At the Bench: a Caddis Emerger Variant

Size 18 CDC Caddis Emerger. Usually produces all summer. #flytying #euronymphing #flyfishing #ignoringmydayjob

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Some rivers I fish have ridiculous Caddis hatches and not many mayflies. Who knows why. At those spots, I find that emerger patterns can work very well. On some days, it is the only dropper fly I need all day.

Caddis emerge quickly, which is why takes are often loud and splashy. So, fishing this fly as a dry is worth it, too.

Some of my favorite fly-fishing memories involve fishing this fly to wild fish in Pittsburg, NH. Fish it solo in the surface film, as part of a nymph rig, or as a dropper attached to a X-Caddis dry, and you can be good to go all day up there.

As I’ve posted before, I tie a Caddis Emerger that is based on the Tightline Productions version (here). But, recently, I’ve made a few tweaks. I no longer use a dry fly hook, as I find that some hook sets don’t stick. So, I’ve gone to a curved hook with a wider gape. I also sometimes use CDC rather than Hungarian Partridge.

I like this fly small-ish. Size 16 works when water is quick, but, for slower water, a size 18 is much better.

This fly is super-simple to tie. It is a bit of a “guide fly,” as it takes take little time to make a bunch.

Here is the materials list:

  • Hook: TMC 2487, Orvis 1639 or Daiichi 1130 in size 16 or 18
  • Bubble: white Z Lon, Antron or NZ strike indicator wool
  • Thread: Veevus, black, 12/0
  • Body: squirrel, light olive
  • Wing/legs: CDC, dark dun
  • Thorax: squirrel, brown

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8 thoughts on “At the Bench: a Caddis Emerger Variant

  1. Thanks for posting this. I am hoping to head up to Pittsburg myself in Mid June. I will have to tie some up.


    1. Also, a brown-ish flashback WD-40, size 18, works very well up there during the June/July BWO hatches. Photo:

      An ol' reliable. Small WD-40 flashback. #euronymphing #flyfishing #flytying

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      And, I’m hoping to try out this Baetis pattern this summer:

      Size 18 Baetis. Via @flyfishfood #euronymphing #orvis #flyfishing #barbless #flytying

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  2. Nice ties! I have often been frustrated with caddis hatches and will try a few of these. All my caddis patterns are a size or two larger which may explain something about my failure rate!

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