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7 Easy-to-Tie Flies That Will Catch Fish Anywhere in Canada

X-Caddis

Sierra Trading Post

X-Caddis

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.

Scott Gardner

Scott Gardner

Outdoor Canada associate editor and fly-fishing columnist Scott Gardner is happiest when he's on the water fishing (especially from his kayak) or just surrounded by trees, preferably out of cell phone range. Since joining Outdoor Canada in 2010, Scott has won nine National Communication Awards from the Outdoor Writers of Canada for his adventure travel and fly fishing articles, and been nominated for five National Magazine Awards.

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