So here's my first real outing of the year. I was off of work for a while with my son being born, and just so happened to log onto ncflyshop.com to check the updates and saw that the grannom caddis were hatching a good 2-3 weeks early. So I did my best to convince my wife to let me fish for a few hours on Friday, and luckily she said yes.
This hatch marks the unofficial start to the trout season for me. It's usually right around opening day, and there are so many bugs on the water that almost anyone can catch fish on top with this hatch. It can be difficult at times with so many bugs, but if you hit it right it can be a feeding frenzy. I hit it almost perfectly.
There's a nice riffle and run behind the shop that I always get a bunch of risers on and this hatch was no different. I hopped out of my car at 11:45 and walked to the stream to check it out before I got suited up. The run was open so I dressed as quickly as possible and almost ran down to the stream. I got my spot and barely moved for 3 hours. I had constant rises over a good 25 yard stretch to myself all afternoon. Every fly fisherman's dream. I used a few different techniques to get takes. A basic dead drifted dry (dark brown/black body, black hackle, natural elk hair caddis) took a handful takes, and the other half were that dry swung down and across with a skitter. The down and across technique probably had more takes, but the erratic nature of the fly on that technique also causes more misses.
The problem on this creek is all of the chubs and baitfish. They are more numerous than the trout, especially as the weather warms. When fishing down and across you have to cast towards the bank to drift into the current, and I hooked many chubs within the first second of the fly hitting the water by the shorelines. This can get annoying, but if you're having a REALLY tough day, you can call it an accident in targeting these fish just to get something to take a fly. (Did I really just admit to going after chubs?)
I never took the dry off and probably had close to 2 dozen takes throughout the day. I landed 4 but had a great time. It's such a short hatch that I only get to fish it once a year if I'm lucky, but it's well worth it every time I go. Hope next year is at least as good as this.
Also during this trip I finally caught my first fish on my new rod from last year. It is a Greys 8'6" 4wt X-Flite. It was a discontinued model I got for a steal online. It's my dedicated dry fly rod and I had at least 3 skunkings on it last year. So this year the smell is off and it is great. The rod as a whole is fantastic. It has a nice medium action to it so I've had to slow down my casting stroke, but it throws line nicely and casts pretty accurately. The asthetics of the rod are fantastic. Nice medium green blank with light green wrappings, beautiful wood reel seat, and the hardware on the seat just looks awesome. It's the lightest fly rod I've cast and is just fantastic in hand. I look forward to tossing this rod a bunch this year when I'm chasing hatches. One of my better purchases so far that I have no regrets in.