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Old 01-01-2009, 11:47 PM
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Female Caddis

Okay, I have never actually tied such a fly, instead I thought I would tap in to all the experts and ask their thoughts and ideas.

Right now most subsurface fishing consists of:
1. Nymphs, either dead drift, strip, or lift.
2. Wet flies, drift or lift.

I was recently reading that caddis flies often out number may flies. I also read how about half of the adult caddis flies re-enter the water and swim to the bottom to deposit eggs, The wings are flat over the back and the legs used in swimming. I read that the gold tinsel tail on a lead wing coach man suggested an egg sack and the reason the lead wing coach man doesn't have a tail is because caddis flies don't have a tail.

Okay, I got to thinking: If the egg sack is important, and if the caddis fly adult is swimming to the bottom to deposit eggs, then it seems a trout would hit this fly while in was descending to the bottom. I am not sure if there are many current techniques that are designed to take trout with a descending fly but in some instances, because of casting obstructions, etc, an option of presenting a descending fly may have value.

so let's design such a fly!

If it is a caddis there would be no tail. The egg sack- that I don't know- it could be gold tinsel, yellow floss, or green or red. The body, maybe peacock herl or fur. I read that fur soaks up water and has translucent qualities not found in wool or synthetics- so I would be favorable towards the fur. What color? Tan? Brown? Green? The fly may need to be weighted. I thought about a cone/bead head but the weight may be too far forward, the wings may act as a rubber and cause the fly to drop straight down. maybe a few wraps across the wing position. The idea is for the fly to sink with the body tilted down at about a 45 degree angle- as if it is swimming to the bottom.
A lot of caddis flies have a palmered hackle the entire distance of the body but in looking at the naturals the legs are under the thorax, what about putting on the abdomen, then feeding in the hackle, then dubbing on the thorax and doing a plamered hackle just over the thorax? A lot of caddis flies have spotted type legs so perhaps brown partridge on the hackle?
On the wings, I hate tying on quill and am not very good at it but for those who are a lot of caddis look to have mottled wings so light turkey would probably work. I was thinking about ginger or brown hackle points tied in to lay along the body and maybe a few fibers of the partridge over them to create a mottled look. A combination of mixed hair and partridge fibers could also be used.
In any event a fly must be designed to not twist about while being cast and to act properly in the water and some of you are experts in knowing what materials would work best so that's why I have thrown out my thoughts. I would appreciate any comments. If my entire idea is flawed; or, if such a pattern already exists- then let me know- no use wasting my time on something if it isn't doable.
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Old 01-02-2009, 12:46 PM
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Default Re: Female Caddis

Quote:
Originally Posted by Red Owl View Post
Okay, I have never actually tied such a fly, instead I thought I would tap in to all the experts and ask their thoughts and ideas.

Right now most subsurface fishing consists of:
1. Nymphs, either dead drift, strip, or lift.
2. Wet flies, drift or lift.

I was recently reading that caddis flies often out number may flies. I also read how about half of the adult caddis flies re-enter the water and swim to the bottom to deposit eggs, The wings are flat over the back and the legs used in swimming. I read that the gold tinsel tail on a lead wing coach man suggested an egg sack and the reason the lead wing coach man doesn't have a tail is because caddis flies don't have a tail.

Okay, I got to thinking: If the egg sack is important, and if the caddis fly adult is swimming to the bottom to deposit eggs, then it seems a trout would hit this fly while in was descending to the bottom. I am not sure if there are many current techniques that are designed to take trout with a descending fly but in some instances, because of casting obstructions, etc, an option of presenting a descending fly may have value.

so let's design such a fly!

If it is a caddis there would be no tail. The egg sack- that I don't know- it could be gold tinsel, yellow floss, or green or red. The body, maybe peacock herl or fur. I read that fur soaks up water and has translucent qualities not found in wool or synthetics- so I would be favorable towards the fur. What color? Tan? Brown? Green? The fly may need to be weighted. I thought about a cone/bead head but the weight may be too far forward, the wings may act as a rubber and cause the fly to drop straight down. maybe a few wraps across the wing position. The idea is for the fly to sink with the body tilted down at about a 45 degree angle- as if it is swimming to the bottom.
A lot of caddis flies have a palmered hackle the entire distance of the body but in looking at the naturals the legs are under the thorax, what about putting on the abdomen, then feeding in the hackle, then dubbing on the thorax and doing a plamered hackle just over the thorax? A lot of caddis flies have spotted type legs so perhaps brown partridge on the hackle?
On the wings, I hate tying on quill and am not very good at it but for those who are a lot of caddis look to have mottled wings so light turkey would probably work. I was thinking about ginger or brown hackle points tied in to lay along the body and maybe a few fibers of the partridge over them to create a mottled look. A combination of mixed hair and partridge fibers could also be used.
In any event a fly must be designed to not twist about while being cast and to act properly in the water and some of you are experts in knowing what materials would work best so that's why I have thrown out my thoughts. I would appreciate any comments. If my entire idea is flawed; or, if such a pattern already exists- then let me know- no use wasting my time on something if it isn't doable.

