Flies and Fly Fishing
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to a amiable fishing partner, and perhaps a trusted fly rod, Caddis flies or Sedge flies may be the trout
fly fishers best friends. Much ado is made about specific mayfly
hatches, and the frenzied activity they cause is anticipated by fish and fly
fisher alike. But a nice long prolific, steady caddis hatch gives one the
opportunity to fish whenever the schedule allows. Most fly fishers
recognize an adult caddis fly or imago, yet compared to favorite mayflies they
may relatively in the dark about caddis.
- Adult caddis. Notice the "tent wing"
adult caddis are often mistaken for salmonflies. There is one simple
way to tell the difference: Caddis flies have a tri-fold wing, that is
tented when the fly is at rest, while a salmonfly's wings lay flat along it's back.
- Caddis are mistaken for Salmonflies occasionally.
are present throughout the world, and are represented by some 7,000-12,000
different species, depending on who you believe. Their sheer numbers
undoubtedly make it harder to wrap your brain around. Six to a
dozen major mayfly hatches are much easier to remember.
Caddis flies begin life in larvae form. The case building caddis is the
most famous, and in many places the most common. These case making larva
build their 'shell', from available silt and other sediment, commonly called
periwinkles, they have long been used as bait where allowed. The largest
of these is found in the Northwestern US and Canada and eventually hatch into
the October Caddis. There are also net building caddis that trap
food like a spider, these larva are stationary and therefore not as
important to the fisherman.
- A caddis larva is a great snack for a hungry trout.
the larva stage caddis or voracious eaters, and especially free living caddis
often creep into water too fast for their own good. This recklessness is
of major benefit to trout, and trout fishermen. Fishing seams of faster
water with a good sunken caddis pattern will often result in some
mayflies, caddis enter a pupal stage, where they attach their cases to an rock
or sunken log and seal themselves inside. Non-structure building caddis
actually spin a cocoon like a butterfly. This stage lasts not very long,
and while they are inactive they are not of vast importance to trout.
the emergence is an entirely different story, although it is even shorter
lived, it is the source of frenzied activity. Pupas emerge usually by
biting through their casing or cocoon. Some actually swim to shore and
crawl out of the water ala salmonflies, but the majority swim to the surface,
usually with the aid of air bubbles from inside their cocoon. Shedding
skin, gills, casings, mandibles, all now unnecessary appendages there is nothing
subtle about their emergence. And the trout now gorge!
- Cased caddis can exist underwater in huge numbers on logs and rocks
caddis live one to two weeks. They really have only one job,
reproduction. Egg laying occurs usually at night but not
necessarily. Many summer evenings can be filled with caddis flying into
wading fisherman. Eggs are laid in one of two ways; either by depositing them
from above, or actually swimming into the water. This last one makes them increasingly
vulnerable to trout.