“Rather than re­cite Latin names, search be­neath a sub­merged stone to de­ter­mine if a healthy pop­u­la­tion of cased cad­dis ex­ists”

Trout & Salmon (UK) - - Know How -

LARVA

Gen­er­ally, lar­vae can be sep­a­rated into two dis­tinct groups: those that build shel­ters for pro­tec­tion (cased cad­dis); and those that don’t (free-swim­ming or case­less cad­dis). Cased cad­dis use de­bris to con­struct their cigar-shaped homes: fine grit, tiny stones, twigs and reed stems. Not only do these cases pro­vide the per­fect cam­ou­flage for the grub-like lar­vae, but they also pos­sess a de­gree of bal­last to pre­vent cad­dis from be­ing con­stantly flushed down­stream. It’s widely ac­cepted that each species de­vises a slightly dif­fer­ent case (shape, size and ma­te­ri­als) al­low­ing ex­perts to iden­tify them by their cases alone. Of course, the fish don’t care a jot about this and will appear where trout ex­pect to find them, usu­ally tum­bling along the streambed and not mid-water. Owing to its split-shot out­rig­ger, which presents the hook­point up­per­most to re­duce the odds of snag­ging the bot­tom, Hans van Klinken’s Peep­ing Cad­dis gets my vote when it comes to fool­ing fish scoff­ing cased cad­dis in the inky depths. This feed­ing be­hav­iour usu­ally oc­curs early in the sea­son, par­tic­u­larly when lit­tle fly-life stirs at the sur­face. Spate con­di­tions are a prime time, too, when pow­er­ful cur­rents dis­lodge all man­ner of cased cad­dis. A split shot pinched on to 10 lb fluoro­car­bon is bound to the hook shank be­fore dress­ing the fly. I tie them us­ing shot sizes from AAA to No 6 to cope with dif­fer­ent depths and flows. The beauty is that, de­pend­ing on shot size, we can in­stantly iden­tify the weight of our fly. Cad­dis grubs usu­ally oc­cur in sub­tle shades of green, cream, olive and pale yel­low. You may have a favourite shade for sug­gest­ing the pro­trud­ing larva;

Peep­ing Cad­dis

(vari­ant of Hans van Klinken’s pat­tern) Hook Size 8-12 Sprite All Pur­pose Nymph Thread Brown Sem­per­fli Nano 6/0 Out­rig­ger weight Size AAA-NO 6 non­toxic split shot Body (case) Var­i­ous dub­bings or waste feather fi­bres ap­plied in dub­bing loop, clipped to shape and Grub Green syn­thetic wool Legs Brown par­tridge hackle fi­bres I’m hap­pi­est us­ing a strik­ing green yarn. Make sure the yarn pos­sesses syn­thetic (typ­i­cally ny­lon) fi­bres so that when singed, it melts to sug­gest the stubby, dark head of a natural. While Hans rec­om­mends a speck­led par­tridge hackle to mimic legs, I’m re­luc­tant to squan­der feath­ers that might be put to use for Spi­der dress­ings. In­stead, a bunch of flecked rump feather fi­bres ar­ranged around the hook shank work well enough. When form­ing the case, we have li­cence to in­cor­po­rate what­ever comes to hand, in­clud­ing rab­bit, hare or mink fur, which is blended with pheas­ant, duck and crow feath­ers. The whole lot is best se­cured in a dub­bing loop be­fore wind­ing on to the shank and trim­ming to shape. A dous­ing of var­nish is a nice fin­ish­ing touch. The more vul­ner­a­ble case less or free swim­ming cad­dis lar­vae spend most of their time hid­den be­neath rocks and stones. They of­ten use a silk-like thread to an­chor them­selves but dur­ing heavy water they can be flushed down­stream. In the flow, they adopt a curved fe­tal po­si­tion for pro­tec­tion and are best im­i­tated us­ing curved hooks. For my money, Oliver Ed­wards’ Rhy­a­cophila is a more than ad­e­quate pat­tern and, what’s more, by us­ing a creamy/grey yarn it also passes as a plau­si­ble hy­dro-psyche (an­other com­mon case less cad­dis). The tricky part of this dress­ing is ta­per­ing the yarn/wool be­fore­hand by shav­ing away fi­bres us­ing the nails of fore­fin­ger and thumb. I dumb down Oliver’s dress­ing by in­cor­po­rat­ing

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