As the sun drops behind the trees, there is a moment of silence as we enter the twilight. The birds had stopped chirping, the wind have vanished and I know that any moment now the caddis will start emerging.
In the undergrowth beneath the surface, the caddis larva had been passing their time feeding on various plants and other microorganisms. When the heat of summer arrives, the rivers and lakes start to heat up. This is the time when the larva start to get restless and soon they will leave the undergrowth and take to the skies in winged form.
Trout start feeding on caddis long before the anglers see the first rise, so understanding the basics feeding patters for a trout throughout the entire hatch is key to maximise your chances of catching that dream trout. The trout will feed on all three different stages of a hatch. The first stage is when the pupae lifts from the undergrowth and starts rising towards the surface. At first there is a small number of caddis lifting from the bottom, this will keep the trout close to the bottom and feed on these deep drifting pupae for an hour or so before the main hatch is in full swing.As the hatch intensifies the emerging caddis get trapped in the meniscus (surface film), creating a continuous supply of helpless pray. As the concentration of insects builds up in the meniscus, the surface quickly becomes the most efficiently place for trout to feed. This is the stage when we the angler first see the trout rising. Trout will usually feed on the emerging pupae trapped in the meniscus and not the full on adults that have managed to make their way through the meniscus. So the next time you encounter a caddis hatch, and your adult caddis fly get´s rejected time after time, try fishing an emerging pupae that hangs in the surface film.
Once the hatch has ended, the crippled and drowned caddis will be the target for trout. These insects will end up in the back waters or if the river flows into a lake. Big trout will most probably be cruising around in this wast supply of food that can´t escape, trout loves an easy meal and seeking these areas out after a hatch can be very interesting.
Fantastic Mr Trout