CROOKED FORK CREEK OCTOBER CADDIS
Had the good fortune to capture a live one a couple weeks ago – an October Caddis on the Crooked Fork Creek in Northern Idaho. The thing that struck me, compared to my recollections of other specimens I have been able to get my hands on was how “leggy” this big fall caddis is. Another thing about this particular insect was how uniformly colored it was. While there were varying tones on different parts of the fly, the basic shade was a slightly orange medium tan.
It was time to go back to the fly shop looking for materials, and to the drawing board for a new fly. I got lucky at Kesel’s Four Rivers Fly Shop in Missoula MT where I found a 3mm foam sheet in just the right color and some dyed deer hair that not only was the right color, but also was exceptionally long. I was able to round out the tying materials at Kingfisher Fly Shop with some speckled orange Montana Fly Company centipede legs, size small.
The past year and a half there has been something of an evolution in my fly tying, and my fishing season has followed that evolution from JC’s Salmonfly, to the LF Golden Stone, and to the FEB Hopper. Those were all furled antron extended body flies incorporating foam, deer hair, and rubber legs. The CFC October Caddis is the next big fly in the seasonal sequence in Western Montana. But since this fly needs to ride higher than its predecessors, I went with an extended foam body rather than furled antron.
Over the past week, this fly has proven itself under rather difficult conditions on the Lochsa River and Crooked Fork Creek in Northern ID, has pounded up trout on the Blackfoot River, and has done quite well on unusually low water on Montana’s Rock Creek.
- Body: Foam Sheet, 3mm
- Wings: Deer hair
- Legs: Centipede Leg material
- Hook: Dai-Riki 280 2XL Hopper Hook - Size 10
Cut one strand of centipede leg material into four pieces. Tie in one piece for the front legs / antennae.
Color the hook with a couple layers of thread back into the bend of the hook. (For this fly I’m using a size 10 Dai-Riki 280 2XL Hopper Hook)
Cut a foam strip about twice the length of the hook shank and rather narrow. With the end extending past the bend of the hook, tie in the foam strip just behind mid shank.
Tie in the rear legs.
Hold up the foam strip up and wrap tying thread forward to about the one third mark on the shank. Tie down the foam strip, creating a small segment of foam between the two tie in points. (You can simply tie down the foam strip as you advance the thread, but the small segment of foam will enhance floatation.)
Cut, comb, stack, and trim to length a rather small bundle of deer hair. The wing should extend noticeably beyond the end of the foam body and ideally will hold fairly close to the body rather than flare out too much. But not to worry, the fly I fished on Rock Creek had a lot of flare, and did quite well. Take a good number of wraps through the butts of the deer hair to secure it in place.
Pull the foam strip forward just past the eye of the hook and fold it back over the fly to create a bullet head. Tie down the foam strip and finish with a couple five or six turn whip finishes. Trim the foam waste.
Put the fly on the right water with the right presentation.
And remember, the fish are always right.
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