Yesterday the monsoons came again in the early morning hours, washing out any hope we had of fishing. Even the wild trout stream down the street was in fine chocolate milk shape as it struggled to stay within its banks. So we went to Shannon's Fly Shop to pick up some hooks and say hi to Jim and George, before coming back home to tie up some phunky bugs for the upcoming hatches. I ran into Uncle Hooli of DHFFwhile there and he was asking me about my egg-laying caddis and how we tie it.
So here goes, but first a glimpse of a nearby trout sancturary doing its best imittion of Yohoo.
The egg-laying caddis shown here is a dead-ringer for the grannoms that are hatching now in great numbers - thus their latin name - Brachycentrus numerosus. Although they hatch now, they will live for several weeks among the budding trees and shrubs before mating and dying. When the weather and water warms sufficiently, they will mate and come back to the streams to crawl down partially submerged logs, rocks and even anglers legs, to lay their eggs on the down stream side 6 inches or so below the surface.
This pattern works like a charm on those warm May evenings when the mature grannoms retunr to do their thing. Looks for the clumsy flyers, with their bright green, egg sacs hanging from the end of their abdomens, swarming just above the water around partially submerged rocks and logs. You may also see them around your legs, as they like to crawl down anything that's in the midst of flowing water, to lay their eggs. (Click on any of the photos to enlarge them.)
1. Debarb a size #16 dry fly hook. Tie in a piece of caddis green antron or zelon as shown.
2. Clip the tag end so its about 1/2 a hook gap in length, and clip off the front excess. Dub a tapered body using gray Australian Opossum fur.
3. Tie in an underwing of clear or white antron or zelon.
4. Tie in a bunch of snowshoe rabbit foot hair - the crinkly, gnarly hair from the toe is what we like best for caddis wings as it looks right and stays in a fairly tight bunch.
5. Chop up some rough, natural hare's ear dubbing. Wax your thread with tacky wax - not the dry, wimpy stuff that comes in a big lipstick tube - that stuff is only good for........nothing if you're a fly tyer. Then touch dub maybe 1 1/2 inches of the thread with the chopped hare's ear, and wrap the throax. Stroke the fibers back as you wrap the mess so it stays spikey. Here's the finished fly. That thorax will pop out as you fish it and give it the perfect silhouette.
This is another of my dual-purpose flies. We fish it dry to rising fish, and we'll also add a small shot 6 inches above it and fish it behind rocks and logs where we see trout flashing in the water column below as they pick off the egg-layers that have lost their grip in the current.
Tie some up, go fish, and sharpen those hooks as you fish!