Fly Tying Corner
October Caddis Stimulator
Tuesday - October 11, 2016
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, 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.
The October Caddis Stimulator is a pattern I have tied for years to imitate these big bugs on California’s McCloud and Upper Sacramento rivers. When we relocated to Sunriver, I dug this fly out of my box one day on the Lower Deschutes and it performed magically! The bushy hackle and wing will give a convincing impression of a caddis. This fly is designed to float high on the water, and can be skated and skipped on the water much like the naturals. I’ve even recently heard of fly fishers casting October Caddis imitations like this one on Crane Prairie, skating them similar to a traveling sedge. I continue to adapt this pattern by using a darker wing and hackle, 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 splat and skate this fly along the banks and riffles in search for rising trout.
October Caddis CDC Pattern Recipe:
- Tiemco 200R or 2312 hook in size 8-10
- Thread: Ultra UTC Fluorescent Red 210 Denier (6/0)
- Tail: Ultra UTC Fluorescent Red 210 Denier (6/0)
- Abdomen Hackle: Whiting Dry Fly Hackle in dark dun ribbed with copper wire
- Under Wing: Dark olive Krystal Flash
- Over Wing: Dark dyed elk in burnt orange
- Thorax: Spirit River Brite Blend Polar Orange
- Thorax Hackle: Dark brown Whiting Dry Fly Hackle
- Head: Fluorescent Red
Experiment with this pattern during late September and October for the prolific October Caddis hatches that occur on the Lower Deschutes River. If you have questions or would like additional information about the October Caddis Stimulator 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.