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Caddisflies

Caddisflies

Adult caddisflies are very active. After hatching they can live for about 3 weeks. At low light they dance on the rivers surface. Perhaps they are either drinking or laying eggs. Whether they are drinking or laying eggs, they skitter the surface in erratic flight patterns. Fish love them.

I fish them in an active skating retrieve combined with an assortment of presentations. The classic upstream, Youngs method, and the downstream presentations are effective. I prefer to fish 2 flies. One is an exact size and the other is one size larger than the naturals. I fish the smaller pattern on the dropper which is about 2-3 feet away from the larger fly. My favorite patterns are the elk hair caddis ones treated with fly floatant. (Gink etc.)

This skating method is explained in the retrieves chapter. I exaggerate the motions so that the dropper fly lifts off of the water a few inches and splashes back down. The larger fly actively disturbs the surface. This presentation and retrieve elicits aggressive surface rises. I have found it to be effective even when the caddisflies are not active such as in bright sunlight. This method, fished next to bank side shadows, can entice inactive fish into feeding. When used in low light conditions when lots of caddisflies are active, it can be extremely effective.

I prefer the Youngs method for this skating technique. I allow the flies to be active and then float freely for a short distance. This activity attracts fish to your flies.

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Caddisflies

Caddisflies

Order: Trichoptera

Number of species: over 1200

Life Cycle: complete metamorphosis

Four Life Stages: egg, larva, pupa, adult

Larva

Body Description

Abdomen: 9 segments

Thorax: 3 segments

Legs: 6

Worm-like appearance, fragile

Size: 6-22, up to 1 1/2 in length

Most are case builders (case made of bottom debris which protects fragile larvae)

Activity: some are free roaming but move at a slow crawl

Pupa

Body Description

Wings: Distinguished by folding wings in a downward position under the bodys sides

Activity: may capture an air bubble to float to the surface

Adult

Body Description

Antenna: long (2x body)

Wings: tent like wings fold over body

Tails: none

Colors: mottled shades: olives, browns, tans, grays, yellows

Activity: fast & erratic

Hook Size: 6-22, 14-16 most common

There are five groups of caddisflies which are determined by the larvas behavior: free-living caddis, saddle-case caddis, net-spinning caddis, tube-case caddis, and purse-case caddis.

Caddisflies are typically found in cold, oxygen-rich water such as mountain streams where there are riffles and runs.

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caddis fly

caddis fly, any of various insects of the order Trichoptera, with four hairy wings usually held back rooflike over the abdomen, long antennae, and chewing mouthparts. The aquatic larvae, or caddis worms, which somewhat resemble caterpillars, are food for many freshwater fishes; they are called creepers when used as bait. The larvae build and inhabit underwater cases or nets made from a silken threadlike material they produce, or from materials such as twigs, sand, and leaves. Most larvae feed on plants and debris caught in the cases; among the net-building species some are predacious. Many seal their cases, and spin cocoons and pupate within. Caddis flies are classified in the phylum Arthropoda, class Insecta, order Trichoptera.

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caddis fly

caddis fly Any of several moth-like insects of the order Trichoptera. Adults have long, many-jointed antennae, hold their wings tent-like over the body, and usually grow to about 25mm (1in) long.

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