Fly Tying Corner
Tuesday - April 4, 2017
The Goddard Caddis is responsible for the largest fish I have taken on a Central Oregon Lake. One late afternoon I was chasing rising fish in an inlet to an unnamed lake. Callibaetis had been hatching all afternoon, but I knew I had no chance taking a fish on a Callibaetis pattern. There were simply too many Callibaetis on the water to have a glimmer of hope that a fish might discern my fake fly from the many natural insects on the surface of the lake. I decided to go contrarian. So, I tied on a Goddard Caddis pattern to try and catch the fish’s attention. I knew that this lake carried a sparse traveling sedge hatch, and my hope was the larger size of this fly, and the novelty of pattern might attract a willing rainbow trout.
About 75 yards from me there was a nice fish rising periodically. I kicked toward this fish in my float tube hoping to get close enough to venture a cast. It was a dance that I had repeated numerous times that afternoon, only to be repeatedly spurned by these large fussy trout. They knew the game much better than I, and each time I had gotten close, the fish would move just out of casting range. But finally, this fish rose again, a little closer this time. I had a 15-foot-long leader tapered down to 5X tippet; hopefully enough to hold one of these magnificent fish. He rose again, now about fifty feet from my tube. In one quick move, I spun my tube around and gave the cast my best shot. It was almost like having buck fever, and I knew the odds of defeat were better than the odds of success. But lo and behold, the cast was true, and the fly landed about ten feet past where the now fading ring of his last rise occurred. I pointed the rod straight up in the air to put a big belly in the line and gave the fly one long pull to skate it across the surface like a traveling sedge. Sure enough, a large snout quickly appeared and inhaled the fly and the fight was on. I played this fished ever so gently, knowing it had the upper hand on 5X tippet. After a battle, the fish came sliding toward my tube on the surface, and to my horror, I realized my landing net was much too small. Luckily, the fish gave me a nice pass and I tailed it and with a lift, I placed it on my outstretched legs for a quick picture. After reviving the fish for a good amount of time, I released this 27” wild rainbow back to the lake. What a rush! So now you know why I chose the Goddard Caddis for this month’s article.
Tie a few of these and keep them handy in your own fly box. I promise, you won’t regret it. And who knows, that fish may now be beyond 30” and it has displayed a fondness for a well-placed traveling sedge. Your next cast might bring on your own case of buck fever.
Goddard Caddis Materials List:
- Hook: Daiichi 1180, Size 10-14
- Abdomen Thread: Ultra 210 Denier Black Thread
- Body: Deer Hair for Spinning
- Secondary Thread: Veevus 14/0 Brown
- Antenna: Whiting 4B’s Hen Hackles
- Hackle: Brown Whiting Rooster Saddle
Learn to tie this fly pattern and fish it in lakes that feature traveling sedges. If you have questions or would like additional information about the Goddard Caddis pattern, please don’t hesitate to email me. Or if you have suggestions on future patterns to feature in this column, I welcome your input. I can be reached at Philfischer@sbcglobal.net.