Caddis are small moth-like insects that have two pairs wings. They are closely related to Lepidoptera (moths and butterflies) which have scales on their wings, and the two orders together form the superorder Amphiesmenoptera. There are numerous species that occur in Ontario, but I tend to focus on three of the more dominant species. The Spotted Sedges (Hydropsyche), Speckled Sedges (Cheumatopsyche), and the Little Black Caddis (Chimarra). Early in the season, larval imitations of caddis are an important fly to fishers. Later in the season, when hatches are well underway and many species of fly are hatching and mating, caddis can be the best fly to tie on as there will almost always be trout sipping caddis off the surface.
Al Troth created the Elk Hair Caddis, which is probably one of the most widely used caddis patterns, if not the most widely used dry fly pattern in North America. Its a diverse fly, it can be tied with or without hackle, in a variety of colours and in as many sizes as you can imagine.
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- Hook size 12 – 18 dry fly
- Thread brown 6/0
- Body olive dry fly dub
- Hackle short cock hackle
- Wing tan Elk Hair
- Head trimmed elk hair butts
Tie this fly in various colours and sizes to ‘match the hatch’ in your area.
- Read: the life cycle of caddis flies
- Watch: video about caddis flies and the dry and dropper method
- Watch: video about skating caddis flies
Fly Pattern Specific Rivers: Grand River, Conestogo River, Credit River, Beaver River, Bighead River….well, just about any river in Ontario!
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