It's caddis time! Caddis are all over the water column from the bottom to the top. This can be the best time of the year to catch a big trout or salmon on a dry fly. Find some shade or low light periods (early am or late pm) and skitter a tan bodied Elk Hair Caddis and you're sure to be rewarded. If you're having trouble locating fish then fishing a small caddis in some low riffles can be a good bet. You won't catch the biggest trout, but as the water warms up they'll be holding in quicker water which holds lots of oxygen. Soft hackle flies dropped 24" below a dry are deadly when you see caddis coming off. Just because you see caddis or mayflies in the air doesn't mean they are smashing dry flies. When we see lots of bugs in the air, we're finding that a big nymph like a Pat's or a Prince nymph with a soft hackle emerger at the end will work if you present it correctly.
While Caddis will continue to fool, it's inevitable that as summer continues on that they'll take smaller and smaller patterns. However, if you're fishing in the morning and you see lots of stoneflies on the banks, it's time to throw on a big dry pattern like a Bugmeister or Kaufmann's Stimulator and give it a twitch. If you hit this hatch just right, you can put 40+ quality trout in the net in a morning's fishing. Even on a slower day, this tactic will work from the last week of June until the end of July.
Aaron Broaddus is a Registered Maine Fishing Guide with Headin' North Guide Service. Aaron specializes in fly fishing in the Western and Southern sections of Maine.