This week we have continued our rain/cold roller coaster. Looks like the weekend crew will once again have optimal fishing conditions. Over an inch of rain on Tuesday of this week kicked the color out of the streams again, but briefly. Last weeks almost 3″ on Wednesday, really put some mud, nitrogen and phosphorous into the systems and kicked the trout waters of Pierce County in the teeth for a couple days. All has settled now, but the cold has slowed the normal late April feeding and bug hatching down a bit. Looks like we will stay a bit cool and rainy but today and Saturday look to be nicest days to be on the water. On a side note, Two big fish that I heard about were caught this week, both 23″. One came on conventional tackle and the other got caught in the commercial fishermen’s nets at Prescott yesterday as the harvesters were gathering their quota of buffalo carp. Another case of big browns in the St. Croix and Mississippi. Sorry fly crew.
A few caddis were bouncing the edges of the stream and a subtle rise here and there seemed to be the norm for the last few days. Nymphs were the game for catching and anything presented reasonably could find a trout here and there. Soft hackle hares ear, caddis emerges, #20 flashback p. tails each caught fish. Maybe the warmth today and tomorrow will get some bugs back on the surface water. Below are answers to a couple of questions asked the last couple weeks.
Hi Andy, just had a quick question. I was fishing the Rush River last Friday. Had a good day. Caught about 18 fish but they were all small. Usually on the Rush the fish tend to average bigger .
So my question; “Was that just the stretch of river I was on or is there a different growth cycle there, or is that just the way it is? I have to say I’ve never seen that many small fish on the Rush in the last 6-7 years.
Anyways I thought you might have some thoughts on it.
Thanks for the question. As I understand it, the Rush is showing some very good numbers for natural reproduction the last two years. This is great news. It will take a couple of years for those fish to grow. I also believe that there are some year class holes, especially on those larger fish that you speak about. It is difficult to pin point what exactly the reasons but there have been some natural events(large floods and cooling stream temps) that may be playing a part in the size distribution. Remember you are talking about your data for one angler day. Remember the day when you caught all the big fish? Habitat will ultimately determine where in the river the best hatches(of trout in this case) will occur. Those little fish will probably have higher density in those places. Your experience is not unusual. Anglers throughout the region are having the same results. I refer to the small trout as “wiener dogs” and try to get them back to the water ASAP. There are still some awesome size trout in the Rush, but there may be a few less of them than in years past.
Just wait, things will change again.
Thanks for the contact.
I’ve never chased caddis on the Rush/Kinni before and would like to in the next few days/weeks. What’s the best time of day to catch the hatch?
Yours is a great question I think only Mother Nature can answer. Some anglers who spend a heck of a lot of time on the water may be able to give you some details about targeting Caddis specifically, but for the most part caddis inhabit specific niches. It can be difficult to reliably target their emergence and egg laying events on our spring creeks as apposed to the big western waters that have reasonably reliable flows and reasonably regular hatch occurrences.
As I understand it there are over 1,200 species of Caddis in North America. I am not sure anyone knows how many of them exist in the Kinni/Rush. Besides the early gray caddis which hatched a couple of weeks ago and tends to emerge in the mid-afternoon in early april, a majority of the hatches will start showing up as both the air and water temps warm up. I have never hit this hatch regularly in the same place year after year. My best luck on caddis has tended to been in the late afternoon into evening in the summer.
The nature of our spring creeks, as I have experienced, is volatile. What is sand bottoms today can be limestone rubble tomorrow after the flash flooding of a 3 inch rain. I have listened to the clunking of boiling ball size rocks tumble down the river during some of these floods. Entire deep holes have been filled in with sand and new gravel bars and flats appear over night. Our rivers can change so fast that the specific requirements of some species of caddis can be washed away in a heart beat or can be moved to another location because of the rearranging of the stream bed. It is difficult to have reliable information to give you in order to target these critters, year after year, because different types of caddis have different times when they become fish food.
I love to fish, I go when possible and hope to run into a nice caddis hatch. If I find a hatch, and I can return the next day to see if there is some regularity to it, I will have stumbled on a little treasure. I will carry caddis adults in 4 colors(peacock, gray, tan and olive) and three sizes(12,14,16). I carry emergers in olive-green and tan and brown. This variety has covered me throughout the years.
Others, Please chime in.