Hello Red Owl,
Interesting question, I have no idea if such a Caddis fly has been developed before. I would assume that someone has tried this concept in one form or another at some point in the history of fly tying and fishing, it seems like LaFontaine had some patterns that were designed for egg laying and diving BWO's though.

My thoughts on the design are this; I would want the fly to be sparse in dressing (much like that of a traditional Wet Fly) so that it sinks into the desired water column quickly, bulky flies needing more weight added to get them down.

The direction I would pursue would tend to be a blend of natural fur mixed with a synthetic material such as antron, this would add just a little sparkle and hopefully give it a bit of life like appearance.

I would use a fur that does not come from a water based critter such as muskrat or beaver unless the fur has been degreased, the body oils from these animals can repel water, actually this may not matter on this fly.

Sinking to the desired depth and how quickly brings up other questions as to how much weight will be needed? and where it will be placed on the hook shank so as to achieve the proper attitude? also do you want a heavy wire hook or a light wire hook?
My personnal though would be to start with a lighter wire hook with a few lead wraps placed in the thorax area so it will have the desired diving action.
For this type of fly I would shy away from using a bed at the eye (but that's just me as I'm finding that I am using beads less and less.) Perhaps you could adjust it accordingly on the shank, in the middle or the rear? but that will change your flies appearance during the drop.

As far as the egg sack. I would think that the illusion of it certainly would not hurt and would give an additional 'Positive Attribute'. A very popular Caddis pattern on the Henrys' Fork has a bright green egg sac on the aft portion of the fly, this pattern rides high on the surface and is usually fished dry, but I'm guessing it could be weighted and fished wet.

The hackle or collar, you could use just about anything here, I would adjust accordingly to what size and color were needed.

Also you may want a sparse tail made from antron like that of a trailing shuck. My reasoning being this; when the insect is trying to dive down I would think it would have oxygen bubbles trailing off it's body much like a rising nymph will have a trail of gases from it's nymphal schuck trailing behind. This effect could also come from dipping the fly in some sort of dessicant before fishing.

So there you have my thoughts, probably completely off base for what you are asking.
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Old 01-02-2009, 01:59 PM
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Default Re: Female Caddis

Hi Red Owl.
Gary LaFontaine has a number of Diving Caddis Patterns in his book
" Caddisflies" & he refers to a book by Sid Gordon titled " How To Fish From Top To Bottom written in 1955 & I'm sure there are others. On LaFontain's Diving Caddis Patterns he calls for various colors of Sparkle Yarn for the bodies & he doesn't mention egg sacks in his text but they couldn't hurt. He uses the Sparkle Yarn to simulate the bubble they have around them when they dive down & again come up to the surface. I've used a diving caddis a few times & they do catch fish so it's worth keeping a few in your flybox..
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Old 01-02-2009, 02:24 PM
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Default Re: Female Caddis

DOPH!!! I mentioned LaFontaine, but totally forgot about his diving Caddis patterns. Please forgive me Gary, I'm not worthy.
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Old 01-02-2009, 03:22 PM
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Default Re: Female Caddis

I like the idea of designing the perfect fly.
I just wanted to mention FROG FANNY! the powder used to dry dries and specially CDC, but I also know, that putting a little on a nymph, it creates a bubble. It will still sink but the effects are awesome!
FF, I don't leave home without it.
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Old 01-02-2009, 11:51 PM
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Default Re: Female Caddis

Thanks for the Gary LaFontaine lead- I did a quick net search and sort of amazing- lots of similarities like the brown partridge and the under wing/over wing, and yellow tag.
Since there's already a fly I may just copy that but I think I'll try to fool around with my weighted idea as well. As I see matters the weight position has to be matched to the wing because the wing will act as a rudder and tend to pull the fly bottom up as it sinks so I'll have to experiment a bit to see what works.
On the fur- I recently read the Swisher/Richards book and they felt even on a nymph there was nothing like fur for the body.
Well I'm off to drop some test flies in the water to see how they sink. If I come up with anything I think is worthwhile I'll post plus a photo. Thanks for all input.
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Old 01-03-2009, 12:09 AM
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Default Re: Female Caddis

I did a bit more checking and Fishn50 is right, you need sparkle yarn or the equivalent to capture tiny air bubbles or give than appearance. I didn't realize such flies exist. One web site said the diving caddis pattern is one of the top 20 commercial patterns and the only wet fly in the top 20.

try: LaFontaine Private Label - Diving Caddis

My question on color was based on elk hair caddis patterns, I currently have a dark, a tan, and one with a green body and tan wing. In any event it sounds like the same general colors work with the diving caddis flies- man a whole class of flies I didn't even know existed!
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Old 01-03-2009, 10:41 AM
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Default Re: Female Caddis

The fly you want is something like this ?
Eggsack : woven yarn (polypropylene)
Click the image to open in full size.
Trygve
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Old 01-03-2009, 02:23 PM
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Default Re: Female Caddis

I like the look of the wing- more caddis like. The hackle looks almost comparadun like- how does the fly work? Is it weighted?
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