Friday, January 30, 2015

Graphic Caddis

Graphic Caddis tied by Darren Dunbar

The spring time green caddis hatch on Western U.S. rivers is instrumental to say the least. As water temperatures rise, green caddis larva transition to a pupal stage, which essentially is the gaseous metamorphosis accent to the waters surface. Of course, not every hopeful caddis will make it without notice of a nearby trout. With that said, it is easy to recognize why this transition is considered the most vulnerable stage.

One of my favorite green caddis pupa replications to tie and fish is John Barr's Graphic Caddis. The fly is striking with a buggy, but attractive look. Two key ingredients include an ostrich herl head and live-like Hungarian partridge for the legs. A pearl flashabou tag represents the much talked about gas bubble that occurs during the pupation. Barr's recipe calls for a Micro-tubing body. However, I opted for 10 lb. Hi -Vis yellow mono filament line. I used a green permanent marker on white thread to create the two-tone effect. Use some mallard flank fibers to create antennae.

While a great tie, the Graphic Caddis also performs on the water, especially when swung or using a dead drift - Leisenring lift. Tight Wraps ~ D2

Graphic Caddis on the rocks! Tied with Friend of the Fly Caddis Grub Hooks

Monday, January 12, 2015

Forbidden Flies?

Controversy is nothing new in the sport of fly fishing. For instance, early 20th century English chalk stream fly fisherman were held to a dry-fly-only doctrine fabricated by Frederic M. Halford that codified the ethical use of the traditional dry fly. Fly fishermen that followed the dry fly code were deemed purists. However, the dry fly cult - like following was challenged by one of the greatest trout fisherman on Earth as we know it, George Edward MacKenzie Skues. Dr. Andrew N. Herd wrote, Skues "achievement was the invention of fly fishing with the nymph, a discovery that put a full stop to half a century of stagnation in wet fly fishing for trout, and formed the bedrock for modern sunk fly fishing". In his books "Minor Tactics of the Chalk Stream" and "The Way of a Trout with a Fly", Skues delves into the successful use of sub surface flies as an alternative that was largely ignored by dry fly purist Halford.

While the use of the nymph in contemporary fly fishing is wide, there seems to be a new controversy among fly fisherman. For instance, the use of ever-popular San Juan Worm, a fly merely made of a strip of red Ultra Chenille, is often frowned upon, since it is "worm-like" and not a pure representation of an aquatic insect. Additionally, synthetic Glo Bugs or egg flies are also considered taboo by some, since there presentation is anything but "fly-like". Some may argue that the egg presentation is too easy of a tie (junk fly) or gives the fly fisherman an unfair advantage. Nonetheless, flies like the Eggi Juan Kenobi and the Worm Eggate can be highly effective and are an outlet if matching the hatch just isn't cutting it. I can just picture ol' Halford turning in his grave now!

Dave Hise's Eggie Juan Kenobi tied by Darren Dunbar

Each and every fly fisherman most likely will have a different opinion on what makes an effective and appropriate fly. This sort of indifference makes the sport interesting and challenging. Can you imagine being limited to a handful of flies? Frankly, in my own opinion, it should be up to you to decide your fly preference. All in all, if it feels right, go with it and remember that it's just fishing. Regards ~ D2

The "Worm Eggate" by some guy named ArticWolf tied by Darren Dunbar