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Old 01-28-2012, 09:21 AM
Corbo Corbo is offline
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Default Cherokee tailwater CADDIS

Okay; so last year in anticipation of fishing the Nance's area during the caddis hatch I tied up a bunch of flies that worked very well when I lived in Maine.... most size 14 & 16 very tan caddis.... this included elk hairs and CDC with shucks.

And they barely worked! The CDC worked best

Seemed what I saw on the river were size 16 and very dark brown... not a color I had seen before up north.

SO; I've spent alot of time looking at Hugh's site (even prior to moving here two summer's ago) and I see his Holston River Caddis and it appears the same colors and sizes I had in my boxes!

Then I get told at ORVIS that I should have an olive body, not tan even though what I saw on two different days seemed to have a darker brown body with darker brown wings.

Some drift boaters last Spring claimed sucess ONLY on droppers (Gary L's antron beadhead emerger with shuck, "air bubble" body type of thing in TAN). They claimed they still did rather poorly that day but I noticed the "sports" could not cast very well.

So what color/size and "form" do you guys prefer?

Question for Hugh.... everyone tells me peaches do poorly here, if I ever sell my place in Maine I hope to grow peaches.... do your peaches struggle or thrive?
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Old 01-28-2012, 10:20 AM
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silvercreek silvercreek is offline
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The Holston is not a river I fish, so I'll have to defer to others for size and color, but anywhere I have fished to hatching caddis, I like Lafontaine's emerging caddis with the antron bubble and shuck. Are you sure you are fishing to hatching caddis as opposed to caddis that are egg laying and have then fallen spent on the water?
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Old 01-28-2012, 11:21 AM
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Hugh Hartsell Hugh Hartsell is offline
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Default Caddis for the Holston

Good morning Corbo,
There are two real important Caddis for the Holston River, as far as looks and size. The bigger ones are a lighter Tan in color and about a size #16. The other one is much smaller in size and a Dark Olive in color. It is about a size #20-22. Several different ties will catch fish if you match those colors and sizes. Sometimes I use the CDC and Elk and sometimes I use the Elk Hair style. There are years that they like a Caddis Emerger pattern and some years they don't seem to be attracted to it. The Green Caddis Emerger is the pattern that I tie for that. The best setup that I have found is to use the Size #16 Tan as the top fly and use the #20 or 22 Little Dark Olive as a dropper about 24 in. below the top fly. If you get down to size #22 it is hard to see the dropper fly and the larger Tan version makes a good indicator and it's easy to follow your flies as they come back downstream.

Now about those peaches: I just finished pruning the last of mine yesterday and I hope we have as good of a season as we've had for the last 5 years. I'm a little sceptical this year because the weather is so mild that everything is coming out too soon. I've planted a lot of new varieties that bloom much later and hopefully they will not get started before all of our cold spells are over. The ones that I've had for the last several seasons were very good. I wish you luck with yours.
Hugh
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Old 01-28-2012, 07:43 PM
Corbo Corbo is offline
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These were not egg laying caddis on these two days but were emerging through the film from that deep pool a few hundred yards up from the Nance's Landing down to almost the landing.

They seemed very dark brown sized 16; when I threw a Dark CDC with shuck they would often take... it was May. I'm wondering if this is a different caddis than the caddis Hugh and others have seen.

On these same days I saw various mayflies but not a blistering hatch of any specific size though there were a fair number of Sulphurs which would start the fish to the surface whenever a flurry of them came off.

One day I fished from 10 AM to dark and only left the river to pee on the opposite bank.... Once when I had to go so bad in the middle of some serious mayfly activity and raced for the bank when I could hold no longer only to see what I believe to be an enourmous copperhead laying on the very rock I was dropping my vest upon!

So "olive" is such a subjective color... there must be 10 different bags of olive dubbin here so my bet is an olive/brown mix? Or should I go full out green olive?

I like Hugh's Tan Wulff alot; looks something like what I often tied up in Maine for mixed Sulphur/Olive hatches on windy days.

Any of you ever fish a "usual"?

I miss the peaches we grew as a boy in Southern NJ; my dad and me tried for years to get a cold resistant peach tree to bear fruit in Maine but it never worked out.... most died within a year or two or would never make blossoms. Oh well; if I can sell my place in Maine or get making better coin here I'll get some dirt and give it a try.... I miss the peaches we grew so many years ago.... same with the Winesap apples.
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Old 01-28-2012, 08:42 PM
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Hugh Hartsell Hugh Hartsell is offline
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Corbo,

The Holston sure has more than just two different versions of Caddis. You are without a doubt seeing larger sized Olive colored Caddis than the size 20s. Being able to look at what you see flying around on the stream and matching it is the ultimate in fly tying. The one thing that I would mention is that most of the bodies are a Caddis Green shade and the wings are the Olive color. Also, the flies will start showing up at Nances Ferry first this Spring and the hatch moves up river. If you tie the Usual, keep some handy because the Sulfurs start coming off shortly after the Caddis get into full swing. There is also a small PMD hatch up in the mid river section.

If you ever get up to Panther Creek State Park, hollar at me and I'll show you a nice peach orchard. I'll let you pick some tree ripened peaches that will take you back to younger days.
Hugh
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Old 01-29-2012, 09:44 AM
Corbo Corbo is offline
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Thanks Hugh!

Looked carefully at the flies on your website.... Impressive, got a better look at the colors too so I can fill my boxes with the right stuff.

Read about your recent battles with monster browns with small flies and your observations of brown trout behavior.... seems a brown is a brown no matter where they live as the big ones in Maine were very noctunal as well. My last monster was on the Kennebec at Solon; 26 inches caught after dark with a 2 weight.... my reel fell off the rod during the fight as he ran up river and kept bouncing up and down between the stripper guide and the gravel! Fortunately he turned down river and I was able to re-seat the reel. When he ran up-river again I high sticked him and moved in sideways to scoop him up with my right arm.

Big Brown pretty much do whatever they want when hooked!

So I'm curious.... you show a zillion flies on your site.... but no streamers?

I know most fly tyers regretfully accept flies from someone else (me included) as they have little faith in something they did not personally tie.

Keep an eye on your mail; sending something that big browns cannot resist AND you can use 3 or 4 X on the point!
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