Troutnut.com Fly Fishing for Trout Home
User Password
or register.
Scientific name search:

> > Caddis Wing

MartinlfApril 25th, 2013, 11:14 am
Moderator
Palmyra PA

Posts: 3173
I fish a cdc caddis about 90% of the time, and JohnW, who has me tie some up for him every now and then, can attest to their effectiveness on the Grannoms. (We trade for some of his specialties, such as woven stones, which I've never mastered.) However, in my last trip I found a few fish that would just not take the fly. I've seen heavily fished trout refuse CDC winged flies before, so I tried a tent wing pattern tied with web wing. It worked, but the wing was shredded pretty soon by the fish and my forceps. One of FredH's tissue and Flexament wings met the same fate in a few fish. So I went home and tied up some tent wing patterns with Shane Stalcup's Medallion sheeting, which I've used a little in the past. It proved to be similarly fragile. I've tied and used some feather and tape caddis wings, in the style of Swisher and Richards, and they are more rugged, but they are relatively opaque, and lack the translucency of the Medallion sheeting and the other materials I mentioned above. Has anyone discovered a translucent, tough material that could be used for tent wing caddis patterns?
"He spread them a yard and a half. 'And every one that got away is this big.'"

--Fred Chappell
CrepuscularApril 25th, 2013, 11:19 am
Boiling Springs, PA

Posts: 923
Yes
SayfuApril 25th, 2013, 11:25 am
Posts: 560Depends on if the fish are more focused on the pupa than the adults. I sure like the CDC wing, "PONTOON EMERGER" wing that Andre' Puyans invented. And Mike Lawson's matched, brown, paired Hungarian Partridge wing, the pair apposed as a spent wing caddis is exceptional.
EntomanApril 25th, 2013, 12:39 pm
Northern CA & ID

Posts: 2604
Louis,

Oliver Edwards stretches panty hose in an embroidery ring, glues various feathers to it, and paints the whole thing with model airplane dope (the old fashioned kind used to make planes out of balsa frame and paper). Looks like it would be quite durable.
"It's not that I find fishing so important, it's just that I find all other endeavors of Man equally unimportant... And not nearly as much fun!" Robert Traver, Anatomy of a Fisherman
MartinlfApril 25th, 2013, 2:08 pm
Moderator
Palmyra PA

Posts: 3173
Thanks. All these helpful suggestions notwithstanding, cleaning up a drawer I found a sheet of plastic that gets packed in with fish when we buy it. It's relatively heavy, about the thickness of medium plastic sheeting, but a bit more opaque and textured with tiny indentations. A few crosshatches with dark grey and tan markers, a spray with artists fixatif, and it appears to be a strong and realistic match for grannom wings. We'll let the fish decide on that, and my hemostats can test its durability if the fish say yes.
"He spread them a yard and a half. 'And every one that got away is this big.'"

--Fred Chappell
PaulRobertsApril 26th, 2013, 11:34 am
Colorado

Posts: 1776
My favorite Brachycentrus wing I make with a folded/bunched Canada goose body feather. You draw the sides up, stacking them on top of the quill, leaving a perfect triangle for the bottom of the wing, with quill tip running down the center.

Its pretty durable, in part bc that's that's the way goose feathers are, and bc the material is stacked pretty densely, even chewed on it floats well. After a fish I vigorously rinse and squeeze dry in a cotton rag (clipped under my vest).

It floats like a cork, and when fresh can be submerged and it'll pop back up. Kinda neat. The fish like it very well including some very educated Beaverkill browns one spring.

Will post a photo but will have to digitize from a transparency. The fly was on the Flyfisherman website for a while, but I see its gone now. I call it the UltCaddis.
MartinlfApril 26th, 2013, 12:52 pm
Moderator
Palmyra PA

Posts: 3173
Thanks, Paul. Your flies are always interesting to me. I've tied a few caddis with the textured plastic sheeting, and they look good (at least to me), but your goose body feather fly sounds like a winner. And there's Tyvek. If he gets wind of this thread, Lloyd (Gonzo) will probably chide me for not considering it sooner, but I was thinking I wanted something more translucent. The fish may think otherwise. Anyway, plenty of things to try.
"He spread them a yard and a half. 'And every one that got away is this big.'"

