3 Tips for Fly Fishing the October Caddis Hatch

Photo by Les Korcala

-Tip #1 Nymphing

When a size 10 fly goes by in Montana, most anglers thoughts go to dry fly fishing! But the sparseness of rises to the October Caddis alerts the crafty angler that the majority of October Caddis action is subsurface. The large size of this hatch at a time when the food sources are still not strong, a size 8 nymph floating by doesn’t get passed up very often. While the dry fly rise is always fun, the nymph puts more fish on the end of your line.

-Tip #2 Play The Odds

If you see an October Caddis fly by, it’s time to tie on a dry fly if that’s your choice of fishing method. The October caddis don’t hatch in droves, but they’re big and the fish are looking for them. See one in the air, and you know the trout have seen more. It’s a bit like hopper fishing- you’re prospecting for trout. Want to make your prospecting more profitable? Drop a Pheasant Tail in a size 24 or 18 off the back. Mahoganies and BWO’s are moving as well, and the PT is a great imitation for both.

-Tip #3 Skate The Dry

When the October Caddis comes back to lay their eggs, they are a sizable target. Bigger bugs on the surface tend to create more movement than their smaller brethren. Don’t be afraid to twitch your October Caddis imitation to mimic the natural. The best way to activate the Caddis without pulling it all over the river is to create little circles with the tip of your rod. Draw a circle about a foot in diameter with the tip of your rod. This will remove the slack, but not move the fly a great distance across the water. If your fly is moving too much, focus on making a smaller circle with the rod tip.

Additional October Caddis Resources