The Great Pumpkin, colored bug that is, or the musty crunch of a hike to the river

My favorite time of year has a smell to it, and to some its not that pleasant. Its the musty decay ridden smell of fall. It sure ain’t the perfume counter baby, but to me its sweeter than any flowery spritz of perfume from the cosmetic counter wafting through the air. Its a stank that gets me all hot and bothered because the fishing is getting to be about as good as it gets for the year. Besides the smell its the leaves changing color and slowly falling to the ground where they make a multicolored carpet.

That textured carpet also makes a pretty cool sound under felted boots, semi crunch, semi whoosh as you kick up the detritus of those earlier seasons. Sometimes there’s a faint to stiff breeze, clouds blowing through maybe leaving some rain maybe not. Its a quieter season and more often than not I find that I have huge expanses of the river all to myself. It can be spooky in the dead silent stillness. I find it exhilarating!

The fall really gets me going. It’s the expectation of Steelhead and sex crazed brown trout. Its fish going crazy over the last cheeseburger, the October caddis, Limnephilidae Dicosmoecus, for you latin freaks . A huge bug by trout standards. A size 6 or 8 2x hook just about does this big orange bug justice. It is literally the last big bug of the year before its all midges and BWO’s. The Octo-cad is a lively bug swimming around the bottom in its pale orange pupa stage for up to 2 weeks before it hatches into an immense caddis fly, pushing an inch and a quarter these bugs are hard to miss on a fall days fishing.

They are not a discriminate hatch, meaning they trickle off for a good 2 months, mainly in the afternoon and evening but seen early in the morning just as often. If you do happen to observe them tye on a big orange stimulator, and dropper of a big orange pupa pattern. I have 2 of my own patterns and when I get things rolling I will post some good pics and step by steps. One of the great traits of this bug is that it is almost always active on the waters surface so a perfect cast and a dead drift are not only not needed but actually discouraged! No offense but you hacks and part timers out there should rejoice, it’s the perfect time of year for you people to get out and catch some truly big hungry fish.

Swing that fly and let it skitter and skate, holding on tight as that dropper does its rise at the end. I can tell you that more often than not when fishing a caddis pattern I catch most of my fish on the dangle and just letting the fly skate and move at the end of my line. TRUST ME! The more drag and skate the better! You’ll experience vicious takes and strikes from hungry hungry trout. Streams and rivers get skinnier and fish tend to congregate in the deeper runs, pools, and hideouts. This means they aint got as many hiding spots as usual and you can therefore focus on hitting the choice spots. STOP!

This doesn’t mean you should pass over “unfishy” looking water. On the contrary fish it and fish it hard! Hit those spots like a sailor hits a bar on shore leave. Like I said earlier this isn’t your average cookie cutter hatch and these bugs don’t behave like a normal bug hatch, after all people,,,,, WE SHOULD BE FISHIN! All this talk of my favorite bug and favorite season has my brain poppin and stewin like hot gravy on the stove, patterns and techniques whirling around my addled brain like Mickey and Donald on the tea cups. Peace, we out!

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