Fall Caddis

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Fall Caddis
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Fall Caddis
An adult fall caddis on the winshield of my jet boat. Mark Bachmann photo.

Very large trout and steelhead will eat October Caddis.

Big fish on the surface is the attraction.
The Pacific Northwest has some spectacular giant caddis hatches. Most of these hatches are in the fall, but some cold spring creeks have hatches through much of the winter and into the spring as well. The fat bodies of winged adults are in colors that range from light tanish orange to yellowish orange to bright orange to burnt orange. Wings are usually
 gray but there are also brown tones. There are apparently a number of different sub-species in what is commonly called October Caddis or Fall Caddis or Giant Caddis.  Most belong to the family Dicosmoecus. They range from California to Alaska.  
The larva of these giant caddis build tube-like cases.  During the winter months when the larva are tiny, these cases are made from vegetable matter attached to a foundation of silk.  As the larva grows in size through the spring months they abruptly switch to cases made from small gravel.  You can observe these larvae crawling around on the streambed dragging their cases with them as the forage for algae and decaying plant and animal matter.  During the the summer months of June and July Dicosmoecus larvae are important trout foods.  Daily behavioral drift cycles occur in the early afternoon, usually peaking about 4:00 P.M.  They are one of the few families of caddis that  
leave their cases before behavioral drift cycles. This makes them extremely enticing to large trout.  In August these larvae seal themselves in their cases and by September they are ready to emerge as adults. Emergence occurs from late afternoon until dark.  The pupae usually swim and crawl to shallow water, but some emerge mid-river. Many actually crawl from the water to hatch on rocks along the shore.  Even when adults are not active, you can tell if October Caddis have been hatching by observing their shucks on stream margin rocks.  If prospecting  Josh Linn photo.
with a dry October Caddis pattern doesn't turn up any interest, try a pupa pattern.  Pumpkin orange color is usually the best.   Try fishing your pupa suspended from a dead drifted dry fly.  This technique can be very productive late in the evening when both egg laying adults and hatching pupas are both active. Steelhead as well as trout can be fooled by this trick. Egg laying occurs in the afternoon and evening.  The big fate juicy females flop around on the water exuding their eggs.  They are a prime attraction for fish of all sizes.  Fishing a big orange body dry fly can be productive any time of day if you fish in shady spots under overhanging trees. Some caddis are active during moderate temperature days.  Most of the big caddis rest in the shade of vegetation throughout hot days. These caddis are perfectly camouflaged to hide during the day and wait for evening flights.

October Caddis, Dry
October Caddis is the big fall hatch. This pattern has a tightly stacked elk hair wing for maximum floatation and feelers for realism.
Item Description Size Price To Top
5045-08 October Caddis, Dry 08 3 for $5.75 SALE ENDED

Tied Down Caddis, Orange
Sometimes called the Full Back Caddis, it is effective for representing both large caddis and stone flies.
Item Description Size Price To Top
5070-06 Tied Down Caddis, Orange 6 3 for $5.25 SALE ENDED
5070-08 Tied Down Caddis, Orange 8 3 for $5.25 SALE ENDED
5070-10 Tied Down Caddis, Orange 10 3 for $5.25 SALE ENDED

Improved Sofa Pillow
This fly is generally use as a stone fly imitation, however it is also a very good October Caddis.
Item Description Size Price To Top
6075-08 Improved Sofa Pillow 8 3 for $5.25 SALE ENDED

Tungsten Bead Head Pupa
Trout and steelhead will target October Caddis pupas.
Item Description Size Price To Top
18120 Tungsten Bead Head October Caddis Pupa 6 3 for $5.85 SALE ENDED
18121 Tungsten Bead Head October Caddis Pupa 8 3 for $5.85  SALE ENDED
18122 Tungsten Bead Head October Caddis Pupa 10 3 for $5.85  SALE ENDED

Peaking Cased Caddis Larva
Trout often intercept cased caddis larvae as they are drifting down the river.
Item Description Size Price To Top
9115-06 Peaking Cased Caddis Larva 6 3 for $5.25 SALE ENDED
9115-08 Peaking Cased Caddis Larva 8 3 for $5.25 SALE ENDED
9115-10 Peaking Cased Caddis Larva 10 3 for $5.25 SALE ENDED

Simms Guide Boot, Studded
Redesigned for 2008. Leather makes the Guide Boots burly; a molded midsole makes them light. Guide Boots are tough AND comfortable.

