Mother’s Day Caddis aka Granom on the Watauga River

Caddis Riffle Brown

Watauga River Brown Trout Love Caddis Larvae

The Mother’s Day Caddis  hatch is probably just a little over a month away.  If you’ve nymph fished with us, undoubtably you’ve ripped your flies off a bottom snag only to find you were merely hung on a cased caddis.  Our caddis build their houses with leaves and sticks and form a square based long pyramid.  The larva inside is a bright green grub-like animal with black legs and head.  These guys are usually found in the riffles and tail-outs from the Doe River down to Boone Lake.  Usually they hatch the third week in April, but warmer weather will create an early emergence.  They are pretty reliably out when the dogwoods start blooming in the mountains.  The nymphs are large, size 10-14 and the adults are barely smaller.  We get them swinging pupae and fishing dry dropper whenever the hatch isn’t actively bringing fish up.  These bugs get so thick you could choke on them, and are the first decent sized insect of the year, so we find large trout feeding on adults.

This year conditions are shaping up to be perfect.  Watauga Lake is pretty low, so we shouldn’t have high flows during the hatch.  Last year we had low flows as well and the caddis were able to reproduce at levels not seen in almost a decade.  The river bottom is full of caddis right now.  Hitting the hatch is pretty hard to do, as it only lasts a couple of weeks, but the mid April timeframe is looking likely right now.  We still have some openings mid April, so give us a call.  803-431-9437