Our Man In Canada
December 8th, 2003

Great Canadian Flies
Dark Caddis

By Arthur James Lingren

Dark Caddis

Caddisflies are one of the world's most abundant aquatic insects. In the western USA and British Columbia, there are over 300 species and they outnumber western mayflies and stoneflies combined. Every fisherman has encountered some of these case-builders which, incidentally, make their homes from a variety of materials - stone, twigs, or evergreen needles. For many species of caddisflies, these homes are "mobile" - that is they are dragged around by the insects which make them; and, when they are dragged across the mud of still or slow-moving water, they leave tell-tail trails behind them. Trout will eat homes and all. But not all caddis build homes and, anyway, it is the pupa and free-living forms that are more sought after by Mr. Trout.

Some popular caddis - called sedges in Britain - imitations were developed well before Haig-Brown wrote The Western Anglers (1939), by British immigrants, Bryan Williams and Tom Brayshaw. William's Dark-Bodied, Grey-Bodied, Green-Bodied, and Yellow-Bodied sedges are Brayshaw's Travelling and Olive sedges are detailed elsewhere in this book. All are dry flies. A. Bryan Williams' sedges were the first dry flies developed for British Columbia's lakes and streams, and Haig-Brown rates Williams' Gray-Bodied Sedge as "the deadliest dry fly, and the deadliest fly of any sort, wet or dry, in the mountain streams..." (Vol. I, p. 194).

Because the coastal streams of his adopted land offered rare opportunites for dry-fly fishing, Haig-Brown, schooled in Britain during his youth in the wet-fly technique, realized the potential of a good wet-fly caddis imitation and devised his Dark Caddis.

About his Dark Caddis, he says his pattern is quite similar to the famous British trout fly, Greenwell's Glory, and is "a good summer fly in many cutthroat streams" (Vol. II, page 174).


Hook:  Number 6.

Tail:  Dark mallard wing quill sections.

Body:  Very dark green seal's fur.

Rib:  Oval, gold tinsel.

Throat:  Furnace or dark olive hackle.

Wing:  Dark mallard wing quill sections.

Originator:  Roderick Haig-Brown.

Intended Use:  Wet fly for cutthroat trout.

Location:  Campbell River, B.C. Canada.
~ Arthur James Lingren

Credits: From Fly Patterns of British Columbia by Arthur James Lingren. We thank Frank Amato Publications, Inc. for use permission!

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