Saturday, February 04, 2012

Caddis Larvae

After another full work week finally the weekend rolled around and we were cabin bound.  This time my wife and I made the trip over while the kids decided to spend some time with their cousins.  After a rather busy week at work I was eager to hit the river and see what I could drum up.  With a mid week thaw in the mix I was hoping for some new players in some old places.  It was a beautiful morning in Northern Michigan and I took my time rummaging around the garage. I moped around feeding the birds, and loading up the recycling into the van before finally gearing up and hitting the river.
As expected with such a stellar day the river traffic was up.  The flow had stabilized at 1800cfs and was running clear.  It didn't take long to hook into a 2 lb coloured up buck.  The Wax Worms were once again the ticket.  Fifteen minutes or so passed until the float once again dropped at the end of my drift and a larger fish was on.  The fight ensued and I started to make my march towards the shore from the middle of the river when the rod unloaded.  As if scripted I quickly retrieved my float and checked my leader to validate my suspicions.  Once again a rookie mistake.  Simple laziness was to blame for the loss of a large fish.  Previous to hooking up I had noticed a small abnormality on the flouro tippet most likely from the zebra mussels in the river. 
Instead of retying I gave it the multi-tug test and ran with it.  Hind sight is always 20/20 and now I was 1 for 2.  With blue skies and positive temps I decided to work my way down river and around the bend for a healthy walk.  The forest takes on a calm beauty of it's own under the blanket of winter and cover of crisp blue skies.  The fresh air was doing me good and I dropped into the river periodically along my travels.  The fish were less cooperative than anticipated and the usual haunts were failing to produce any players.  I switched up from jigs, roe and waxies with little to show for my efforts when my float dropped on a long deep run with a roe bag.  I set up to a couple of head shakes and then nothing.  It was one of those days where you don't want to miss your opportunities and now I had blown 2 of them.  One on my own accord and one from a less than mediocre hook set. 
Once back to the bank I noticed a fair amount of caddis casings in the river.  It's funny what you see when you really start to look and the more I looked the more caddis I seen.  I was curious as to what the bug looked like once outed from it's well camouflaged self made home.  Upon pulling the casing apart I was shocked to see a larvae that remarkably resembled a wax worm.  It was astonishingly similar and pretty much resolved a question I had been searching for an answer to for a while. 
Every time I asked why wax worms were so effective nobody could explain to me a logical explanation.  I always scratched my head as to why these "maggots" worked so well.  It was like an epiphany and made complete sense as to why they are so effective this time of the year.  Matching the Hatch!  I fished my way back to the stairs with no other takers.  Having an appointment later in the afternoon I called it a day and made my way out of the river valley.  The outing produced a few good bends in my rod, a long sought answer, and a few more floats for my collection of river oddities.   Tomorrow is another day.


Shoreman said...

You've got to love those AHA moments. Sometimes they don't come for years, but when they do, WOW.


JBR said...

You know the fishin is stellar when there's pictures of mud, rocks, and woodpeckers...

LOL. Should've gone perch jerkin!

lambton said...

You got that right Mark. Totally changed my perspective on "the waxies". I now have an entire new found respect for them. LOL!

Perch Jerkin...LOL! Nice!
Although a frier full of Perch Fish-n-chips would have been the shit.

Trotsky said...

That bird reminds me of my penis...all head.
Home at last bitch.