Owyhee River Report 6-14
Sometimes it’s all about the caddis!! So it was on the “O” on Thursday. The sections of river I fished never really produced a PMD hatch or a Callibaetis hatch, but the caddis continued to appear in groves every place I visited. In the early afternoon the caddis were swarming above the willows and brushes, by late afternoon they were popping at the surface of the water, and by sundown, they settled on the water. The flight of the caddis perfectly described my day of fishing. I saw two fish rise in the first run of water I fished below the llama farm and I caught both of them on a #16 Green Get Her Done caddis. I fished the run for three hours, and the river never produced a hatch; the fish never woke up.
I moved to the run below the Ginger Bread House and stepped into the river. A quick glance upstream tight against the willow revealed no less than eight “Brownies” feeding, and two of them were within 15 feet of me. What’s a person to do…but serve the bug? I landed the Get Her Done green out ahead of the first fish and bang he eats it. I land him and as I’m doing it, I watched the fish continue to feed along the willows. I release the fish and on the next cast I hooked the previous fish’s neighbor and land him too. I was thinking wow this dry fly fishing is easy, but I changed my mind after the next two fish false took on my caddis. Then I hooked another fish and land him. I was nearly at the top of the road side riffle when I see a very large fish feeding under an overhanging willow. It was a challenging delivery, but I waded out and zinged the fly at a quarter angle to the fish. No take. I cast again and no take. On the third cast, just as the fly moved under the overhang, I see a big old head appear—the mouth came open and then collapse around my fly. After a 40 yard chase downstream, I land the fish exactly where I had originally entered the run. The fish was well fed, gorgeous, and large, which is a nice combination.
I crossed the river and picked up three more fish, one on a Callibaetis Tantalizer #16 and two on a Caddidge #22. One note on the Caddidge, you should own that bug for the Owyhee River and fish it in the slower moving water at targets tight against the edge. We catch a boat load of fish on that fly all winter long and then he becomes a major player throughout the summer. The Caddidge may be the most productive one bug I’ve ever fished on the “O.” Used in proper slow water scenarios, he’s absolutely a killer bug.
I finished the day below the Llama farm just above the river crossing. I hooked two fish just below the road crossing on the far bank and landed one and lost one. I looked upriver to the riffle above the crossing, and it looked like a lot fish were banging there. I walked upriver, entered the water, and sure enough, there were caddis all over the water and fish abusing them. From around 8:00 to 9:30 pm I went maniac on fish. I’d wait for a fish to break the surface and immediately I put on a #18 Bare Belly Caddis Green on them. Sometimes it would take a few casts for the fish to locate the fly, but in most cases if the fish revealed his feeding location, I caught the fish. I hooked fish tight against the edge, in foam lines against hard current, and ever out in the fastest water in mid river. I don’t know how many fish I caught in the last run, but it seemed like all I did for an hour and a half was fight fish in the hard current at the top of the run.
At about 9:30 with fish still feeding below me I called it quits for the day. My wife Peach and my dog Mudd were waiting for me back at the car and it was getting late. It’s a good thing they were along because the normal me would stayed until dark thirty. I have a heck of a time pulling off of feeding fish!!
Flies that caught fish: