This time of year on the northern freestone streams there are a lot of big bugs flying around near dark, such as stoneflies, alderflies, etc…my goto pattern has always been a impressionistic style pattern since silhouette and presentation are more important than an exact match when the light is low. This year I am adding a small clump of blaze orange calf hair to hopefully make it easier to see as the light is fading.
Use a 3X tippet and cast this in the foam line or in the faster runs and give it a couple of twitches as it drifts along. If the big trout are looking up in the evening hours you will for sure have some thrilling moments.
One of the old reliable Catskill wet fly patterns that we often forget about today is the Dark and Light Cahill Wet Fly pattern. A simple pattern to tie and very effective at times on the northern freestone streams when the March Browns, Golden Drakes and Brown Drakes are hatching. These big wet flies probably resemble drowned or stillborn duns to the feeding trout and at times it can really get the attention of some of the big fish when all else seems to fail.
It’s a pattern I always try to have at least a few in my fly boxes during the June hatches. I prefer to tie them on size #12 and #10 2x long wet fly hooks. Woodduck feather for the tail and wing, medium tan rabbit fur for the body and a brownish hen hackle for the beard.
You can also vary the pattern slightly with a darker body, or possibly use hooded merganser for the wing (if you have some) for the wing and tail. The darker color works great as a Brown Drake wet fly pattern. It’s definitely a pattern to have in June on the northern Wisconsin trout streams as well as in the Catskills. It worked hundred years ago and it still works today. So tie one on, cast it up and across and let if dead drift downstream, then hold on.
I figured since it is Mother’s Day I would post my favorite Mother’s Day Caddis dry fly pattern. I really like to use Rene Harrop’s Henry’s Fork Caddis pattern when the trout are keying in on caddis squirming on the surface. This wonderful dry fly caddis pattern can also be used for several different caddis species.
Hans Weilenmann has a great video showing how to tie the Henry’s Fork Caddis pattern…
And a little Mother Day Caddis video to get your blood pumping.
It’s been a really long, long winter in northern Wisconsin and I am itching to get out and fling a fly to any hungry trout looking for hatching mayflies. Over the winter months I decided to try tying my emerger patterns with CDC wing and 2-3 wraps of stiff hackle behind the CDC wing to hold the thorax up while the the remainder of the fly sinks below the surface. I wanted the fly to be fast to tie yet still effective. Hopefully, I will get to test my latest creation out soon. I know there are other patterns very similar to this so I am not saying I am the first to tie this pattern. If you have tied something similar and used it I would love to hear about it.
Hook: TMC 2487 size #12 & #14
Thread: Veevus brown or Uni-thread 8/0 Burnt Orange
Tail: Brown Zelon fibers (sparse)
Rib: Fine copper wire
Abdomen: Awesome Possum Rusty Brown
Thorax: Nature’s Spirit #25 Pink Cahill
Hackle: Grey Dun rooster hackle (2-3 wraps over top of thjorax)
Wing: Grey CDC feather over top of thorax and dun hackle
I have also tied the same pattern in different sizes and thorax color for Sulphurs as well to test in May hopefully.