Elk Hair Caddis
By Gary Lewis
There was a pool, sheltered from the wind. About twelve feet long and six feet deep. The spring's snowmelt was clear and every rock was visible on the bottom. There was a trout in there, I guessed, probably more than one. I waited behind a boulder, watching.
Soon a shadow separated from the bottom and, catching the current, rose in the water column to pluck something from the surface. He disappeared in the disturbance his tail made as he went back down. I counted to 30 and cast my #14 Elk Hair Caddis upstream, letting it drift, keeping the leader from dragging in the slower water. The rainbow was back, coming to the surface faster this time and I set the hook as his mouth closed over the fly.
Throughout the west, the caddisfly is one of the mainstays of a trout's diet. They range in color from black or brown to olive and orange.
Start with a size 10-18 hook, wrap the body with dubbed rabbit or hare's fur in natural or dyed color. Wrap a brown or gray hackle feather from back to front on the body. Rib with fine gold wire. Tie in an elk hair wing, trim and finish head.