Catching With Caddis Flies

an adult caddis fly
An Adult Caddis Fly

The Caddis Fly is a remarkable creature and one of the most common flies in rivers and still waters across the country. Although the adults are not hatching yet, the larvae are active under the rocks and deadwood, building their cases out of small pieces of the river or lake bed.

Trout and Grayling, river or still water – they all eat caddis larvae. Grayling will even occasionally root around the river bottom and upturn the odd stone looking for a tasty caddis. Given its widespread habitat and fishes high regard for eating them, they are essential flies for your box.

The caddis builds its case by spinning a silken thread which it uses to stitch together a case from small pieces of the river or lake bed. Different species of caddis construct their protective cases uniquely, some preferring a finer construction than others, that said it is notoriously difficult to identify the particular species of caddis just from its case. Trout and Grayling will happily eat the caddis with its case on so don’t be afraid to imitate the cased caddis too.

Cased Caddis on the underside of a rock
Cased Caddis on the underside of a rock

Different species of caddis will hatch at different times of year, the first hatches are normally the Grannom which will arrive on the rivers by April although good hatches of Grannom can occur in March. From then on, different species will hatch throughout the summer and even in to the early Autumn. 

A selection of a few different sizes and colours is normally enough to imitate the adult flies. There are plenty of flies available to imitate the underwater stages of the fly from the cased caddis right up the the ascending and hatching pupa.

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