One of my favorite methods of fly fishing is taking trout on a swung wet fly. The down-and-across cast and letting the current take your line, leader, and fly is easy and you can feel the tug. And two years ago when I was reading an article on how caddis emergers were overlooked suddenly sent me to the vise to experiment. That’s when these two worlds collided. It only makes sense that caddis emergers spend a lot of time drifting up through the water column before hitting the surface film. Seeing caddis come off of the water and being rejected time and time again with a high-floating caddis dry fly is frustrating…until you start thinking and fishing deeper.
This caddis pattern has produced solid days when no other pattern would work. Whether it’s dead drifted or swung, it catches fish.
Secure the hook in the vise and start the thread directly behind the eye of the hook making wraps rear to just into the bend of the hook. Dub a very small amount of chartreuse ice dub to imitate an egg sack or simply just a hot spot. For whatever reason, flies with this addition do better than those without.
You can use a variety of colors for the dubbed tail and thorax but in order to imitate a couple different variations of caddis, natural brown possum dubbing is used. Dub a slight taper to the body between the hot spot and the first third of the hook.
Taking a sparse amount of milky white egg veil, tie it in directly ahead of the body with one loose thread wrap. Taking the pad of your thumb, gently distribute the veil around the shank of the hook and then take two tight wraps to secure it in place.
Using the rear of the hook as a guide, trim off the veil at the bend of the hook and then trim the front off, as well.
The current will flow over the veil and give the body a nice transparent/slimy look just as the real bug has.
A partridge soft hackle is selected and the longer fibers are stripped off. Once the hook-length fibers are found, gently stroke them downward and then trim off the extra at the top of the feather. It’ll form a triangle which aids when tied on to the fly.
Tie just the triangle of the feather in directly behind the eye of the hook. While making wraps around the hook with the hackle, gently stroke teach fiber rearward with every revolution. Capture the stem and trim off the excess. Next, a ball-shaped head is created with dubbing.
A ball-shaped head is created with dubbing before whip finishing off the head right behind the eye. In order to sweep the hackle fibers rearward, a few wraps of dubbing can be wrapped over the hackles if they won’t sit correctly.
If you look at a real emerging caddisfly, it has a triangular profile with legs, wings, and antenna being swept rearward. This is a pretty effective imitation and one that isn’t too difficult to tie, either. Next time fish are sporadically rising or you notice caddis flights, swing this fly and turn an “ok” day into a “great” one.
Thread: UTC 70 – Dark Brown
Hook: Tiemco TMC2488 – Size 12
Dubbing: Awesome Possum – Natural Brown
Hot Spot: Ice Dub – Chartreuse
Body Effect: Egg Veil – Milky White