Thursday, September 17, 2015

October Caddis ~ For Swinging

      I love September – crisp mornings & the aspens flaring like yellow candles on the higher slopes. For those of us afflicted with melancholus habitus, September is the most exquisitely melancholic month of the year. Life has emerged from summer’s oven & cooled to a glorious apple cake that will, all too soon, become a memory in winter.

For trouters, the emergence of giant, pumpkin orange Dicosmoecus (fall sedge, fall caddis, October caddis) are right up there with the best of reasons for loving September, in my neighborhood & to my mind. This is my favorite insect. With a five eighths to three quarter inch body & the wing around an inch to one & a quarter inch long, it is a large, handsome bug, lending itself to a number of imitative possibilities. I play with these through the season. Wet versions work well as swung flies &, for me, these most often out-fish dry versions of October caddis.  The one featured here has been working well on the swing.

Hook: #6 TMC 200R

Thread: rust brown UNI 8/0

Body: Umpqua October caddis blend dubbed on a loop of the tying thread – & a bit of squirrel dubbed over the thorax area

Wing (optional): turkey tail

Hackle: gadwall/orange dyed guinea hen/brahma hen ~ & finish.


  1. OK.This bug looks good but it better work. I am tying some precisely as to the recipe except for a better hook and prettier dubbing.

  2. Bert, a tool works only as well as the hand wielding it. Dubbing? Pretty exists only in the eye of the beholder; & there is always something better. Hook? Funny thing: Paul Bruun wrote me awhile back with some critique of the TMC 200R, & I'd considered his commentary (the real problem is that I have a whole bunch of them to use up -- & it should be remembered that the hook model given here is not mandatory, rather, simply stating what the example is tied on. It don't hurt my feelings if you think you have a "better" hook. And besides, I've lost three nice redband over this past week & I'm thinking (blaming): the hook. Maybe something with a bit larger curve of iron. A wider gape with deeper pocket for hanging on to em. I like these tied on a #8 up-eye steelhead/salmon hook as well, but I'm out of them & been using up the TMC 200R's. They are pretty, I think. PB says the Japanese like them, & I do hold some store with fishing stuff the Japanese like. They know. Besides, I am cheap-ass country & don't waste a thing usually.



    1. Being an example of one, I can appreciate the tool comment. I was being a snotty with my critique and I apologize. I subbed a TMC 2302 size 6 for the same reason as; I had 'em. We could ruminate over up-eye v. down-eye configurations. Down eye hooks seem to run deeper in the water column due to the diving action. Like the bill on a crankbait, you know, a Hotshot.

  3. I don't know about fish, but I find the illustration stunning.

    I do have a policy about beautiful flies however and will be tying something especially ugly and lopsided inspired by the pattern above. I hate to spoil fish with anything this attractive. Much better they learn to like what I give 'em - a globby dubbed body and a sparse hackle. The fly above? Well. Can't expect a trout to work for a living eating my things after seeing one of those.

    At the vise tonight. We'll see what some red floss and dyed hen can produce.

    Nice flies.

    1. Bert, hot shot, eh?...

      Never apologize. It messes with the syncronicity of the back & forth. You really should see my face when I write some of these replies. Don't worry.

      Spike, thankfully, there is no accounting for a trout's sense of asthetics, & I suspect if we knew, there is a good chance globby would get the nod.