1. Being an early season hatch there is no need to be on the water early.
You need to adjust your schedule if possible and be sure to be out there late if looking for dry fly fishing. Trout do not like bright light, no matter how many bugs are available the trout will not rise until late afternoon to dark.
2. Don’t be afraid to nymph before the hatch.
Caddis emergers and pupa patterns can be deadly before the bugs get going heavily. Even when there are bugs flying around they might be leftovers from the day(s) before. If you aren’t seeing fish rise, stick with nymphing. The trout can get keyed in on ascending pupa and will be eating plenty of them beneath the surface.
3. Fishing an exact imitation can be futile.
When a hatch like this occurs and there are bugs all over the water, finding your fly or keeping an eye on your fly can be really tough. Try throwing something bigger, or the same shape or different. Many times I like to throw a Royal Trude that is slightly bigger than naturals. The obvious reason is that it is much easier to see than say an Elk Hair Caddis. When the trout are eagerly slurping in adult caddis, try sticking out from the crowd and I believe that you be surprised.
4. Is there another insect that is hatching that the trout may want?
While out this week I witnessed many Little Sallies crawling on the bushes. Instead of trying to match the hatch we ran a small yellow stimulator and the trout seemed to enjoy our offering even though the caddis outnumbered the small stonefly 1-100,000. Bigger meal better reward.
5. Look for slower water where the bugs collect to concentrate on throwing dries.
Whether it be an irrigation ditch or behind a big boulder, trout will still seek out the best areas where they have to barely work to eat their fill. Concentrate on the pockets and slower water to target rising fish. Trout are always looking for easy meals in areas that they do not have to fight the current.