|....................... .................... ...Fly Fishing Yellowstone National Park
New KISS Bug Series - Part 33
White Miller Caddisfly
The best time to catch trout from the White Miller hatch in Yellowstone National Park, and other places as
well, is during the egg laying activity. In the lower Gibbon, Madison and Firehole Rivers, it starts in the late
afternoon and gets to going stronger near dark. Keep in mind dark is about 10:00 PM in the Summer. Of
course, as with many other egg laying insects, it seems to the egg laying seems to start much earlier and
last longer during the daylight hours if it is very cloudy or overcast. The egg laying probably continues
through the night.
The females fly just above the water but do touch and even lite on the surface when they deposit their
eggs. They will be very easy for you to see, even in low light conditions. The light cream/white color of the
adults help you spot them. The trout eat them as fast as they can catch them and sometimes this is a sight
to behold. I have seen the trout chase them when they were in the air not touching the water. I have seen
trout come completely out of the water attempting to get them flying.
All you need to do to know where to place your imitation of the adult is to watch the water. You will want to
fish the exact same areas you see the trout eating them. At times there are so many flies on the water it's
difficult to get the trout to notice your fly. We have had the best results working on individual rising trout, or
individual trout that are chasing the egg laying females.
Most of the time, we use a down and across presentation but I don't think it matters much. Getting the fly to
where a trout are trying to catch an egg laying female is the key to it. If there's very much light, getting the
fly to the fish before they can see the leader may be of some benefit. I'm sure an up stream presentation
will work under most situations.
If you can't find an individual trout to fish to, just present the fly in the area of the stream you last saw trout
splashing the surface after the egg layers. This can be a very fun way to catch trout. Angie and I both have
taken several large trout in a very short period of time when they were a lot of egg laying female White
Miller caddisflies on the water. During one late afternoon and evening event, Angie caught five straight
rainbows on the Firehole River on five consecutive cast. It usually gets so dark we end up with unsuitable
video trying to record the White Miller action. They will eat the Perfect Fly adult imitation of the White Miller
caddisfly even after it's completely dark.