Sierra Trading Post
Hook: Standard dry, sizs 10 to 18
Tail: Antron, Z-lon or similar yarn
Body: Fine dubbing
Wing: Elk or coastal deer hair
Head: Trimmed butts of wing
Caddisflies are a major food source for fish, and a source of a lot of fun for fly anglers. As caddis emerge from both rivers and lakes into their moth-like adult form, they often skitter across the surface, provoking explosive, splashy strikes from trout, bass and panfish. The X-Caddis dry fly imitates a bug that has reached the surface, but failed to shed the husk of its pupal form. That little extra vulnerability amps up predators, just as the erratic wobble of a Rapala imitates an injured baitfish.
Caddisflies exist in a wide variety of buggy shades, but I stick with two body colours for the X-Caddis—cream and dark brown. And the wing should always be natural tan so it’s easy for the angler to see. I do carry a few more elaborate caddis patterns, such Stimulators and Henryville Specials, for special situations like fast water or for actively skating a fly across the surface. Eighty per cent of the time, however, I go with the X-Caddis. It’s just so fishy, simple to tie and durable enough to survive a lot of savage strikes.
Need some tying help? For instructional fly-tying videos, expert tying tips and hints on finding inexpensive materials, check out these fly-tying tips from Outdoor Canada.