Preparing for October Caddis

It might be a little early to begin talking about and preparing for October Caddis, but while fishing last week, we happened to see a large number of caddis cases … big caddis cases … attached to a rock partially submerged in the water. It looked as though someone had collected all of them and left the cases in a pile. Upon closer inspection, the caddis cases were attached to the rocks.

October Caddis Cases on Rock |

Here is a close up of the cased caddis. They build their houses out of the surrounding rocks where they live. Continue reading

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June Fly Box

Perhaps you saw last week’s post entitled Fishing the Lower Deschutes. I drifted the river twice last week. My fly box was full of Salmonfly and Golden Stonefly imitations. So I returned to my home river today and found many more PMD’s hatching and thought I better get my June fly box in order.

Where you fish will determine what should be in your fly box, but we are all after the same thing…

Metolius redside on drake |

Continue reading

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Mother’s Day Caddis

The Mother’s Day Caddis hatch is well-known and can be amazing to see. And it’s right around the corner.

Massive Caddis Hatch |

Yes, all those dots in the picture are caddis flying over the water!

Thousands and thousands of American Grannom (Brachycentrus occidentalis) hatch at this time of year. These caddis are the ones building square-shaped cases you see on rocks in riffly water or in runs of moderate to fast flows. Continue reading

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McKenzie Caddis Wet Fly

This week’s Throw Back Thursday Fly is the McKenzie Caddis Wet Fly.

McKenzie Caddis Wet Fly | www.johnkreft.comThis is the companion fly to last week’s TBT fly – the McKenzie Caddis Dry Fly.

As I mentioned in last week’s post, I found these fly patterns from the Caddis Fly Shop in Eugene, OR probably in the 1980’s.

These caddis flies begin hatching in mid-May and is a major hatch anticipated by many fly fishers. And they are big! Females can be in the #8 – 10 range, while males will be a little smaller in size 10 – 12. 

So if you live in Oregon’s Willamette Valley, you better have a few of these bugs in your fly box.

Enjoy…go fish!


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October Caddis and Their Imitations

October Caddis have been flitting over the river and along the streamside brush the last few weeks. I believe these bugs are important to the fish and they sure seem to key on them at times. This is a perfect time to talk about October Caddis and their imitations.

October Caddis |

The October Caddis (Dicosmoecus), otherwise known as the Giant Orange Sedge, hatches in September and October. These bugs are too big for the fish to ignore.

October Caddis Bottom View

This is one of the bugs big trout key on during the year. Other big bugs are the Golden StoneflySalmonfly, and my favorite – the Green Drake. My experience is the bigger fish show themselves during these hatches and it can be some of the best fishing of the year for large trout. Continue reading

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LaFontaine Diving Caddis

This week’s Throw Back Thursday Fly is the LaFontaine Diving Caddis. If you’re a frequent visitor to RiverKeeper Flies, you might recognize a theme of several LaFontaine Caddisflies, including the LaFontaine Deep Sparkle Pupa and the LaFontaine Emergent Pupa.

Brown & Green Diving Caddis

LaFontaine Diving Caddis |

In the past week or so, we’ve been fishing later and later into the evening. I expect to see a multitude of caddis hatching in July, August, and September. But October…not so much. Well, I’m wrong. Perhaps I should be more observant! They still are out there and the fish are taking them with splashy rises. 

An Amber Iris Caddis has been working, but I’m not sure why. I couldn’t see any caddis hatching. There were caddis laying eggs on the water and I thought the body color was close…and fish took it. But those splashy rises were interesting. 

Well, out came the Caddisflies book again. And I reread about the LaFontaine Diving Caddis. Several adult caddis lay eggs by diving into the water. Perhaps that’s what the fish were taking.

Did you know Gary LaFontaine identifies 15 different Diving Caddis patterns?

Yes, 15!!!

  1. Brown & Yellow Diving Caddis
  2. Brown & Green Diving Caddis
  3. Dark-Gray Diving Caddis
  4. Ginger Diving Caddis
  5. Brown Diving Caddis
  6. Black Diving Caddis
  7. Gray & Yellow Diving Caddis
  8. Gray & Brown Diving Caddis
  9. Gray & Green Diving Caddis
  10. Brown & Orange Diving Caddis
  11. Brown & Dark-Blue Diving Caddis
  12. Black & Yellow Diving Caddis
  13. White Diving Caddis
  14. White & Bright-Green Diving Caddis
  15. Tan & Pale-Green Diving Caddis

I never would have guess there were so many variations! How about you?

Well, I’m still learning.

Pick up a copy of Caddisflies for your fly fishing library.

Enjoy…go fish!


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October Fly Box

Here are the flies I’m carrying in my October fly box.

I’ll begin with the October Caddis just because of it’s name.

October Caddis |

These are big bugs, sizes 8 – 10. You’ll see October Caddis flitting over the water laying eggs. I usually blind cast an imitation because fish don’t take them like a normal “hatch”. The take is always exciting as the fish EXPLODE on this fly! Continue reading

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LaFontaine Emergent Pupa

This week’s Throw Back Thursday Fly is the LaFontaine Emergent Pupa.

Anyone see any continuity from last week? Just checking…

LaFontaine Emergent Pupa |

The LaFontaine Emergent Pupa is the final phase of a caddis as it climbs out of it’s pupal shuck and makes it’s way to the surface to finally fly away from the water. The earlier stage is a pupa and last week’s Throw Back Thursday Fly – the LaFontaine Deep Sparkle Pupa.

This is another Gary LaFontaine creation from the 1980s and his book entitled  Caddisflies.

Gary’s underwater research highlighted the shinny pupa as it was right at the surface trying to get through the meniscus…where water and air meet. The sheath of antron represents the gaseous bubble surrounding the body of the real caddis and something trout key upon.

Amazing how fly fishers forget about some of these older flies.

I better tie up a few more of these in different sizes and colors. Perhaps those selective fish might just eat one!



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LaFontaine Deep Sparkle Pupa

This week’s Throw Back Thursday Fly is the LaFontaine Deep Sparkle Pupa.

Here is a fly I tied many years ago.

LaFontaine Deep Sparkle Pupa |

I first learned of the Deep Sparkle Pupa when I purchased Gary LaFontaine’s book entitled Caddisflies in the 1980s. It took him 10 years to write the book because of the research he performed.

When Gary started the book, not many people were talking about caddisflies. It was all mayflies. He wrote the book with the fly fisher in mind…as a problem-solver. What caddis fly stages (larval, pupal, and adult) are available to the fish? How can the fly tyer create fly patterns to imitate these stages and catch fish?

Gary spent many hours underwater watching trout eat real insects. Then he went to the fly tying vise and created patterns to imitate what he saw in the water. And the Deep Sparkle Pupa was one of his creations.

He found that DuPont’s Antron yarn produced the desired sparkling effect he observed in the real insect as it began it’s journey to the surface. Antron is translucent and reflects light, two important properties to emulate the real insect and trigger strikes from fish.

So after pulling out Gary’s book and refreshing a little of my knowledge, I better give this fly pattern another go!

Enjoy…go fish!


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