Insects and other foods the trout should be eating:
2. Little Winter Stoneflies
3. Blue-winged Ollives (Baetis brunnicolor) and Little BWOs
4. Blue Quills
5. Quill Gordons
6. Little Black Caddis (Brachycentrus)
7. Little Brown Stoneflies
Most available/ Near hatching and/or other types of available food:
8. Sculpin, Minnows (Streamers)
"K.I.S.S. A Bug" Series - Little Black Caddisflies - Part 4
Imitating the Adult
As mentioned in the last article, the adult Little Black Caddisflies are only on the water for a few
seconds when hatching and probably never over a minute or so. You will have far better results
fishing an imitation of the pupa than an adult fly pattern. The reason is the trout have a much
easier time eating the pupae on their slow accent to the surface to hatch than they do the newly
emerged adults on the surface. Never-the-less, some anglers prefer to fish the dry fly and use an
adult imitation during the hatch. There's nothing wrong with that as long as you understand that
in terms of numbers of trout caught, the odds of success are less than it could be.
Also, as previously mentioned, female adults from previous day hatches often begin to deposit
their eggs before the hatch ends. This usually occurs near the end of the hatch but it's not
uncommon to see both the hatch and egg laying occurring at the same time. In that event, you
have at least equal and sometimes much better odds of using the adult imitation.
Keep in mind that, depending on the weather, the entire time period of the hatch is usually only
an hour or two. On cloudy, overcast days, the hatch last longer. If it's cloudy, the egg laying
usually starts before the hatch is over but it usually last until dark. Unlike many other caddisfly
species, the Little Black Caddis don't continue to lay eggs after dark.
Some species of Brachycentrus caddis (Little Black Caddis) dive into the water to paste their
eggs on underwater objects. The ones that hatch in late Winter and early Spring deposit them on
the surface. I'm mentioning this only to avoid confusion because there are species of this genus
that dive to deposit their eggs. Those can also be imitated with the adult fly pattern because after
diving into the water to deposit their eggs, they do return to the surface and drift for a few
seconds before departing the water. In the Smokies, that is the species that hatch later in the
year and only in very small quantities.
Once the hatch has ended, you should change your fly to an imitation of the adult. There's a very
simple way of determining where to present the fly. Cast it wherever you see the Little Black
Caddis depositing their eggs.
Fish the adult dry fly pattern in a dead-drift fashion wherever you see the most activity. Most of
the time, I fish the adult fly down and across. Usually the adult dry fly works great but factors such
as the water and air temperature can affect the activity and results.
Very late in the day, near dark, there may be a lot of spent caddisflies on the water. In pocket
water streams such as we have the Smokies, they usually collect in the eddies and slow, calm
pockets along the banks. If you find this situation, that's exactly where you want to present the
adult fly pattern. Sometimes the trout will rise to it when it's just drifting slowly around in circles in
the eddies. They will also collect at the heads of the pools in the calm water adjacent to plunges
below riffles and runs.
Copyright 2012 James Marsh
"Perfect Fly":Little Black Caddis Adult