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Old 07-13-2009, 06:53 PM
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Default Caddis Nymphs

I am looking at options for caddis nymphs. I currently carry olive beadhead hare's ear nymphs but was wondering if a copper john green would be a better imitation? I know that they make specific caddis nymph flies but I am looking at other options.
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Old 07-13-2009, 08:42 PM
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Default Re: Caddis Nymphs

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Originally Posted by Teamanglerx View Post
I am looking at options for caddis nymphs. I currently carry olive beadhead hare's ear nymphs but was wondering if a copper john green would be a better imitation? I know that they make specific caddis nymph flies but I am looking at other options.
I like to categorize Copper Johns and Hare's Ears as general attractor nymphs. They can be used as caddis nymphs. I won't say that one is better than the other. That will vary from water to water.

Here are some caddis nymphs that I keep in my boxes.

Rockworm Caddis (Caddis Larva)
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Fox's Poopah
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Anderson's Bird of Prey
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Mercer's Swing Caddis
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MP
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Old 07-14-2009, 12:02 PM
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Default Re: Caddis Nymphs

Teamanglerx-

There are a couple things to think about when imitating caddis. The caddis lifecycle, and type of caddis.

The life cycle of caddis is similar to butterflies in that it goes from egg to larva to pupa to adult. (Mayflies and stoneflies don't have a pupal stage). In many cases it is the pupal stage of caddis that is the most vulnerable to trout. Flies like Lafontaines Deep Sparkle Pupa and Emergent Sparkle Pupa are excellent imitations of this stage and are great searching patterns. There are many other flies that also do a good job of imitating this stage including old standards like Partridge and Green/Orange Soft Hackles as well as newer patterns like the Tabou Caddis. These are most often fished wirh a down and across wet fly swing.

There are also different types of caddis that differ in the development of the larva. Many caddis build cases out of sticks and twigs, or small rocks. Some caddis larva are "free living". The Green Rockworm is a great imitation of Rhyacophelia, a free living caddis found in riffles all over the country, and if you were to carry a caddis larva pattern, that would be a good one to have in both green and tan. The tan ones actually imitate a lot of "net spinning" caddis that rappel down stream on silken threads and often become available to trout in the drift, as well as "saddle cased" caddis (Glossoma) that build cases that look like little turtle shells on rocks in the stream.

Cased caddis imitations include the Peeking Caddis, Bread Crust and several others. Even the Brassie can be considered a caddis larva pattern since in many areas especially out West, caddis build cases out of sparkly sand. It is a good imitation for "tube cased" caddis larva like Brachycentrus (Grannoms) that appear throughout the country.

Patterns like the rockworm and brassie are often fished short line nymphing through runs or in or just below riffles.

If you were to limit yourself to a few patterns, you might want to tie up some rockworms in both green and tan, and some brassies or peeking caddis, for larva. And then add some Emergent Sparkle Pupa in both Green and Tan (or Ginger). These would cover a lot of bases in most areas of the country.

Mark
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