Posts Tagged ‘tied down caddis


Memories Coming Back Around: Silver Creek Falls

I received some texted images from my son, Tony, yesterday as his very sweet friend Darly and he were hiking the Silver (Creek) Falls trail. It was a very wet, blustery day but not as cold as it has been (high 40’s), so they ventured off to explore one of the beautiful spots in Oregon.

What is special about this locale, to me, is I started fly fishing on the upper reaches of Silver Creek 52 years ago. And, a few days ago, I posted about the Tied Down Caddis. That was my first possessed fly pattern and I used it here on Silver Creek to catch feisty Cutthroat Trout. Every Summer my family camped on Silver Creek. What goes around comes around in good karma and memories for sure.

Middle Falls NFk. TM

“Silver Falls State Park is located near Silverton, Oregon. It is the largest state park in Oregon with an area of more than 9,000 acres, and it includes more than 24 miles of trails. Its 8.7-mile Canyon Trail runs along the banks of Silver Creek and by ten waterfalls, from which the park received its name. Four of the ten falls have an amphitheater-like surrounding that allows the trail to pass behind the flow of the falls.” (Wiki)

Darly and Tony ventured up to the falls where you can hike behind the falls and stand watching the water cascade off the cliff.

Tony behind falls Darly

T & D behind falls spay TM

Darly & Tony: A blur of an image as the water particles from the fall”s spray fill the air. Standing behind the falls for the snap was invigorating on this chilly day in Oregon (Middle Falls/North Fk. Silver Creek)


Fitting the Pieces of Patterns……..

In the past, I have touched upon the Tied Down Caddis pattern here at SwittersB. Partly out of nostalgia and also because it was the only fly I had for my beginning fly fishing fifty + years ago. It was, as I have said, an exceptional pattern. 

Today, I came across an old pic I had taken of the pattern and it jumped out at me that the pattern, although of different materials, has much the same profile as the pattern I showed you yesterday by Endoman. I put together a small collage of Tied Down Caddis (there’s more of them online now then a few years ago…may I take a very small piece of credit for that) and inserted Endoman’s pattern. I think I need to revisit the Tied Down Caddis in earnest. I would personally now either dub the body fuzzy or wrap less hackle for a less dense profile.

TDC Caddis Col SwittersBNow granted the deer hair backing would trap less air than the Zelon/Antron shell back but maybe the legs and profile are equally or more important than the potential bubble shroud/air trapping pharate of the pupa?


Fly Tying: Deer-Bucktail Hair Wet Fly

Some forty years ago or so, the Deer Hair Wet Fly was more popular. Whether it stayed on the surface or sunk a bit (like any wet fly) it was one of two flies I carried as a teen, the other being the excellent Tied Down Caddis. Speaking of the TDC, click on the pic of the TDC and note Jeff’s comment re the TDC (Werner Shrimp). Also, note references to an interesting, almost forgotten period of fly tying history in Portlandia. Audrey Joy influenced the art way back and indirectly started my fly fishing/tying enjoyment back in the early 1960’s….



Fly Tying: Tied Down Caddis Pattern

Tied Down Caddis (TDC) SwittersB

Tied Down Caddis (TDC) SwittersB

I tied these with a yellow and a olive body. Originally, I only fished with an orange bodied TDC. I need to tie some of those orange bodies. This pattern doubles as a scud pattern too, for some. By the eye, I thought the hackle to be just fine, but in looking at the pic, the lens shows the hackle to be a bit overdressed and too long for my tastes. This is a lesson in fly tying, a pattern that you have never tied before or haven’t visited in a while, often requires a good half dozen efforts to fine tune the look and materials to maintain that look.

Size 14 nymph hook, 8/0 tan thread, deer hair tail and top pulled up over single strand of wool yarn (3 ply), tied in at back, which is wrapped up the shank and tied off. A brown hackle was tied in at same tie in point as single strand of yarn. Hackle was wrapped forward over body. The deer hair is then pulled over the body/hackle and tied down. The hard part (for me) is to then trim the deer hair close, then cover the deer hair to form a thread head, without too much build up. The body could be dubbed, but I would go with a dry fly type fine dubbing. Of course, the options abound.