--Fred Chappell
PaulRobertsApril 26th, 2013, 1:08 pm
Colorado

Posts: 1776
Louis, here it is. I added some text to the above description. Tie it dense and itíll float like a cork.

My favorite Brachycentrus wing I make by folding/bunching a Canada goose body feather. You draw the sides up, stacking them on top of the quill, pinch-wrapping them in place, leaving a perfect triangle for the bottom of the wing, with quill tip running down the center. The whole wing is a 3 dimensional pyramid, full of air pockets.

It floats like a cork, and when fresh it can be submerged and it'll pop back up. Buoyant enough to float well in broken water (although not as easy to see as an elk hair bc it sits flush) and delicate enough to do very well on flat water. That buoyancy mimics egg-laying Brachycentrus especially well, the fly and the natural having the same buoyancy. Brachyís can be pretty active when egg-laying. The fish have liked the fly very well, both East and West, including some very educated Beaverkill browns.

Itís also pretty durable, in part bc that's the way goose feathers are, and bc the material is stacked pretty densely; even chewed on it floats well. After a fish I vigorously rinse and then squeeze dry in a cotton rag (clipped under my vest), preen it and send it back out there.

Here are photos, digitized with a point-n-shoot from transparencies, unfortunately. The fly was part of an article I did for Flyfisherman highlighting shed Canada goose feathers (amazing material). I offered three really good patterns but they only printed the mayfly dun pattern, putting the other two on their website for a while. But I see itís gone now.

I call them the UltDun, UltCaddis, and UltEmerger. All three are uniquely effective. I thought SOMEONE would take these and run, but Ö alas, fame passed me by lol. I did get a call from Bob Bachman though, of Spruce Creek trout research fame. That was pretty cool. I figured at least I got a call from someone who could recognize greatness when he saw it. But as I remember it he didnít even mention the fly, instead wanting to chat about a mutual friend Iíd mentioned in the article. Dashed again!

You are now carrying the torch of reason, Louis. Iím expecting big things from you. :) This fly should end the fly choice issue for Brachycentrus and keep up with just about any other dry pattern for other species. I had bumper stickers made boasting, "My caddis pattern beat up your caddis pattern", but they just ended up collecting dust in the garage.










CrepuscularApril 26th, 2013, 1:19 pm
Boiling Springs, PA

Posts: 923
Louis, why don't you use some of that fancy snowshoe I saw you buy?

I figured at least I got a call from someone who could recognize greatness when he saw it.



Paul, those are some pretty flies! I recognize! And I know two birds who live on the Letort that I would like to harvest some feathers from! Especially right now.They are a pain in my butt!
PaulRobertsApril 26th, 2013, 1:43 pm
Colorado

Posts: 1776
I know two birds who live on the Letort that I would like to harvest some feathers from! Especially right now.They are a pain in my butt!

Yeah, they can be aggressive. But it's worth wrestling with them! Although I've shot geese, I've actually collected most when they molt. Go walk a pond or golf course in June (I believe it is) and they are all over the place.
EntomanApril 26th, 2013, 2:22 pm
Northern CA & ID

Posts: 2604
Very nice, Paul. In addition to the fold and pinch, do you also pull a little on the stem after a few wraps to gather as per Lawson's Spent Caddis? I've experimented with the same feather for grannoms, finding the partridge feather a little too blotchy for that family. More water resistant too! Excellent application of the material. Kudos...



