looking for stillwater caddis help

Discussion in 'Fly Fishing Entomology' started by tkww, Mar 10, 2011.

  1. Any good sources of info? Any general characteristics for the NW, be it family/genus or size/color?

  2. I'm far from a bug expert but I've encounter large Black Caddis in high lakes. I keep a few Dark bodied EHC tied with a dyed grey wing which seems to work pretty well when the timing is right.
  3. Talk with Roger (Taxon), all the info your brain can handle.
  4. Dark bodied EHC is a really good pattern. I also look for movement. Denny Rickard's philosophy....Movement!
  5. tkww-

    Here a link to the PNW Caddisflies page on my website, where you will find descriptions of the following families and genera, which are those most likely to be represented in WA stillwaters:

    Helicopsychidae (Snail Case Maker Caddisfly)
    Helicopsyche (Speckled Peter)
    Hydropsychidae (Trumpet Net & Tube Maker Caddisfly)
    Hydropsyche (Spotted Sedge)
    Hydroptilidae (Purse Case Maker Caddisfly)
    Agraylea (Salt and Pepper Microcaddis)
    Hydroptila (Vari-Colored Microcaddis)
    Ochrotrichia (Somber Microcaddis)
    Oxyethira (Cream & Brown Mottled Microcaddis)
    Lepidostomatidae (Lepidostomatid Case Maker Caddisfly)
    Lepidostoma (Little Plain Brown Sedge)
    Leptoceridae (Longhorned Case Maker Caddisfly)
    Nectopsyche (White Miller)
    Mystacides (Black Dancer)
    Oecetis (Long-Horn Sedge)
    Triaenodes (no common name)
    Limnephilidae (Northern Case Maker Caddisfly)
    Clistoronia (Early Summer Lake Sedge)
    Lenarchus (Dark Brown Still-Water Sedge)
    Limnephilus (Summer Flier Sedge)
    Onocosmoecus (Great Late-Summer Sedge)
    Platycentropus (Chocolate and Cream Sedge)
    Phryganeidae (Giant Case Maker Caddisfly)
    Agrypnia (Great Dive-Bomber Sedge)
    Banksiola (Traveller Sedge)
    Phryganea (Rush Sedge)
    Ptilostomis (Giant Rusty Sedge)
    Polycentropodidae (Trumpet Net & Tube Maker Caddisfly)
    Nyctiophylax (Dinky Light Summer Sedge)
    Polycentropus (Brown Checkered Summer Sedge)
  6. Much thanks, Taxon!
  7. My favorite caddis for Washington lakes is the Traveling sedge (Banksiola). They are big (size 9 or 10). They run along the surface of the water after they emerge (hence their common name). And trout will make slashing, leaping takes at them. My favorite pattern to imitate them is the Mikulak Sedge (do a search for a pattern), which is simple and effective.

  8. X-Caddis or Miracle Caddis sz 16, tied with a peacock herl (died black) body, dark deer hair wing.
  9. Looks like a small dark caddis is in order. I'm familiar with the "traveling sedge" from a distance, but not up close. Looks like green pupa and olive adult (body) seems to be the most common color?

    I recently had a conversation with someone about lake caddis in a particular lake and the time of year and so on, and I got a little curious. I'm trying to add some general patterns (not going to carry an entire caddis box!) and a little more knowledge about them and what to expect, where to look, and so on. Thanks for the replies.
  10. Here's a pic of a Mikulak Sedge, as I tie it. I tie them in olive, burnt orange, and a bright green for bodies. I've used them successfully when dragon flies are egg laying and fish are trying to capture them on the surface.

    Also, one key element in this pattern that doesn't display well in this side view is the oversized hackle that is clipped flush on top and bottom, but which sticks out quite far on the sides and helps create the sense of motion on the water. I will often fish these in fast strips, although sometimes just dropping them among lily pads and twitching them works great.


    View attachment 39927
  11. The Doc Spratley is also a good all round pattern for the sedge pupa, one of the reasons it is so popular in BC. It also looks like a lot of other food sources depending on the color you tie it.

  12. This reminded me of a day this past spring/summer. I was fishing a lake where a black caddis hatch was going off. I tried everything I had and was only catching the odd fish here and there. For whatever reason I tied on a Doc S. I have never caught a fish on this fly as far as I can remember so I'm not certain what inspired me to put it on. Anyway, as you can probably guess.... I started trolling this thing across the lake to reposition myself and almost immediately got a hook up. This continued for about an hour at which point my fly was torn to pieces and I hadn't made across the lake yet. When they quit hitting the tattered fly I put a new one on. However, the excitement was over. Anyway, it wasn't until later at home when I was thumbing through my fly books that I realized the link between those caddis and the Doc Spratley. I'm going to make a trip to that lake again about the same time this year and see if there can't be a repeat performance. Oh, I talked to another gentleman that had similar success with a Half Back during that hatch.
  13. Ahhh, the Half Back. Crap, I don't think I have a single one of those in my box right now. Must tie, and I must tie now.

  14. The Carey Special is pretty popular up here for use as a caddis pupa imitation . My favourite though , is Brian Chan`s Stillwater Caddis Pupa .

    Ira ... pm incoming later today .
  15. The Chan is a good one and I completely forgot about the carey as well. Heck between the Doc and the Carey for a few years I didn't use anything else. Then I discovered the dark side of Chironomiding. I've been gone awhile but I'm slowly comming back.


    Looking forward to that PM
  16. I tie a lot of Carey Specials. :)

    They also work as a damsel nymph as does the 6 pack.
  17. I once trimmed down a # 12 Doc Spratley in an attempt to imitate some Black Gnat emergers at Failor Lake, and it worked! That lake can get some good chironomid hatches. The adults look like black gnats. I have yet to get into fishing chironomids vertically, but I'll cast an emerger or black soft hackle to the risers.

    I also have seen hatches of small dark brown (almost black) caddis going off there along the brushy shoreline on many occasions.
  18. Hi Jim-

    If they had formed a mating swarm when you observed them, they were probably Black Dancers of genus Mystacides.
  19. I was on a lake last summer and there were swarms of what looked like size 10 black caddis flies, When I looked them up I found out that these ones were actually alder flies. they have dark brown or blackish wings that are very veiny looking,

    The info I was reading on them was that its probably better to go with the drowned form of the fly, pretty much any winged wet fly as long as its black.

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