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Fly Patterns

E/C Caddis

 

DESIGNED BY: Ralph Cutter
HOOK: 9300
THREAD: Olive
TAIL: Ginger Zelon or Antron
ABDOMEN: Ginger Haretron
WING: Deer
HACKLE: Dun saddle
THORAX: Green rabbit

This fly evolved through many trials and tribulations. I wanted a pattern that would imitate adult caddis trapped in their pupal shuck as they were attempting to emerge (E/C means emergent/cripple). The trailing Antron or Zelon imitates the trailing shuck and the brownish abdomen looks much like the portion of the pupal shuck with the caddis body still inside it. The bright green thorax replicates the emerging portion of the adult body. It is interesting to note that without the dual tones of the green and brown, the fly falls off noticeably in effectiveness. I am not alone in this observation, Gary LaFontaine in his classic book, CADDISFLIES, noted the same effect on several other caddis imitations. This fly was first tied like an Elk Hair Caddis with a palmered hackle.

From an underwater vantage using SCUBA gear I could see the palmered hackle produced a distinctly un-caddis like impression on the surface. The pattern perked upright on the water where true emerging caddis sprawled across the surface as they spread their legs out across the water trying to leverage their trapped bodies from the shuck. I changed the traditional palmered hackle to a parachute wrap around the base of the wing and it produced not only an excellent impression of the crippled caddis, but also the best pattern Ive ever come up with. Since it was published in 1981 many people have copied and changed the pattern only to come back to the original style. I continue to play with it but have yet to find a way to make it better.

Fish the E/C Caddis on a leader treated with fly floatant. Treat the wing, hackle, and thorax with floatant but allow the posterior end of the fly to break the film. It can be a difficult fly to see so you might consider tying a bright piece of yarn somewhere on the leader as a fly locator. Fish it as a searching pattern between hatches or as a specific imitation during a caddis hatch. If you shove the deer hair into a ninety degree post from the body it makes a pretty good mayfly emerger pattern.