Twice a year this happy clan gathers for a week long bash on the fabled McCloud River and in the fall we dream of THE epic October Caddis “Hatch”. The timing of the hatch is unpredictable as is the weather this time of year. I have come to associate the beginning of the hatch with the first hard frost of the season and the gathering of the last tomatoes in our garden. The bugs are misunderstood by most fly fishers as prior to hatching they crawl near shore were they hide to pupate. Unlike many other Caddis species that hatch midstream, October Caddis rarely become available as food to trout when they hatch. Once they pupate they are tucked away until they begin to hover over the stream as winged adults sipping water or ovipositing. Our timing this year was lucky or good depending on your view of experience, we’ve been at this for a few years now. I spotted the first winged adult the weekend prior to our trip, AND the fish found them too!
Most often we nymphed through the day and the catching was just OK, afterward we switched to dries as the sun set on the red and golden leaves. The evening sessions were best for the more experienced anglers and poorer for the less experienced or unfortunate few who were skilled but just unlucky. We had several memorable fish as a number of folks brought their best fish ever to hand. While the catching may have not have fulfilled the dreams of all, most were pleased particularly as fortune would have it, a big storm arrived just as we departed. We are already forming dreams of next season with big dry flies and fall colors .