A few observations on caddis adults when viewed from below while they are sitting on the water:

1. The bodies are plumper, shorter and more subdued than they are on most patterns we use to imitate them. They are usually substantially darker appearing than the shrouding wings. The latter character is the most surprising and is due to the shrouding as opposed to the fully exposed bodies of mayflies. This is not unlike a sunlit window whose dark curtains look lighter than the person in the room standing in front of it.

2. The wings are surprisingly more transparent then one would think when viewed from the side or looking down on them.

3. They are leggy beasts. Their hind and middle legs trail (as opposed to set) quite a ways past their bodies and are very prominent, especially in the foot print on the water. The front legs set, but not in front of the head. The footprint is a much narrower ovoid shape than with mayflies.

4. The antennae are very prominent and usually lay on the water as the critter tires and the wings begin to splay. This happens well before they die fully spent in the delta look often imitated.

IMO, these characters are worth considering when designing flies.
"It's not that I find fishing so important, it's just that I find all other endeavors of Man equally unimportant... And not nearly as much fun!" Robert Traver, Anatomy of a Fisherman
MartinlfApril 26th, 2013, 3:09 pm
Moderator
Palmyra PA

Posts: 3173
Paul, you are perpetually helpful. As I've said before, I hope we get to meet streamside someday. If you're ever around central PA mid April, I'll show you a very good spot to catch a few, if the bugs and weather cooperate. Jason has it marked on his GPS, but I've sworn him to secrecy. I'd have to blindfold you to take you there. And then, we could let the caddis patterns slug it out.

Kurt,

The bodies are plumper, shorter and more subdued than they are on most patterns we use to imitate them. They are usually substantially darker appearing than the shrouding wings. The latter character is the most surprising and is due to the shrouding as opposed to the fully exposed bodies of mayflies. This is not unlike a sunlit window whose dark curtains look lighter than the person in the room standing in front of it.


Yes. I've been checking out the bugs holding them up to the light, and looking up their skirts. Yes, I'm a pervert.

The wings are surprisingly more transparent then one would think when viewed from the side or looking down on them.


Yes! Absolutely. On a fish that has been caught on a pattern with a more opaque or otherwise less realistic wing, this may matter. I had two or three fish that seemingly would not take a pattern unless the wing was somewhat transparent. After many, many drifts with all kinds of patterns--CDC, snowshoe, foam, deer hair, I tried the web wing fly and slurp, first drift. The tissue and flexament wing and medallion wings also performed well on picky fish, until they were soaked, and had been chewed on a while. Then the wings became very flimsy, sticking together at the back, and collapsing generally. Then off they came.
"He spread them a yard and a half. 'And every one that got away is this big.'"

--Fred Chappell
EntomanApril 26th, 2013, 3:21 pm
Northern CA & ID

Posts: 2604
...medallion wings also performed well on picky fish, until they were soaked, and had been chewed on a while. Then the wings became very flimsy, sticking together at the back, and collapsing generally. Then off they came.

Yes, I've found the same with this type of material, especially Swiss Straw. I still use the stuff for some because - well, your story illustrates why. I'll sacrifice a fragile fly for a tough fish any day. Of course an argument can be made that that fish may have just decided to rise at that point. I must admit that the three or four dry patterns I carry for most hatches often do this to each other. I wish I could predict which one will do the business so as to save all the fly changing.:)

Interesting factoid: It's always the last fly we try that hooks the fish, if it gets hooked at all.:)LOL
"It's not that I find fishing so important, it's just that I find all other endeavors of Man equally unimportant... And not nearly as much fun!" Robert Traver, Anatomy of a Fisherman
MartinlfApril 26th, 2013, 3:59 pm
Moderator
Palmyra PA

Posts: 3173
Thanks, Kurt. And also, should you find yourself in central PA some April . . ..

Paul, you have me wondering about duck feathers for smaller patterns. Have you tried this? Or sparse CDC with a duck overwing. Female mallard feathers might make a good tiny tan caddis. Just thinkin'.
"He spread them a yard and a half. 'And every one that got away is this big.'"

