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X-Caddis, trailing shuck caddis cripples
Seated on the padded engine compartment of my anchored jet
boat, I watched the boils in the soft, smooth flows caused by rhythmic
feeding of a Deschutes Redside trout. About fifty yards upstream from
where the boat was nosed into the densely vegetated bank, there was an island that
pinched the currents into a shallow side-channel. Under the
boat the water was more than four feet deep and very slow. But, the flow
through the small channel made a tongue of slightly faster water that
condensed all the floating insects both live and dead into a narrow
ribbon. This trout was centered in the middle of this conveyer of goodies,
However, the longer that I watched the more it became apparent that this fish was not eating everything that floated through its feeding lane. It was being very selective. My Leopold 9-power binoculars gave me the perfect picture of how this fish was feeding. The water was littered with insects. There were many tiny mayflies, a few midges and even fewer caddis. After careful study it became apparent the mayflies were all emerging duns, as were the midges, and there were two species of caddis. Most of the caddis were tiny and black, and dead. The other caddis specie was size 16/18 with mottled brown wings. Most were emerging from the current tongue and were walking across the surface of the water to the nearest bank. The trout simply ignored all of these types of insects. But, a few of the mottled wing caddis were obviously injured or crippled, and it seemed that those were the insects that the fish was targeting. The trout was observed for about fifteen minutes to confirm my suspicions.
Then a size-18 Tan X-Caddis was knotted to the end of my 6X tippet. I left the boat, and crouched in a strategic position along the bank. The first cast landed the X-Caddis in the center of the fish's feeding lane. The fish ate the fly and was landed,...simple as that. Careful observation and having the right fly were the essential ingredients to that success successful adventure. Two more trout fell for the same trick in quick succession.
When caddis hatch, most species leave the stream bed and rise to the surface of the water where they shed the pupal skin and become winged adults. The pupal skin is then called a shuck. Some unfortunate individuals are not able to leave the shuck completely. They are trapped at the surface of the water with the partially discarded shuck trailing from the rear of their abdomen. Most caddis are unable to lift the heavy waterlogged shuck from the water. Trout know that these individual flies are crippled. Some trout will target these cripples nearly exclusively. Most trout will rise quicker to a caddis that is crippled than one that is not. Species of caddis that create dense hatches are more prone to produces higher numbers of trailing shuck cripples. The X-Caddis series mimics these trailing shuck cripples. Having a full selection of X-Caddis flies in your box can make your trout fishing much more productive.
Hatches of Rhyacophila and Brachycentrus caddis can produce enough green or olive body trailing shuck cripples to make some trout selective to them. These hatches occur from May through October.
|15769||X-Caddis, Olive||14||3 for $5.85|
|15770||X-Caddis, Olive||16||3 for $5.85|
|15771||X-Caddis, Olive||18||3 for $5.85|
Hatches of Hydropsyche caddis can come off in blizzard hatches from May through October. Some of these hatches produce an abnormally high percentages of trailing shuck cripples. These are the caddis that produce the blizzard hatches of early fall.
|15772||X-Caddis, Tan||14||3 for $5.85|
|15773||X-Caddis, Tan||16||3 for $5.85|
|15774||X-Caddis, Tan||18||3 for $5.85|
key to success is "understanding". You can never know enough.
Understanding the organisms that trout feed on is one of the keys to catching trout.
Caddisflies by Gary LaFontaine
is great reference material for the trout fisher.
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