We made it to our annual river trip to the Arkansas River recently with my Dad in town and despite most of the hatch scattered all over and somewhat thinned out, we managed to enjoy ourselves catching many browns.
Gorgeous scenery and few crowds at this spot
What were the Hot patterns you ask?
Yellow Golden stones #10, PT #16, EHC #16, #16 Black foam caddis, any Soft Hackle #16, BHPT #16/18, #20 green Copper John, #16/18 green caddis pupa, #20 Olve RS2, #20 Olve WD40, #16 yellow Golden stone beadhead
The ticket when fishing the Ark during this time is simple...Think greeen and 16!
Camping made it all the best and that will continue year after year at Rincon, what is better than catching fish all day, finishing up by the campsite, have a few cocktails, a nice steak or trout and a roaring campfire with the sound of ripples to put you to sleep every night...sounds good to me!
When making a trip to the Mothers Day Caddis Hatch, it's not hard to find the bugs or the fish, just drive till you need your windshield wipers, pull over and look for the fish jumping. The crowds do show up in the masses so get up there early, reserve camping ahead of time if needed or at a private camping area, scout out the areas where you will be fishing ahead of time so as not to play catch up when there and driving a bunch.
Tips to try:
*Check local fly shop reports to see what the caddis are doing, yes it does help
*Water temps are key, 52-54' the magic number for the caddis to show up get active
*If water is muddy, runoff is not happening, many creeks/tribs below Sailda flow in and cause a mini runoff, drive further upstream or downstream to to get away from the muck
*Drive till you either see a bunch of cars -good sign as to where the fishing is best but also bad due to where everyone else is fishing
*Float the Ark if possible, Sailda to one of many takeouts downstream is a great way to see the river, miss the crowds and hit some better holes not accessible by wade fisherman
Miles of Access
With fishing access reaching close to 50 miles on the Arkansas and 200+ additional Colorado river miles, the BLM do a great job maintaining this area so make sure to clean up after and respect the right a way of others fishing close by.
Who has the Best Caddis?
Madison River caddis are very well known in the Rockies as well, they are Brachycentrus occidentalis, sometimes called early Grannom caddis. The Mother’s Day caddis hatch is probably best to fish on Colorado's Arkansas and Montana's Madison River. It also happens on Washington’s Yakima River and other rivers in Idaho, Wyoming, Oregon, and California.
As far as the fishing the best of the Rockies area outside of the Arkansas River area, look for an incredible Mother’s Day caddis hatches on the Yellowstone, Madison, Beaverhead, Ruby, Big Hole Rio and Animas. Some of the hatches will vary depending on weather patterns, water flows and other situations but the Brachycentrus occidentalis is an impressive caddis species on almost every trout stream in the Rockies so it pays to carry quite a few caddis patterns when you fish these areas in April and May. One thing is for sure, head straight to the Arkansas for some fun and if more time checkout the Madison River for some dry fly mayhem.
Recent Report thanks to our friends at Montana Troutfitters
Madison: The caddis have been consistent on the Madison now for a week or so, and with this warmer weather we've been seeing bugs popping off all up and down the river - the only problem has been clarity in some parts of the river and some hit or miss dry fly fishing. Our advice is to concentrate your efforts on the better dry fly fishing water from Warm Springs to Black's Ford and ignore the rest if you are truly looking for good dry fly fishing.
Yellowstone: The river is in great shape right now and seems to be holding on well and the caddis literally exploded on Saturday and Sunday and fish are definitely looking up for dries, both caddis and March Browns, now would be an ideal time if you like to fish dries to be out and on the Yellowstone before runoff really hits.
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