--Fred Chappell
EntomanApril 26th, 2013, 4:18 pm
Northern CA & ID

Posts: 2604
Yes. I've been checking out the bugs holding them up to the light, and looking up their skirts. Yes, I'm a pervert.

Jeez, Louis. If that makes you a pervert, what am I? I've gone underwater to look!:)LOL

... should you find yourself in central PA some April . . ..

It will happen, "God willing and the creek don't rise." Thanks, Louis, for the invitation.
"It's not that I find fishing so important, it's just that I find all other endeavors of Man equally unimportant... And not nearly as much fun!" Robert Traver, Anatomy of a Fisherman
PaulRobertsApril 26th, 2013, 4:19 pm
Colorado

Posts: 1776
Good stuff. Good thread.

Kurt, I could add legs as my dun pattern has them. Just haven't needed them yet.

I would like to get a more tapered look to the wing too from below, but that seems to be my issue and not the fish's, so far. But I don't have nearly the amount of experience on tough fish as you do.

As for transparency maybe antron a la GONZO?

Louis,

I'd love to share stream time with you. Maybe someday... Hey, I think I know that rock. No GPS needed.

I have used duck, but it has more delicate barbs, and the resulting flies don't float as well. This one's gadwall I believe:

PaulRobertsApril 26th, 2013, 4:24 pm
Colorado

Posts: 1776
I received a PM, and thought I'd just post the recipe from the article. Looks like I'd named it the SQdry Caddis, meaning "squeeze dry". Apparently. at the time it hadn't made Ult status.

SQdry/UltCaddis.

A realistic, low floating but tough to sink, squeeze dry-able adult caddis imitation. When treated sparingly with floatant it will ride rougher water, skate, even dive and resurface. With a fingertip, lightly brush floatant across wing sides, and pat lightly onto thorax. Don't soak it or you can mat the barb structure.

Abdomen: Dub three-fourths of hook shank, densely with downy-barbs. Trim bottom and comb remaining barbs upwards with slightly moistened fingers. This will create an air pocket beneath the wing.

Alternate Abdomen: Dub lightly with downy-barbs. Follow with one or two contour-barbs.

Stacked Barb Wing: Use the tip of a goose breast contour feather including the center quill shaft. Comb barbs together around the quill tip, stacking the barbs atop the quill tip into a dense tent-shaped cluster Ėthe shape of a caddis wing. The tip end of a breast feather is already square and usually does not need to be trimmed. If the feather tip is worn, trim it square. Just be sure to gather enough adjacent barbs to make a dense wing. The resulting look is half way between a flat-wing style and a hair-wing style. Pinch-wrap the wing ahead of the abdomen and trim feather butt away.

Thorax and Head: Dub over the wing butts with downy-barb dubbing. Whip finish.


JOHNWApril 26th, 2013, 5:58 pm
Chambersburg, PA

Posts: 452
Thank you very much Paul!

Louis,
The situation you describe is the point when I, in the vein of some if our CVpredecessors, tip my hat and move on to the next fish.
"old habits are hard to kill once you have gray in your beard" -Old Red Barn
EntomanApril 26th, 2013, 7:10 pm
Northern CA & ID

Posts: 2604
Kurt, I could add legs as my dun pattern has them. Just haven't needed them yet.

Actually, your pattern already has them incorporated in the wings Paul (the type I'm talking about), which is a great advantage of your design. The bottom barbules along the sides do a good job of imitating their trailing legs as they indent the surface. Pulling on the stem a little before fully cinching down will accentuate this as a few will separate out a little better. Another neat trick is to trap a few of the barbules under some thread wraps after tying the wing in. Not as neat to our eyes, but very effective. I believe that's one of the secrets to the greatness of Lawson's fly on the HF and other picky spots. Elkhair knock offs too (my favorite). This is a big advantage over cut wings out of synthetics or quill segments if legs aren't taken into account in their design. IMO, the naturals unique leg charateristic is the reason that Palmer flies have historically been a popular method for caddis dries, especially with quill wings. Though palmering is one solution, I think the job is done even better by bunch wings of dense feather or ungulate hair.

