Fulling Mill’s Steve Carew focuses on two deadly sedge patterns
The caddis or sedge has always been a bit of a funny insect for me. On the stillwaters that I fish there are generally very few present and they seem to be rarely taken by the fish. However on the rivers it is a completely different story and caddis are often present in large numbers.
While fish often choose another food source if it is available, sometimes they seem to like nothing better.
When you see caddis skittering across the surface and trout aggressively taking them you are in for a treat and you need to be prepared. So in this article I am going to be referring to fishing caddis imitations on rivers.
There are a huge number of different species of caddis or sedge in the UK.
Some are taken with absolute gusto and fish become completely preoccupied with them due to the Biblical proportions of the hatch,e.g. the grannom. At othertimes thefish seem to treat caddis with complete disdain and will literally only eat them as a kind of last resort.
I tend to fish caddis patterns mostly in summer and I don’t tend to get too hung up on what specific insect it is.
“I split imitations into two camps, firstly patterns that fish as a conventional dry – dead drift – and then Booby foam, pictured patterns that skate.”
If I see the tell-tale sign of caddis skittering across the water’s surface and fish taking them, it’s time to get your imitations on.
I split my imitations into two separate camps, firstly patterns to fish as a conventional dry - dead drift - and then patterns to skate.
We need to look at each style differently as they both do very different things.
Firstly the dead drift pattern which Is to be fished as asingle dry cast to risingfish. Because of this it is very important that it needs to have the correct profile. You’re not going to impart any movement to the fly to replicate the movement of the % so we need to solely rely on the profile of the pattern to fool the fish. I also like to use aCdC pattern here and apply no other floatantto the %. This then makes the flysit lower in the water and look more vulnerable to the fish, which I think makes it more effective.
The Dead Drift Caddis fits the bill perfectly here.
It has the correct profile and it sits low in the water. It’s a very reliable pattern and it’s well worth tyinga few up.
The next camp is the skaters and I'm yet to find a better pattern than the Balloon Caddis. It floats and therefore skates really well and will take quite a lot of abuse; it is also very low maintenance after each fish. When tying it, ensure you don’t skimp on the quantity of deer hair. Stack it well and you will have an almost unsin kable imitation.
My othertip when tying this pattern is to use the right foam for the head. Don’t use closed cell foam it just doesn’t look right Always try to use an open cell foam like booby tu be or foam from a plast a zote block; because it gives a much better effect
For me there are two main methods of fishing caddis imitations, dead drift and skating.
The dead drift method needs explanation fish as you wou Id any other dry cast to rising fish. However,the interesting bit is skating caddis patterns. This is the most exciting method because you are inducing aggressive strikes from fish by skating and skittering imitations over likely lies.
If I am skating caddis imitations I like to fish two flies spaced five feet apart on around a 12-foot leader. Cast up and across and either hold the line tight to force it to d ragand skate the fly or figure-of-eight the flies in slower water to impart more movement, really fast water, skating caddis downstream can really well too.
The other thing to consider is fishing skating patterns at night. I have been very doing this one or two hours after darkness has set in and it seems to bring out some of the bigger fish. If you are going to try this, ensure you ‘beef up’your tackle strong tippets and larger flies are the way to go.
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