Night Time, Is The Right Time... To Caddis!

Thursday, 18 August 2022  |  Sarah

 
Sedges / Caddisfly / Caddis ... take your pick!

Firstly, in the UK we refer to caddisfly as ‘sedges’, yet throughout Europe, The Americas and pretty much the rest of the world they use the term ‘Caddisfly, or simply Caddis’, which is what we will call them here.


There are countless species of Caddisfly throughout the UK and whilst certain types emerge during the day the bulk of caddisfly hatch at low light levels come the evening time and even in complete darkness. 
 
In fact, recent studies show that hatches of caddisfly occur during the night, when most of us are tucked up in bed, or at the very least…enjoying last orders.

Given this, we should set our stall out for some late evening fishing that might extend into the wee small hours

In August when caddis are at the height of their activities this might mean staying out until midnight and beyond.

Whether it’s a stillwater, or river, because we’re operating in darkness the first thing to do is familiarize yourself with the surroundings, which is best done during the day. 

Make a special point of noting where large boulders are situated, or drop-offs occur. 

For those who aren’t confident waders, we suggest a wading staff too.
 
Now, usually when fishing dry fly caddis patterns in daylight, we have the luxury of seeing trout rise to take our fly and can time our strike accordingly. 

However, come night fall we obviously lose the sense of eyesight.  Instead, we have to rely on feel. 

This means it’s best to slowly retrieve our dry fly so we have constant contact with the business end, enabling us to detect any resistance of a taking fish.
For this reason, there’s no need to use long leaders, and a tapered length of around 10ft is adequate.  Whilst on the subject of leaders, it’s not necessary to go so fine after dark for obvious reasons.
In fact, because many of the larger trout feed after dark, we should look to stepping up our tippet with 6lb breaking strain being acceptable on rivers and 8lb tippet for stillwaters.


So, having cast out, it’s a matter of slowly retrieving your fly using a figure-of-eight retrieve. 

Often, you’ll hear trout sipping in the darkness, so naturally it’s wise to cast in the direction of any disturbance heard.
 
Any breeze that picks up at dark often drowns adult caddis, especially on exposed stillwaters. Now, we should consider using a wet fly. 

There are several patterns that work well, including an invicta, or murrough for example
It’s also worth exploring fishing more than one fly now and whilst a team of three is the norm during daylight, in the interests of avoiding tangles, perhaps two flies is more shrewd at dusk.
The beauty about wet flies is they are at their deadliest when retrieved, so a more energetic movement is better now.
Try something like foot long draws, without much of a pause between pulls. 
In really breezy weather, use more bushy flies that are anointed with floatant.

We appreciate this goes against the grain of wet fly fishing, but the idea is the flies will now create disturbance at the surface, which attracts fish. 

We’ve found a spray, or liquid floatant coats the whole fly here for superior floatability.
With luck, you’ll soon hook a fish and whilst playing them in darkness might not present too many problems, netting fish is another prospect altogether. 

Granted, a head torch can be used to good effect, but this lights up the water in front of you to potentially spook other trout. 

Instead, use a long handled landing net with a decent sized opening, in excess of 50cm.
 

The Essential Fly Fishing Shop
The Essential Fly Fishing Shop
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