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Old 07-20-2012, 01:36 PM
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Default Diving Caddis...

or Egg-laying Caddis

This is a killer "happy hour" pattern all summer long when adult caddisflies are bouncing around during egg-laying. By over-powering your forward cast the fly will land with a nice little "splat" and draw vicious strikes in shallow bank runs and pools.

It's not my pattern - in fact I'm not exactly sure who the original creator is, but I first saw it on Mark Libertone's Flymphs, Soft-Hackles, and Spiders website several years ago, and have been tying/using with great success ever since.

-- Hook: #14 wet fly 1X long, 2X heavy (TMC 3761)
-- Thread: olive, UTC 70
-- Egg sac: med/dark olive (DMC embroidery floss nº 935)
-- Body: Hare’s Ear in a twisted dubbing loop (Leisenring style)
-- Ribbing: Flashabou (pearl)
-- Hackle: 2-3 turns gray partridge, stripped on top side (tying "sparse" is key)

Click the image to open in full size.

P.S. Don't go any lighter than 4X tippet, or you will be breaking fish off... especially after dark (yes - they will find it and keep hitting it).
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Old 07-20-2012, 01:48 PM
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Default Re: Diving Caddis...

Beautiful little fly, stenacron. I tie many variations on the dubbed-bodied soft hackle, they are wonderfully successful flies to fish in so many situations. I like this recipe and will be tying up a few.

While I agree with the "if ain't broke..." mantra, a slight variation on the diving caddis pattern is to tie in a sparse down-wing of clear antron fibers. In his research on caddisflies, Gary LaFontaine observed than they insects collect air bubble under their wings and it creates a very visible "aura" around the bug in the water. The antron mimics the shine of the bubbles.
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Old 07-20-2012, 02:48 PM
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Default Re: Diving Caddis...

Gorgeous pattern, I'm going to have to tie a few up and try them on the local streams in my area.
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Old 07-20-2012, 02:55 PM
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Default Re: Diving Caddis...

I have a newfound love for soft hackles, so this will definitely be joining my fly box once I get home to my tying materials!
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Old 07-20-2012, 03:08 PM
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Default Re: Diving Caddis...

Great fly
I use flies like this all the time and they are very effective!
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Old 07-21-2012, 12:53 AM
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Default Re: Diving Caddis...

-Really nicely done, beautiful flies.
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Old 07-21-2012, 02:41 AM
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Wink Re: Diving Caddis...

I love the old school wet fly patterns. The old "cow dung pattern" has the same kinda look. More green though. (The late 1700's i believe.)They definitely still catch fish.
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Old 07-21-2012, 11:30 AM
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Default Re: Diving Caddis...

Quote:
Originally Posted by dean_mt View Post

While I agree with the "if ain't broke..." mantra, a slight variation on the diving caddis pattern is to tie in a sparse down-wing of clear antron fibers. In his research on caddisflies, Gary LaFontaine observed than they insects collect air bubble under their wings and it creates a very visible "aura" around the bug in the water. The antron mimics the shine of the bubbles.
GLF's patterns are an interesting subject for me… back in the early 90's I attended The Fly Fishing Show in Somerset, NJ and Gary LaFontaine provided one of the seminars. His subject of course was Caddisflies and his slides were full of underwater pictures of various stages of caddisflies in action with emphasis on the metallic shine of the bubbles that attached to their bodies.

I was so fascinated by his presentation that I purchased his book, studied his patterns, and searched high and low for the true, DuPont tri-lobal Antron carpet fibers (not the commercial fly tying versions which are round extrusions). So I tied dozens of patterns in various colors and sizes and dedicated the following spring to fishing these patterns. Long-story-short the success never came. I was willing to endure the "learning curve" process too, but fish just continually ignored my offerings. Over years the fascination faded to the point where I have about a dozen or so left over that are tucked away in some obscure corner of one of my fly boxes, likely never to see that water again.

Years later I met up with some of the "old guard" while fishing Pocono streams and they got me into the soft hackles. After getting slapped around repeatedly by these guys I decided that there was really something to these flies and started off on another full plunge into the worlds of Leisenring, Hidy, Hughes, and Nemes. So I endured another "learning curve" but quickly realized that these patterns were the true key to unlocking caddisfly activity and the rest was history for me… I've been fishing them somewhat religiously ever since.

