of the deep that will be haunting my dreams for 365 days. Overall it was a good trip, my buddy and I found peace and quiet, only spotting 4 fisherman over 4 days. All in all, a good time was had by all. I meant to take more pictures of the bugs and flies we used, but forgot. If anyone wants to see the flies we were using just ask and I'll post a pic! 

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My favorite kind of sign.

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A rare set/strike caught on camera, the timing of this photo was incredibly lucky and unlucky.... as you'll see in the next photo. 

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And this is what it looks like when you miss a fish that hits your dry you've drifted over the same spot 50 times. IMG_3336.thumb.JPG.b897ee4a22e06850340efcd8da48952f.JPG

Persistance pays off though, a beautiful specimen. 

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Again

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And again. Why i'm so serious i'm not sure, sleep deprivation is my only guess. It was 12:30PM and 70 out with a cool breeze. 

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These fish were actually quite common between the hours of 9-11AM, which is good and bad. Good, the fish were healthy, fat, and willing. Bad, we kept waking up at 4:30 to hit the early bite when there really wasn't one! 

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One of the weirdest snouts i've ever seen on a salmon! Reminded me of a gator! 

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I'd love to hit that eddy on the far side, it's only about a 100 ft drop. 

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The explosiveness cannot be under sold for some of these fish. 5+ foot leaps out of the water is quite the feat. I am always amazed at the power these animals posses.

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Although far and few between in this river, I just love hooking into brookies. It's a little surprise and exciting to see. The colors on this little guy I thought were tremendous! 

 

I believe that the health of a fishery can be determined by several factors, but the most telling is the range of size class. As 2 fisherman, we easily caught over 100 fish over the 4 day span, ranging from 4 – 22". There was no favoritism for size. We felt we were just as likely to catch a 20" fish as a 6" fish in any given spot. I believe that is a sign of a healthy fishery. I am extremely thankful for the opportunity to fish this river every year, a true gem in Maine. 

 

 

GL

 

 

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Wow, catching fish like that is serious business, hence the look on your face. Just a thought.

if you don’t mind sharing a picture of the flies that worked for you I’d be interested. If you don’t not a problem. I’m always interested in what works for people and it expands my knowledge.

Thanks for a great report and photos. We’ve had about zero rain and the rivers are extremely warm and low. Haven’t fished so this report is almost as good as being there. Almost!

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I miss that place... just such a hike to get up there from where I live now.... someday. 

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Wherever it is....that whole inner side, along the bank....beautiful, terrific pic!  If you try to descend down to that side of the river...try matching your shirt/vest(if any) color to that light brown/grayish of the dry broken rocky soil to try to remain oblivious...  Terrific pics/fish....  Maybe wind some light colored cloth around any dark part of your darker? waders...for the descent...HA.  Used to try that Charles Brooks(of Yellowstone NP books) style of self-camoflaging(sp?) stuff on a stretch of river in upper NYS back in the 60s, love this stuff.

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Beautiful place with a wonderful fishery. Thank you for sharing!  I can just imagine someone repelling down with rod in hand, maybe even fishing with safety line attached lol. 

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Thanks for sharing it looks like a very nice place to fish. The pictures are awesome!

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On 8/2/2018 at 9:34 PM, arrowflinger said:

if you don’t mind sharing a picture of the flies that worked for you I’d be interested. If you don’t not a problem. I’m always interested in what works for people and it expands my knowledge.

I probably caught fish on over 20 flies, but the four most successful are as follows:

p.s. - All fish caught in these photos were caught on one of these 4 flies or a fly very similar to them (instead of brown bodied caddis, a green one worked well also).  

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Size 16, wetly style, Maine partridge, Maine red squirrel body, red silk tail. 

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Size 18, Caddis emerger, all synthetics

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Size 16/18, body is stripped hackle feather, cdc grey underwing, light tan elk hair wing, I actual use a barbless emerger hook from risen fly (2488bl). It makes the body sit in the water, while the wing sits flat in the water. Works very well I find. 

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Size 20-24, looks like nothing, brown dubbing and green dubbing, probably the most productive fly we used.

 

Let me know if you want to see any others or step by step instructions on how to tie some of them! 

 

 

GL

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First, thanks for sharing!

Second, how did you come by these patterns? Did you just get creative or see it somewhere?

Elkhair caddis are my go to fly but would never have thought to make a body like the one pictured. That is the thing that intrigues me. I have a few one of a kind flies in my fly box and some actually work. The problem is I have “one” and if it works and I loose it I’m SOL.

I’m interested in the tying of the last fly pictured.

Again, I appreciate you showing the flies and of course the original report.

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1 hour ago, arrowflinger said:

First, thanks for sharing!

Second, how did you come by these patterns? Did you just get creative or see it somewhere?

Elkhair caddis are my go to fly but would never have thought to make a body like the one pictured. That is the thing that intrigues me. I have a few one of a kind flies in my fly box and some actually work. The problem is I have “one” and if it works and I loose it I’m SOL.

I’m interested in the tying of the last fly pictured.

Again, I appreciate you showing the flies and of course the original report.

No problem! Most of the patterns are just variants of some that I have seen on some youtube video or in someone else box. I've tweaked and taken notes on which patterns work the best, then tweak them some more until I'm finally happy. Once i've found a pattern that I really like for a designated river, I'll make a dozen or so of them. The tweaking never ends though, always a new color combo or different feather, size, etc. 

The thing I often think about is, a good majority of fly fisherman are buying their flies from one source or another, and the larger fish see them and get fooled occasionally, but they remember, I'm certain. If you can throw something that is even slightly different in size, shape, color, it will trick an extra fish or two. Throwing a fish something they've never seen before has paid great dividends for myself.

I will make a full recipe and step by step for that last fly and post it in the fly tying thread. It's incredible simple and once mastered, I can produce 50-100 in a day if necessary. 

 

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Beautiful pictures GL. Thanks for taking the time to share them. 

Thanks for also sharing the flies you fished and posting the step by step in the Fly Tying Forum. 

Great report.

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