  • Water-resistant Nubuck leather offers no-shrink durability

  • Sturdy thermoplastic midsole assures lightweight footbed protection

  • TekTuff™ provides superior ankle suppport and protection

  • High abrasion-resistant Schoeller® mesh panels offer CleanStream™ design for easier rinsing of invasive species

  • Non-corrosive hardware

  • Contoured speed lacing and durable nylon laces

  • 7/16th high-density, stitched felt soles and carbide-tipped studs offer great durability and extra traction

Testing the Simms Guide Boot on the rough bottom of the Deschutes was easy work.
Item Description Size Price To Top
SGC1082010 Simms Guide Boot, Studded 10 $179.95 SALE ENDED
SGC1082011 Simms Guide Boot, Studded 11 $179.95 SALE ENDED
SGC1082012 Simms Guide Boot, Studded 12 $179.95 SALE ENDED
SGC1082013 Simms Guide Boot, Studded 13 $179.95 SALE ENDED
SGC1082014 Simms Guide Boot, Studded 14 $179.95 SALE ENDED

Sage 5126-4 Z-AXIS Field Test Report
By: Josh Linn
Josh Linn with a steelhead caught with a Sage 5126-4 Z-AXIS. 

One of the nice things about working at The Fly Fishing Shop, is that you have access to a lot of great gear. And anyone that knows me, knows I like gear. Last week I got a package from George Cook; a new 5126-4 Z axis rod along with some of the new Rio AFS shooting heads. Well it seemed like I should go put this stuff to the test. I contacted my good friend Eric Gunter and we headed to the Deschutes with the 5126-4. It was a cool crisp fall morning, the kind of morning that feels like you can smell steelhead. We pushed out of the boat launch in the pitch black and got to the first run about an hour before light. We brewed coffee in the boat and we hunkered down trying to keep warm while anticipating the morning's fishing. Our conversation led to steelhead and then on to tackle. The reel on the 5126-4 Z-Axis was loaded it up with a 5/6 (340-grain) AFS shooting head a new 10’  floating Rio VersiLeader. This was attached to Varivas shooting line loaded on an antique Ari Hart reel (Hey, you gotta' have a few old neat reels).  Lately I've been fishing smaller spey rods and this seemed like a good combo for Deschutes steelhead. When we could see well enough to walk, we got moving. I took the upper run and Eric moved into the lower run. This time of year I always start fishing with a skating fly because steelhead taking flies on the surface is so exciting. A Purple Muddler was "riffle-hitched" on the end of my leader.  When you are as young as I am, everyone wants to give you advice.  One of my friends seems to think I should spend more time fishing water in close to shore. I have caught many steelhead from the upper run, but never close to the bank.  But, I thought I would humor him even though he wasn’t there and started casting short and stayed on the bank. Watching a muddler wake across the top first thing in the morning has a focusing effect. I fished all the way through the run and got nothing, then walked back to the top of the run and waded out into my normal starting spot. Cast after cast, I watched the muddle groove a nice wake across the smooth surface. I was stepping, casting and got into a rhythm.  Watching  a fly skating across the water in cadence is nearly hypnotizing. As the fly skated across the bucket, I got tense with anticipation. Each cast fished well, but nothing happened. I hadn’t heard anything from Eric so I guess he was doing about as good as I was. I got out and walked back to the top of the run and changed flies, tying on a Green Butt Skunk. I waded back out to my staring spot. Stripped out the head of the fly line and made my first cast. I stripped out 3 more feet of line and made another cast. This setup was casting effortlessly especially now that I had taken off the air resistant muddler. I was getting into my rhythm Casting about 70’ cast step, cast, step. I was in the bucket again. Everything was feeling good. The fly was turning over. The swing was looking good. I was starting to get tense with anticipation again. I made another cast let it swing and the line came tight and I felt a little throb, dropped the loop and felt the line come tight again. I set the hook and drove the fly home. The fish didn’t like that and was straight into the backing. I had that 5 wt bent to the handle. This felt good. It was a heavy duty tug of war. Finally I was gaining ground on the fish. The fish never came to the surface of the water.  It felt like a bug buck steelhead giving me lots of head shakes and little runs. When the fish came parallel to me,  I was still standing mid-river and was envisioning landing it out there. I got the leader to the tip of the rod and started lifting. I wanted to see what this fish was, but couldn’t move the thing, so I clamped down on the line and kept lifting.  Finally it came to the top and looked big. Then as soon as it came close it ran off again. I got it back up to me and started getting it in closer, lifting it as hard as possible. I thought I might break the little rod. You never know the limits of a new rod especially one this little. The fish came back to the top and I could see it now, and it looked to be about 10-12lbs. & pretty bright, but it looked different. It all made sense now why I didn’t get anything on my first 2 passes. It was a male fall Chinook. I headed for the bank. I had never landed a fall Chinook on the Deschutes before, and I didn’t want to screw this up. The fish was exhausted and so was I. I bent down and firmly grabbed it by the wrist of the tail. I was in disbelief was this really happening. I was in such awe I forgot to call Eric to get a picture. Oh well.  I released the fish back to the river and just sat there for a moment, looking down at my new 5126-4 Z-axis and knew it was a rod I would fish a lot.

