The Mother's Day Caddis hatch is on on the Lower Madison right now. Dry fly fishermen can rejoice! If you want to throw the dry all day you certainly can and you can probably do pretty well with it. The fish are feeding on top the best in the afternoons to evenings. Fish darker patterns, blacks and dark olives, in smaller sizes like a 16. A dry dropper rig will really work well. Put an emerger or a pupa behind a larger dry and see what happens.
We've heard a number of anglers this week in the shop that have been frustrated with the dry fly fishing. If you aren't on the front of the hatch or if it's a really bright day getting fish to eat on top can be a bit of a challenge. If they aren't eating on top, then switch it up.
Being willing to fish the indicator rig can make the difference between catching just a few fish and having a great day on the water. If the fish just don't want the dry, then go deep. On the Lower Madison in particular, one of the best flies you can use is a crayfish pattern. Tan and olive crays have just been killing it right now. The fishing has been just nuts. Ethan was down on the Lower recently and they caught most of their fish on the cray. Use the larger Cray as a point fly and hang a smaller caddis pupa, lil spanker or caddis pupa behind it. You won't be disappointed.
Lots of people (myself included) love to catch fish on dries. There are a lot of anglers who won't ever put a bobber on and nymph. If that's your thing more power to you. But when you can't get them to eat the dry, don't be afraid to chase the bobber for a bit.
We've got a good variety of crayfish patterns and droppers at the shop and can get you set up with the flies you need.