October is always a busy month. I try to squeeze time to be on the water but there are significant and important demands to be addressed. Also, the sun is quick to set in the fall. Since I usually fish after we close the shop in the late afternoon, I have to make quality replace quantity. Caddis is my primary focus in this month. The Dot Wing Sedge Neophylax spp. is very common on area rivers this month. It can linger into November in warmer years. This species is very hardy and doesn't even begin to hatch until the first chilly nights of fall cause it to stir according to Tom Ames in his epic book on the subject, Caddis Flies. Matt Grobert, author of Fly Fishing New Jersey Trout Streams, is a well known tyer and his blog, Caddis Chronicles often focuses on these prolific and durable insects. His favorite pattern to imitate this hatch is his Caribou Caddis. This fly should be tied in sizes 14-18, if you had to pick one size go with a size 16. If you don't have a Caribou Caddis, Elk Hair Caddis are a fine substitute but I really like how the Caribou Caddis lays on the water. https://midcurrent.com/videos/how-to-tie-a-carabou-caddis/
This afternoon, the weather was blustery, the coldest weather of the season so far with snow and sleet falling this morning. I thought streamers or nymphs would be the ticket today but ended up just using the caddis. My first fish was hooked while blind casting up a deep seam along some brush. The 18" Rainbow rocketed out of the water four times testing my tippet before I could bring her to the net. My second fish, another smaller 'Bow I spotted sipping sporadically until I finally coaxed it into taking the fly. Dry fly fishing now involves more stalking and patience then earlier in the year. On a warm day the action can still be fast but I appreciate those hard won fish on a cold and grey evening.