Nov 232011

So my last trip to Valley Creek for wild Brown Trout was a bit of a strikeout but I did catch something special…

Caddis Larvae Caught on a 5wt

Yep, you read that caption right.  I caught this Caddis Larvae on my good old 5 wt rod.  (In his defense he was doing his best to hide in a big clump of moss)

I’ve decided that getting skunked while fly fishing is a good thing.  As a fly fishing rookie, it’s more important for me to get snubbed, grow my skills, and walk away with knowledge, than to catch fish (for now).

“Catching” this bug was a gift.  It was toward the end of my trip and I was tired, but as soon as I eyed the bug I knew this was my chance.  No fish were biting but Valley Creek itself was sending me a message.  Try this.

With a few detailed photographs and my fledgling fly tying skills, I decided to play around and see if I could come up with an acceptable Caddis Larvae fly.  Not one for following everyone else’s path I decided to “freehand” four different fly ideas.

I’ve included my “concepts” in this post because I’d love to hear YOUR thoughts…

All of these ties are on #14 scud hooks.  My first fly for the night was mostly green wire with a little ice dubbing for legs.  I didn’t think I’d like this one so much but after looking over everything a day later this one is a favorite.

Wire and Dubbing Caddis Larvae

For my second I tried to mix up the dubbing color with some olive and red and put some stretch tubing over the top.  I’m not a fan of this one.

Stretch tubing monster

The third one in my opinion left a little to be desired.  Perhaps if I could swap the color of the dubbing and the wire rib.

Hopefully buggy when wet?

My last tie for the night was easily my favorite.  Extremely simple too.  Green and black ice dubbing and that’s it.  After giving it a good brush I cut the dubbing  back a bit.  Next time I tie this one I’m going to add better legs.

Dubbing on a hook... Easy.

As a rookie I choose to not always follow the beaten path.  I’m sure I’ve lost lots of fish because of it but at the end of the day I know the hard knocks I take will teach me to be more than just a cookie cutter angler.

A few hours 4 flies...

So here’s your chance to troll.  Feel free to tell me what you like and what you hate.  Feel free to tell me I should stick to my spinning rod.  Your opinion is yours and I’ll try my hardest not to delete it!  (:


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  • I think catching fish is pretty key to learning too. How they bite, what they want, places they stay…..

  • Owl

    You can learn from your mistakes. You can learn more, sometimes, from your successes. I like the first one, but the body color is all wrong. Maybe all you had was black, but the caddis you found was tan. They’ll notice something like that in most cases. There’s always the exception, of course. I think those flies would take fish somewhere on any given day – but to match the hatch (or nymph) is to match it, not to generally take a stab in the dark at it. 

    I don’t know how picky the fish are in Valley Creek. Maybe someday I could come up there and fish it. Here in the SE, the trout aren’t that picky and any of those flies might take fish, but if you’re fish are picky….they’ll want it in the right color at the very least. Size looks right to me on that first one. That “buggy” one might look buggy if the buggy bits were in the right place. Notice the real McCoy….slick body, legs in front. Now look at your buggy fly. It’s the exact opposite. 

    Make the first one tan, and reverse the buggy bits on the buggy one and make it a little darker tan( than the real deal) and I think you’ll have two viable flies for that bug in Stoney Creek. 

    Then again, you might catch a dozen next time out just as they are. It’s never a bad idea to experiment. 🙂 

    • Owl

      Valley Creek. Whatever. 🙂

    • Thanks for the feedback Owl! I think my image might be a little off color wise in both cases. It was living in a patch of moss that was a deep sage green. The Caddis itself had hints of tan and red. Think olive green body, tan legs, redish black head.
      I was making these guys as prototypes so the fact that you like the first one best is good. (: Your thoughts on using a slicker body are a great idea I need to experiment more with. Thanks!

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