Fishing report: Caddis or mayflies? |

Fishing report: Caddis or mayflies?

Kirk WebbSpecial to The Aspen TimesAspen, CO Colorado

BASALT – During the month of May, the first big hatches of brachycentrus caddis flies begin to hatch. Though they’re often dubbed “mayflies,” because they hatch during the month of May, this insect is actually a caddis and not a mayfly.One can easily tell the difference between these two insects by their wing shape. Caddis flies have a down wing that is tent-shaped in appearance in comparison to mayflies, which hold their wings upright, much like a sailboat. The most prevalent insect in the Roaring Fork and Colorado rivers is, in fact, the caddis. Anglers from all over the Rocky Mountains look forward to the annual brachycentrus caddis hatch, which is also known as the “Mother’s Day caddis hatch.”At times, this hatch is so thick that it can appear to be snowing. Driving along Interstate 70 through Glenwood Canyon or along Highway 82 during this hatch will spray your windshield will thousands of caddis flies, to the point of making it almost hard to drive. If you are squeamish about bugs, this is not the hatch for you. You will almost certainly have these insects crawling up your legs, arms, face, nose and mouth – hence the term, “a breathe-through-your-teeth” hatch.The trout gorge so heavily during this hatch that when you land a fish, you can often literally see their bellies wiggling and moving with masses of caddis. It may be grotesque to some, but it’s Shangri-La to others.The biggest key to fishing through this hatch is to fish just above or below the hatch, where the insects are fewer. With so many caddis blanketing the water’s surface, the chances of the trout finding your fly are much greater if you fish around the hatch, instead of through it. The best times to fish during the Mother’s Day caddis hatch will be during afternoons and evenings.Successful fly patterns include: Stimulators, P&E Caddis, Ethawing Caddis, Electric Caddis, Sparkle Pupas, Deep 6 Caddis, Yuba Pupas and Nuclear Caddis in size Nos. 12-18.It’s time to get ready for some of year’s best dry fly fishing.

This report is provided every week by Taylor Creek Fly Shops in Aspen and Basalt. Taylor Creek can be reached at 970-927-4374 or

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