Paul Procter offers patterns for the sedge hatch
NEARLY 200 SPECIES represent the sedge (or caddis-flies) family throughout the British Isles, making it one of the largest river-fly groups that anglers encounter. To the uninitiated their diversity is bewildering and even experts find it hard to get to grips with the many species and their habits. This needn’t necessarily bother us as flyfishers (although it is fascinating) because to fish well we have only to concern ourselves with the sedge on our local patch. So rather than recite Latin names, we’re better off searching beneath a submerged stone to determine if a healthy population of cased caddis exists. Incidentally, for most UK fishers, if not biologists, a caddis is the insect larva, and a sedge is the adult fly. we are to fool a fish. On maturing (usually after a year), the larvae morph into pupae in a similar way to a butterfly transforming from a caterpillar into a chrysalis. Armed with a set of strong legs these pupae often ascend quickly, before emerging as winged adults at the surface. Although adult sedge do not undergo the dun-to-spinner transformation that we see in up-winged species, their egg-laying stage is just as vital to the trout and the angler. Many sedge emerge and lay eggs at dusk or during the hours of darkness, which due to the lack of light is challenging for those wishing to cash in on their activity. The warmer summer months are when we can expect hatches to peak, although a few species, particularly grannom, are diurnal, preferring to hatch during daylight hours in spring.
PAUL PROCTER is a vicepresident of the Wild Trout Trust, an AAPGAI master instructor, guide and renowned fly-tyer