Many caddis pupa are olive in color and form part of a trout and grayling's diet. Olive Caddis Pupa flyfishing Nymph fly trout Pattern imitates this stage of the caddis development especially as it drifts to the surface just before emerging into an adult.
OLIVE PUPA EMERGER CADDIS PATTERN Hook size 12 14 16 18 20 24 - $US each
Unlike a dog, a trout's retina has rods and cones. It can therefore see in colour. We have all heard about the trout window of vision, it's zone where it can see prey, but not many people talk about the reflection it sees from the underside of the water surface. It is like having a huge mirror on the surface of the water that points downwards. Most of a trout's upward vision is composed of double images. The real image of its target prey swimming in the water and also the virtual image, the one that is the reflected image. Obviously the sharpness of the reflected image will vary from perfect on the calm windless day to a distorted one in ruffled water.
Because the eyes of a trout are on the side of its body, it has a greater field of vision than a human. Despite the fact that we have our eyes in the front of our heads, we can still see through a full half circle without having to physically move our heads. We cannot see what is happening behind our ears without moving around. A trout can see your fly. If it plops down just behind and to the side of it. You may be lucky to watch the fish turn and grab it as it hits the water. The density of water, the refractive index, is much greater than in air. This means that humans vision is reduced underwater and the trout's is restricted to about 7 feet perhaps 10 the best conditions. The cloudier the water, as a result of algae or erosion, the less the visibility.
When fish are feeding, they seem to concentrate on one area of activity. When it is looking straightforward watching for ascending caddis pupae or midges, it may miss the sight of anglers on the riverbank. It will also miss your surface fly presentation. In these situations, you need to use nymphs. If a trout is looking up in its window towards activity on the water surface, it will miss the blood worms and cased caddis moving about on the riverbed. So in these situations, it would be pointless to fish weighted nymphs. You need to be able to observe what the fish in your immediate area are doing. A number of times I have been standing in the water and seen trout feeding between my waders, totally oblivious to my presence as they were concentrating on hunting food straight in front of them. They weren't looking up.
So how does a trout, know to take an insect that has just reached the water surface film and started to Hatch? This is when the insect is at its most vulnerable. It cannot swim away. Imagine the situation that a trout is in pursuit of a caddis pupa that is rising to the surface. It is only a short distance behind or below the pupa. It will see two images. The caddis insect itself and also the reflection of the same insect in the under surface mirror. The trout often waits until the two images gradually get closer. When the images collide the fish knows that the caddis pupa has reached the surface and is trying to break free to become and adult. This is when the trout puts on a little spurt of speed and feeds on its victim. Bang, we have a rise.
This may explain why so many takes happen when and artificial fly gets near water surface as it is retrieved. The trout will have been watching the fly get nearer and nearer its reflected image. It hits the fly just as it appears to escape the water. I have seen many flyfishing anglers this take on the lift off because they are so concentrated on getting on with the next cast.
Big trout in Irish Lough
I was looking forward to a day of big trout fishing on Lough Mask, a 20,500 acre lake in County Mayo, western Ireland. It is famous for some big lurkers that can be tempted up from the bottom with the right fly and technique.
The most productive time to fish for these brutes is early in the morning. We were on the water by 6am. I was fishing with some friends from London. I decided to fish with just two flies on a 20ft leader spaced at 10ft intervals, attached to a floating line. My point fly of choice was a hook size 10 beaded Gold Ribbed Hare’s Ear Nymph. I then tied on an Olive Sedge Pupa Caddis nymph hook size 12 on a dropper 10 feet above that.
The reason for using only a team of two flies instead of the normal three fly rig is that when using heavier larger flies I find it easier to cast, less cumbersome and it results in less tangles. I have not noticed having one less fly tied on has affected my catch rate.
After about 30 minutes casting the sun was now fully in the sky. I suddenly felt the fly line ripped through my fingers. I will never forget that take because of the sheer ferocity. It took me by surprise. I think I was still a bit sleepy. It took me a few seconds to get my head back in gear and react. I tightened down on the fly line and lifted the rod sharply.
The trout ripped through the water, taking the full fly line and about 30 yards of backing on its first run. What an energetic fish. I knew immediately that I had hooked a very big fish. Just how big I would hopefully find out if I did not do anything stupid. I kept worrying about the line breaking because of wind knots. I played this big boy for nearly 30 minutes. My arm was getting tired. My heart was pounding with excitement. My friends were constantly chipping in with advice.
They managed to beach the boat whilst I still concentrated on my prey. I stepped out onto dry land, making sure that I did not fall over. As I retrieved the line he came closer and closer to the shore. Then he popped through the surface. He was huge and weighted 10lb 9oz. One of the lads was in the water with a large landing net. I gave one last pull to get him over the ridge. What a relief. I would have kicked myself to lose a fish this good.
He had taken the Olive Sedge Pupa Caddis nymph. After being unhooked and gently coaxed back to health, I released him back into the depths of Lough Mask so he can provide sport for another lucky fly fisherman. If you visit the west of Ireland it is a grand place to fish.
On the lake where I fish there are a type of caddis that makes and lives in a silken tunnel in the lake bed. They leave them periodically to search for food and thus become fish food for grubbing trout and grayling. I find your olive pupa caddis does the trick on a floating line with a long leader in the shallows around the mud banks. Jim King, Buffalo, USA
Your olive caddis pupa fly pattern works great on the middle dropper on a team of three flies. I believe the trout take it for a caddis making its way up to the surface where it will shed its skin and hatch into the adult. I normally have a Brown Goddard’s Caddis on the top floating on the surface to imitate the adult waiting for its wings to dry. It is the olive caddis pupa on the dropper that I get most of my takes on. The Goddard’s Caddis acts as a great strike indicator. Kevin Brown, Keswick, Cumbria.
Trout are often gorged on pupae long before the hatch actually occurs. The reason is simple: caddis fly pupae can drift in the water column—from the streambed up through the buffer zone—for hours and miles until they discover the perfect water temperature and river conditions in which to explode to the surface and become adults. - Scotty Elliott
I try to guess at what color the caddis dry will be and its size. I also brush on some Frogs Fanny as it makes the pupa look like it has bubbles coming from it as it rises to hatch. The tactic that I use is a nymph that is rising up the water column. Sometimes I will have a dry dropper to keep it in the higher water column as I skate the dry across the holding water. Sometimes the Czeck technique works with only nymphs and light weight. and lift as the line goes by the suspected holding trout. I don't like looking at strike indicators, so I do not use them - Chris Travis