Fly Tying Corner
CDC October Caddis
Sunday - October 5, 2014
Have you noticed those big lumbering mothy-like bugs flying over the Deschutes or Fall River lately? Chances are you were seeing the adult October Caddis. This caddis emerges in late September and October throughout many rivers in Oregon and Northern California. WestFly, the well-known fly fishing and entomology website in the Pacific Northwest, nicknamed this bug “the Great Pumpkin of Western Rivers”. It is a big bug, and for a few short weeks in the fall can be important to imitate, as these insects make a tasty treat for rising trout. A steelhead will occasionally take this pattern on the surface as well, skated at the tail out of your favorite steelhead run! It is an honest size 8 hook, which makes it a pattern that is easy to see on the water. And one doesn’t have to cast delicately with this fly. During egg laying flights the October Caddis daps the water’s surface to deposit its eggs. It is often this behavior that we are trying to imitate as fly fishermen. So a little “splat cast” on the water is a good thing with this pattern. You generally won’t see lots of these bugs about, but the trout know they are there and will take them eagerly if afforded the opportunity. Look for the egg laying flight in the afternoon and evening. Even if you don’t see the naturals about, this fly can be a good searching pattern and will often raise a wary trout looking for a large meal.
October Caddis AdultThe CDC October Caddis pattern is an adaptation from a fly shared with me some years ago by Thomas Duncan. The underwing is CDC, which is a natural floatant to enable this fly to settle down in the film, and its shiny body fibers, soft hackle, and CDC wing will give a convincing impression of a caddis. I have made a couple of changes to Thomas’ original pattern by using a darker CDC, and adding just a bit of Krystal Flash to help the fly shimmer on the water’s surface.
Next time you are out fishing, look for that big mothy-looking October Caddis in the evening as the natural returns to the stream to lay its eggs, and be ready to cast this fly searching for rising trout.
October Caddis CDC Pattern Recipe:
- Hook: Tiemco 200R or 2312 hook in size 8-10
- Thread: Tan or Tobacco Brown Danville 70 Denier (6/0)
- Abdomen: Antron dubbing in golden orange or burnt orange
- Legs: Soft Hackle from the back of a Partridge. Choose a feather that is tan to brown color
- Underwing: Pardo CDC framed with two strands of root beer Krystal Flash on either side of the Hook
- Overwing: Orange dyed Deer Hair
- Head: Orange Dyed Spinning Deer Hair
- Dub the body with two layers of antron dubbing. The abdomen of this insect is robust. So a second layer helps provide the thicker abdomen for this insect.
- Tie in the partridge feather on the underside of the hook so that the tips extend approximately two-thirds the length of the body.
- Take two CDC feathers and tie them in at the wing set position to create the underwing on this fly
- Tie in 2 fibers of root beer colored Krystal Flash on either side of the wing and extending slightly shorter than the wing.
- Tie in a sparse bunch of dark orange deer hair to form the over wing. Tie over the butts to leave a 1/16th inch gap between the wing and the butts, with the remainder of the butts extending forward to form the head.
- Tie in another sparse clump of deer hair using a little darker section of spinning hair nearer the tips of the hair. Flare this hair with several tight wraps of thread filling the 1/16th inch gap on the top of the hook. Add a second clump flared on the underside of the hook. Whip finish and lightly glue the head. Trip the butts to form the head of this fly.