Fly Tying: Tied Down Caddis (Rusted But Right)

Tied Down Caddis~SwittersB

Found these old flies in a box, forgotten and rusty. Nice Caddis flies that used to be frequently used in the old days, but are rarely seen these days. Tied Down Caddis (my first fly, that cauht many trout) and the Deer Hair Caddis.


Caddis Confusion to Simplicity (or I’m a little slow)


Common Name Scientific Name Order
Black Caddis Brachycentrus spp. Caddisfly
Cinnamon Caddis Ceratopsyche slossonae Caddisfly
Cinnamon Caddis Ceratopsyche sparna Caddisfly
Cinnamon Caddis Helicopsyche borealis Caddisfly
Cream & Brown Mottled Microcaddis Oxyethira spp. Caddisfly
Fall Caddis Discosmoecus spp. Caddisfly
Gray Caddis Hydropsyche spp. Caddisfly
Great Orange Caddis Dicosmoecus spp. Caddisfly
Green Caddis Rhyacophila spp. Caddisfly
Green Rock Worm Caddis Rhyacophila fenestra Caddisfly
Helm’s Cheumatopsyche Caddisfly Cheumatopsyche helma Caddisfly
Igloo Caddis Glossosoma spp. Caddisfly
Little Black Caddis Chimarra obscura Caddisfly
Little Black Caddis Chimarra aterrima Caddisfly
Little Black Caddis Brachycentrus lateralis Caddisfly
Mother’s Day Caddis Brachycentrus spp. Caddisfly
October Caddis Dicosmoecus spp. Caddisfly
Ring Horn Microcaddis Leucotrichia spp. Caddisfly
Salt & Pepper Microcaddis Agraylea spp. Caddisfly
Small Black Caddis Amiocentrus spp. Caddisfly
Somber Microcaddis Ochrotrichia spp. Caddisfly
Speckled Peter Caddis Helicopsyche borealis Caddisfly
Tiny Black Caddis Glossosoma nigrior Caddisfly
Vannote’s Cheumatopsyche Caddisfly Cheumatopsyche vannotei Caddisfly
Vari-colored Microcaddis Hydroptila spp. Caddisfly
Zebra Caddis Macrostemum zebratum Caddisfly (provided above table of common caddis names and entomological names).

I have provided the above Caddis chart for those that either converse in the common name or the formalized genus name. The chart focuses upon the chasm between the truly knowledgeable and me. I imagine that not precisely recognizing the particular precise genus has cost me fish. I see Caddis coming off and fluttering by some ten yards away…is that a tan or is that a green bodied Caddis? If they don’t land upon my hat or pontoon boat or sit on streamside shrubs, I have really little idea about which cased Caddis or which pupa is emerging. I know enough to carry Green Rockworm Caddis on streams and those long antennaed Caddis on a lake, as well as smaller, dark micro Caddis and a large traveling sedge. Dark wing, lighter wing, adults, pupa, cased and uncased, big and small. That is the extent of my Caddis knowledge. Odd, my first fly that I fished was a Tied Down Caddis. That never sparked much incentive to learn more about a family of insects that provided me exceptional results as a teen on small, Oregon streams fishing for cutt’s. I think I have a lot to learn here but I think I do not have the passion to become a Dave Haeffle or Jeff Morgan or Dave Hughes….that is why they have notoriety and I am here in a blog….   I will stick with size (always overestimated) color and a dark, medium or light colored wing for the dry. Pupa’s will mostly be bead heads and the TDC. I will carry a few big caddis for Traveling Sedges or October Cadds and few small micro Caddis and the rest will be the usual Elk Hair Caddis and a few pupa and cased Caddis. Simplicity still works for me on stillwater or stream….could I catch more fish?…perhaps, but at the cost of making my head hurt with all that knowledge, I doubt it will happen. No, I will stick with ‘tiny black’ ‘cinnamon’ ‘tan’ ‘great orange’ and when to use them.       


Time to tie


A TDC (as I earlier wrote, my only fly as a kid) and a Peeking Caddis (pupa peeking out of a suggested casing).  

img_5845-a-ehc.jpg The staple Elk Hair Caddis

“I still don’t know why I fish or why other men fish, except that we like it and it makes us think and feel”~Roderick Haig-Brown, A River Never Sleeps. This mistress does make one think and feel in so many ways.   

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