Sedges

Trout & Salmon (UK) - - Contents -

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

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