Columbia River Chrome

It’s been a month since we’ve fished anything but dries on the Columbia River. Two weeks since we’ve fished anything smaller than size 12. The culprit? October Caddis, of course. Fly-fishing’s funkiest bug comes through again.

Chrome sides, red bands, orange bugs

Oh sure, conventional caddis, hoppers and Blue-winged Olives are about as well; but why, to mangle a metaphor, pick away at buffet edges when the roast beef is front and center? We’re fishing #6 Flex-Wing Caddis – Hot October, in unconventional places. Skittered, twitched or dead-drifted down the middle – the Columbia’s big rainbows can’t resist them. Neither can I.

Paul with a caddis-caught beauty

Vancouver doctor and New Zealand mate Paul spent a couple of epic days on the Columbia this week. We also dropped over to the Slocan River for a great walk-and-wade, and rounded out the trip by taking a BBQ-sized trout from a nearby put-and-take lake. Paul left with a smile wider than the Canadian High Plains – captured so beautifully by Dave in the blog entry below.

Surely we live in one of the most bountiful and vast countries on earth: dry-fly fishing to trophy trout in mountain tailwater while, a Canada goose hop away, Dave Brown Outfitters guides clients over prairie grass and pointing dogs for Huns and Sharp-tailed grouse.

Yours Truly gets in on the act
Paul nets another crimson-cheeked redband


The hunting continues for some time yet; the dry-fly fishing will soon be stymied by unpredictable weather and stunted days. I’m guiding later than usual this year, crossing my fingers the mercury holds and the caddis bite continues. We’ve already booked Columbia trips for 2013. I’m pleased as a pumpkin. I can’t get enough of one of British Columbia’s best rainbow fisheries and the most prolific October Caddis river in Western Canada.

Water as clear as the sky is blue

… Chris