OK, back to vision … in simple terms a dry fly is a seen from above the water surface and from under. Nothing too new here. Just trying to get the concept straight. It helps designing and tying flies.
I really like to fish sedge / caddis hatches. It can be really exciting, specifically the night hatches. Night and night – well – we are talking northern nights – they are bright. The best hour is the “blue” hour – in summer this is around midnight until 2 or 3 in the morning.
Last year Konstanse and I were fishing such a hatch in a stream between two lakes. Even the rises were in the hundreds, the fish were not so easy to catch. The fish were taking streaking caddis in size 16 / 14. I fished upstream from Konstanse and caught on rather dark flies whereas she caught on deer hair flies with lighter coloured bodies. As we swapped spots the catch rates went downhill dramatically for both of us.
We reasoned it to be related to the different light at the two spots. One was in the “shade” as the other was rather bright. On top the fly was really hard to see on both spots. Rather fast water with a lot of glare makes the rather dark deer hair disappear.
So based on this and similar experiences I decided to change a few details on smaller caddis imitations.
To add visibility for the fisherman a bright wing to the top. I use fur fibres from an artic hares foot for this. It increases the flies ability to float as well.
A two colour body is the next “feature”. For the abdomen (body) I use died hares ear dubbing mixed with very little flash bits – all chopped in a coffee grinder. The thorax (head & legs) section of the fly is tied with black antron dubbing in a split thread dubbing loop. Using long stranded dubbing in a split thread makes a very nice scruffy part on the fly.
From under the fly sports the triangular shape typical for caddis flies. From above it is very visible to the fisherman. It floats well and is easy to tie once having managed the split thread technique. Using thin Dyneema thread is essential though.
A lot of elements for such a simple fly like a caddis imitation but it really is an improvement. The material mix also make it a very nice caddis pupae imitation. I tie them in size 14 or 16 mostly. For bigger patterns I revert back to the trusted streaking caddis with a big deer hair wing.
I call the fly the DEER HARE CADDIS … I hope this is confusing enough. 😉
Should the above vid not work – here is the direct link:
Hook: dry fly hook size 16 / 14 … if possible use a barbless hook
Body: Hares ear dubbing in green
Wing: Deer hair and Artic Hares Foot
Thorax / Head: Antron dubbing