Fast water nymphing in and beside that riffly water and just below. Some say first light and last light are the times best for dredging a larva pattern. Perhaps, but I have done well with greenish larva patterns midday as well.
Today, I found an old fly box in an old gear bag in the garage. The box was empty save one row of about a dozen of these little tan Caddis. I honestly don’t remember tying them, but believe the gear bag has not been used in maybe 20 years. The fly box was from the Fly Fisher’s Place in Sisters, Oregon. I used to frequent the shop in the glory days of Harry & Dee Teel. I seem to recall fishing these on the Crooked River (Oregon).
It is a simple dubbed hare’s ear abdomen, a beard of Partridge feather fibers, perhaps duck or mallard from a primary feather and a dubbed thorax to cover the tie in points for the wings and beard. Tied to represent a Caddis pupa, it does not have any weight on the shank. Back then the ubiquitous bead head had not quite emerged.
This pattern style has several variations that the tier can use to move between a Mayfly emerger (Hairwing Dun) to a Caddis (Matthews X-Caddis & the Elk Hair Caddis). The Elk hair wing is central to the three patterns. The Eld Hair Caddis would have the palmered hackle and no tail. The Hairwing Dun has a modest hackle wound beneath the Elk Hair wing and still can have the tail (feather barbs or synthetic fibers).
Elk Hair Caddis (SwittersB)
Black Quill Hairwing Dun (Tim Hiltz) Here the Hairwing is a bit sparser and you see the hackle wound at the thorax beneath the hairwing. This most often seems to delineate the Hairwing pattern between a Mayfly and a Caddis.
The wet fly/flymph patterns, less the bead are probably my most enjoyable stream pattern to fish. Second to that is to incorporate a bead into the pattern to fish a bit deeper. I just have so much success with this type of pattern on streams and rivers, I am somewhat overly preoccupied with them. The bead heads are less successful, for me, on lakes unless fishing a diving Caddis pattern. Wets, Flymphs and Bead Head Patterns are suggestive of Caddis and Mayfly activity. Trailing shucks and sparse tails added to the fly at the bend/rear of shank help sell the Mayfly. Take those components away and the Caddis is left as an option.
Tumbled and then swung, they are an easy to tie pattern for the beginning fly tier. Partridge, Starling or Hen Hackle lend themselves to suggestive wings if sparsely tied. Keep the body (abdomen) lean regardless of the material for a Mayfly and a little fuller for a Caddis. A small, built up thorax of dubbing helps keep the wound hackle from totally collapsing back over the shank. I am not convinced the metal bead needs to be any particular color, but I tend toward the more traditional colors of gold, brass, black and more recently rootbeer. Some tiers advocate for the hot colored bead.
Now is the time to tie for the next trout season, unless you are fortunate to have open waters to fish.
A simple wet fly (starling & herl) without a bead head.
This is a good, basic tutorial on how to tie a Scud pattern, best used in rivers. A lighter version would be suitable for lakes. In time, you will select color combinations (green, tan, orange) that provide variety. This basic pattern style had potential for Caddis Pupa/Czech Nymph variations, as well.
You will see the occasional Caddis pattern, usually a dry pattern vs. a diving caddis pattern (you can add an egg sac here too) with a colorful bump at the rear at the bend of the hook. This addition to the pattern is meant to represent an egg sac, which the female Caddis will be dropping, dabbing or diving to lay the eggs.
What color should the egg sac be? You see patterns with a hot red/orange spot as well as various shades of green, yellow to yellowish orange. The little bit of research I did, suggest the egg sacs for some Caddis is typically a shade of green to yellow. It might be worth a shot to add this touch to you Caddis patterns as you tie away this Winter for next year.
Ausable Queen by Tom Deschaine
Caddis With Green Egg Sac (musicarskikafe.blogspot)
This is interesting an Caddis pattern. What is instructive, for the beginning fly tier, is the use of the rotary vise (benefits vs. wrapping on fixed vise) and the materials used to create the Long Kong Kaddis (Hook Fly Fishing Site).