Sunday, September 24, 2017

A Few October Caddis

Hook: #6 TMC 200R; Thread: rust-brown UNI 8/0; Hackle: rust-brown
brahma hen; Body: ginger antron with a pinch of orange trilobal;
Wing: gadwall, dyed with orange marker, wound as a collar, fibers on top
painted with a black marker.

Gary LaFontaine held the opinion that October Caddis (Dicosmocus) is the most important “big fish insect” of the West, & I agree, insofar as it reflects my own experience. For what that’s worth. I’ve been fortunate to have lived for a long time beside a river where that is certainly a truth.     

Not only does the big fall sedge bring up some of the best trout of the year, its emergence occurs during my favorite time of year, September & October, in Northeast Washington; its russet coloration true to autumn’s palette & begging simulation. It's size, coloration & habits seem to leave October Caddis wide open to interpretation.

Hook: #6 TMC 200R; Thread: rust-brown UNI 8/0; Body: ginger antron
with a pinch of orange trilobal; Wing: turkey tail fibers, rolled; Hackle:
rust-brown brahma hen fronted with guinea hen.

Though the cased larvae might be an important food source to trout in some streams, particularly streams with finer gravels, they aren’t generally available to trout in streams with heavy rubble bottoms that afford larvae sheltering crevices.  On my home water, with a bottom mostly composed of rounded, skull-sized glacial till, it’s the uncased pupa & winged adult stages that get the important play. 

Dropper Pupa - Hook: #4 Gamakatsu octopus; Thread: rust-brown UNI 8/0;
Rib: gold wire;  Body: ginger antron with a pinch of orange trilobal;
Antennae: turkey tail fibers; Hackle: tannish-orange brahma hen.
The heavy hook sinks this one without dragging the dryfly under. And
swims better than a beadhead.

Of its many desirable attributes, the giant fall sedge lends itself to the spectrum of presentations – as a dropper fished under a dryfly or bobber, as a dryfly, or a wetfly, either winged or wingless. 

Designs meant to be swung or skated are often effective when OC are present, providing a good opportunity for trout spey.            


  1. You had me at trout spey. First cool morning of the month here and my thoughts run to my summer's neglect of two-handed practice. Note from Swing the Fky yesterday rang the same bell: I've been neglecting my big water game as .I poked about hidden, obstructed streams here in late summer.

    I did find several secret pockets of lower Michigan brook trout for my efforts and I am a sucker for brookies.

    Time to step up for a handful of steelhead outings this fall. We'll call 'em steelhead outings but we'll practice our skating fly and riffle hitch techniques.

    Glad to see the beautiful patterns above. Stunning ties.

  2. Beautiful flies. I'm heading up to the Klamath river here in CA next week. I have a few, much simpler, October caddis soft hackles to try but looking at your ties is very inspiring - I will have to try and emulate your patterns.