I remember GLF mentioning repeatedly at that seminar that his obsession with creating the "bubble" effect at times felt like he was trying imitate the impossible… and I'm not convinced that he ever got there. Perhaps I completely missed the boat, but my experiences had left me with zero confidence in his sparkle pupa and sparkle emerger patterns and not much better with respect to his larva or dancing/diving caddis patterns. To me, Antron is a very stiff, and very "fake" looking synthetic and about the only time I use it these days is for wing material. It's probably just 99% psychological based on my experiences, but I cringe just hearing the word "Antron."

Anywho, sorry to rant and ramble on… this has always been a lively subject between me and my old fly-fishing buddies back East... and I always liked these two comparative pictures with respect to (wingless) soft hackles.

caddis pupa
Click the image to open in full size.

Pale Green Itch Scratcher (after a dunking)
Click the image to open in full size.
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Old 07-21-2012, 02:38 PM
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Default Re: Diving Caddis...

Thanks for the rant, It is a great topic. I never met Gary or got to hear him speak, I am just intrigued and fascinated by his research and truly innovative approach to fly tying. Now that doesn't mean that he was infallible of course. My biggest problem with the sparkle patterns are the seemingly endless yet very specific color combinations for different flies.

I ordered some clear Antron from a place in Helena that sells materials and tools that Gary created and used. I like it a lot for under-wings on stonefly patterns etc. It attracts light and creates a backdrop to silhouette the body. I use it sparingly!

While I am still very much influenced by GLFs writing, I also fish the good old dubbed-bodied wingless wets almost exclusively as well.
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Old 07-21-2012, 06:04 PM
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Default Re: Diving Caddis...

Quote:
Originally Posted by stenacron View Post
GLF's patterns are an interesting subject for me… back in the early 90's I attended The Fly Fishing Show in Somerset, NJ and Gary LaFontaine provided one of the seminars. His subject of course was Caddisflies and his slides were full of underwater pictures of various stages of caddisflies in action with emphasis on the metallic shine of the bubbles that attached to their bodies.

I was so fascinated by his presentation that I purchased his book, studied his patterns, and searched high and low for the true, DuPont tri-lobal Antron carpet fibers (not the commercial fly tying versions which are round extrusions). So I tied dozens of patterns in various colors and sizes and dedicated the following spring to fishing these patterns. Long-story-short the success never came. I was willing to endure the "learning curve" process too, but fish just continually ignored my offerings. Over years the fascination faded to the point where I have about a dozen or so left over that are tucked away in some obscure corner of one of my fly boxes, likely never to see that water again.

Years later I met up with some of the "old guard" while fishing Pocono streams and they got me into the soft hackles. After getting slapped around repeatedly by these guys I decided that there was really something to these flies and started off on another full plunge into the worlds of Leisenring, Hidy, Hughes, and Nemes. So I endured another "learning curve" but quickly realized that these patterns were the true key to unlocking caddisfly activity and the rest was history for me… I've been fishing them somewhat religiously ever since.

I remember GLF mentioning repeatedly at that seminar that his obsession with creating the "bubble" effect at times felt like he was trying imitate the impossible… and I'm not convinced that he ever got there. Perhaps I completely missed the boat, but my experiences had left me with zero confidence in his sparkle pupa and sparkle emerger patterns and not much better with respect to his larva or dancing/diving caddis patterns. To me, Antron is a very stiff, and very "fake" looking synthetic and about the only time I use it these days is for wing material. It's probably just 99% psychological based on my experiences, but I cringe just hearing the word "Antron."

Anywho, sorry to rant and ramble on… this has always been a lively subject between me and my old fly-fishing buddies back East... and I always liked these two comparative pictures with respect to (wingless) soft hackles.

caddis pupa
Click the image to open in full size.

Pale Green Itch Scratcher (after a dunking)
Click the image to open in full size.
Interesting experience!And I had different
I have one suggestion for you if you find that antron is stiff,use CDC for sparkle pupa and I can bet that you will have success
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