I have been tying lots of flies lately getting ready for my upcoming trip to Montana. One of the flies I'm tying is the x-caddis, so we thought we'd share how we tie it with you. The pattern was invented by Craig Mathews, the owner of Blue Ribbon Flies, located in West Yellowstone, Montana. I've been catching trout on it ever since the first time I fished it on the Madison River some 20+ years ago. It can be tied in any size and color; and best of all it only takes three materials and basic tying skills to turn out what has become a very effective caddis imitation all over the world.
Hook: Dai Riki #305 #16 Dry Fly - any standard dry fly hook will do
Thread: 6/0 Olive Danville
Trailing shuck: Olive zelon
Body: Mixed rabbit and antron - olive
Wing: Deer body hair
The pattern could not be any easier to tie - I tie them in ginger, black, olive, and cream. Because they are so easy to tie and have minimal materials, they are also great for imitating micro-caddis - #18-22.
Tie some up, the weather should be getting cooler soon, and you'll want to be prepared.
And sharpen your hooks!