Quote Originally Posted by whatfly View Post
...Getting to be that time of year.

So I have to ask Scott, have you ever managed to fish a hatch where the fish are actually keyed in on adults? On my rivers, it is a very rare late season occurrence and the conditions have to be just right for the fish to really go after adults (wet or snowy cold days where the adults slow down enough to make a ready meal). Over the years have always caught more fish on pupae than adults, but that never stops me from hoping.

Although it's not entirely clear, I assume that your question relates specifically to October Caddis ("a very rare late season occurence").

My home water is a northern Idaho freestone river. The past week or so there have been lots of adult October Caddis around. Just yesterday, while talking to a couple of brothers visiting / fishing that creek, we observed a couple dozen OC adults in the brief time that we talked.

I don't think of this hatch as one that involves "emergers". From what I have observed, and read, very few, if any, October Caddis emerge directly from the water as adults. They generally crawl to streamside structure and exit their exoskeleton on land - the streamside rocks on my home water are generally covered with the very light tan and very fragile exoskeletons this time of year. ( Some may be "in the drift" and represent a nymph or soft hackle opportunity, but that is not something that I have found productive. )

The westslope cutts that inhabit my home water, and an occasional bull trout, are quite fond of the OC adults. An OC dry is the fly du jour this time of year, and usually for weeks on end.

The pattern that consistently works for me, and those to whom I gift them, is the FEB October Caddis - FAOL FOTW for 6-2-12.

You can find that pattern in the FOTW Archives, or you can go to the Reader's Voice forum page 9 for some updated comments and an anecdote about a bull trout that spent 28 minutes holding onto that pattern. The update involved going from the original deer hair for the wing and bullet head to a light blond elk rump patch hair for those components of the fly.

It may be particular to the creeks I fish in northern Idaho, but most of the OC adults I catch and observe have very subtle and light orange, if any, coloration. They generally tend to be light tan with some orange tints. Some do have fairly strong orange accents but still present as basically a light tan insect.