During our fishing trip to Pittsburg, NH, this past weekend, we often would see a glorious sight in the mornings: rising fish.
I stomach-pumped a few of them, and they consistently were full of caddis pupae. A dark brown casing and chartreuse underneath. I also saw some of the adult bugs. They were about a size 18 or size 20 and had light olive bodies.
Unfortunately, throwing an Elk Hair Caddis with its hackle didn’t work for me. It sat too high up on the water.
On fishing trips, I bring some of my fly tying equipment. So, I tied up some X Caddis flies. That fly pattern sits lower in the water and mimics a bug struggling to emerge. I these days rarely throw Catskill-style flies when casting dries. I’m nearly always throwing an emerger or a cripple pattern. I think they look more vulnerable.
I like Tim Cammisa’s version of the fly (video up top): a thin body with a CDC underwing. I used a darker shuck and tied the body in light olive, to try and match what I was seeing.
Thankfully, I landed quite a few fish with the fresh-from-the-vise X Caddis. It was the #1 dry fly this past weekend. It led to the good-sized brown trout at the bottom. I felt very excited and grateful to see that fish in the net.
So, if you’re on a river with caddis, considering tying up some X Caddis flies. It has done well for me on many rivers.