The thing to keep in mind is all this fussiness is due to those spring creek trout and the ones that swim in softer sections of popular water that aren't very nice to us at times, especially the ones that have seen a fly or two.

Here's an example of a fussy fly that I pull out only when necessary. It imitates our Fall Grannom (named after both the season and the river) that hatches on our Spring Creeks. You can't make it out but there is a strand of cinnamon antron combed out underneath the wing to simulate the hind wing and give the fly a little more life. It's only good for so many fish and is not a great floater (though it's pretty deadly sunk as well). I remember a fish... I was lamenting this flies sodden performance to a friend with my head turned for a second as a fish rolled on it. Snap!!! By the size of the boil, I'd sure liked to have seen it.:)

Louis - I learned the hard way that without a little very thin Hard-as-Nails at the wing tip, even casting will shred it in short order. check out this link for your Apple caddis. Perhaps this would work? http://www.troutnut.com/specimen/713

Medallion Caddis (Fall Grannom) #16





"It's not that I find fishing so important, it's just that I find all other endeavors of Man equally unimportant... And not nearly as much fun!" Robert Traver, Anatomy of a Fisherman
MartinlfApril 26th, 2013, 8:32 pm
Moderator
Palmyra PA

Posts: 3173
Hard as nails? Great idea. I like the Medallion sheeting, and will probably tie a few more with it now that you've suggested that. Like the fly. Oh, by the way, trout watch us to see when our heads are turned so they can add another fly to their trophy walls.
"He spread them a yard and a half. 'And every one that got away is this big.'"

--Fred Chappell
Page:1234

Quick Reply

You have to be logged in to post on the forum. It's this easy:
Username:          Email:

Password:    Confirm Password:

I am at least 13 years old and agree to the rules.

Related Discussions

TitleRepliesLast Reply
Re: Stirrup tying method
In Fly Tying by Martinlf
2Jan 2, 2008
by Martinlf
Re: Help with Early Spring Stoneflies
In the Identify This! Board by Wiflyfisher
13Mar 30, 2021
by Taxon
Re: Partridge Under-Feathers
In Fly Tying by CAuletta
2Jun 7, 2012
by CAuletta
CDC Caddis Pattern
In Fly Tying by Martinlf
0
Re: Polypro mesh
In Fly Tying by Martinlf
2Jul 24, 2008
by Martinlf
Re: Turkey Feathers
In Fly Tying by GldstrmSam
3Sep 24, 2012
by GldstrmSam
Re: Caddis on a zig zag
In General Discussion by TDMunro
5Aug 17, 2019
by Partsman
Wing Material
In Fly Tying by Unsinkable1
0
Re: Featherless Recipes that Work?
In Fly Tying by FisherOfMen
14Jan 10, 2012
by Wbranch
First Post from TX....
In Beginner Help by FFTX
0
Most Recent Posts
Re: Matching a rod to Reel
In Beginner Help by MarshallP (Wbranch replied)
Re: Modern Darbee Genetics
In Fly Tying by Pabrookbum (Wbranch replied)
Re: Rod and reel suggestion?
In Gear Talk by 87North (Wiflyfisher replied)
Fighting and Landing Big Trout
In General Discussion by GWT
Re: Stream ecology: 50 years ago this was just an OPEN DITCH
In the Photography Board by Jmd123
Re: Happy Thanksgiving!
In General Discussion by Partsman (Jmd123 replied)
Re: The South Holsten River
In Fishing Reports by Martinlf
Re: Fish and more fish
In the Photography Board by Monello
Re: Website error message??
In Beginner Help by Soosam
Re: Happy Veterans Day to all fellow Troutnuts who served!
In the Photography Board by Jmd123 (Martinlf replied)