5126-4 round-2
My Friday was fast approaching and all I could think about was putting my 5126-4 Z-AXIS to another test. It was fun catching that Chinook on it last week but I wanted a hot steelhead. I wanted to see what this rod could really do. I wanted a second chance.......So my gal Marcy and I were off to the Deschutes for a couple of days. It had been raining and seemed very promising. The leaves were starting to change colors and a little snow had fallen, fall was upon us. We headed over late at night and slept in the back of the truck. The early bird catches the worm or in our case the Steelhead. We were up early. We were on a mission. We ate breakfast at our first fishing spot while waiting in the dark. The longer we waited the more the anticipation built. It was cool and overcast with no wind. By the time it was starting to get light I had finished off the whole pot of coffee. Marcy and I split up. I went up river and she went down. As soon as I stepped into the water I could tell it river level was up. The water was up and wading out to the normal starting spot was difficult. I was envisioning being swept away. It was the beginning of October and I had seen plenty of October Caddis around so I put on a Steelhead Caddis and tied a riffle hitch behind the head, the started to work out some line. Casting the little rod with a large wind resistant fly was Not the easiest thing to do. I could never really get into a rhythm and I had drank too much coffee. I couldn’t pay attention to where the fly was and kept losing track of it. Soon came the reality that I was totally screwing this up so I switched flies and gears. Out came the Fly Dejour. This one I had tied on an silver Alec Jackson Spey hook in size 7. I moved back to the top of the run and started over. Starting all over I stripped out some fly line and made a cast. Little flies are always easier to cast. I stripped out another couple of feet of line and made another cast. I was getting into the zone and was starting to relax. More line and another cast. This was getting easy. More line another cast. I continued this till I was casting about 70’ feet of line. This time the 5126-4 was loading with a 6/7 AFS (400-grain) line.  This little rocket equipped with a new 10’ floating Rio Versi Leader. It was smooth...step cast, step cast... I was really starting to wonder off into space and all of a sudden I felt it...just a faint pull that took the loop. I set the hook. Nothing happened. It must be running at me I was sure I had it so I started stripping in line.  Finally it came tight on it and just kept stripping it in. It was a little trout. That didn’t seem right.... fortunately I didn’t reel in any  of the line. I got situated and made another cast. The fly swung down to where it had left off and I felt a pull again. The loop slipped from between my fingers, then came a little throb and I set the hook towards the bank, driving the hook home.  The fish jumped from the water about 50’ from where it had taken the fly.  It was off and running. the reel was screaming.  This was the fish I had been looking for. It was landed; a beautiful hen about 8 pounds and chrome bright. I reeled up to go check on Marcy and see how she was doing. She said she had hooked a fish also. It had jumped out of the water and made a scorching run but had come off. I asked her if she wanted to take over where I had left off. She declined and said she wanted another shot at that fish. I headed back to where I had left off. I stepped back in at the head of the run and repeated the process all over again and was off in lala land dreaming of that fish when all of a sudden I felt it just a little pull. I gave it the loop and felt it again. I set the hook the rod got heavy and it was on. That 5126 was getting a workout this morning. I held my ground and fought this fish mid-river. I finally got it in. It was about the same size as the last one but a bit darker, but what a beautiful fish. I finally fished all the way through the run without getting a grab. I reeled up and headed back to the boat and to check on Marcy. She was done fishing and was drinking some coffee. She hadn’t touched another fish. We pulled anchor and headed off down river. I slid the drift boat into the next spot. It was deep and bouldery. I offered Marcy to go first but she declined. I made my first cast let it swing. I made another and then another, till I got out a good casting distance of about 60’. Then I worked my way down the run. It was deep and slow going. About 40’ below me there was a boulder that was partially submerged and my line started to hang up on it. I gave it a little flip to pull it off and keep the swing going. Another step and another cast. The line hung up on the rock again I gave it a little tug and then I felt that unmistakable surge, that throb that feels like nothing else. I set the hook. I could feel that my line was still hung up on the rock out there. I started pulling trying to get the fish to come around the rock and to get my line to come with it. The fish just held it’s ground. I just kept pulling. Finally it moved and the fight was on. Marcy was watching from the boat and stood up to take some pictures. The fish jumped part way out of the water. It looked big. I started looking for somewhere to land this thing. I made my move towards the bank bringing the fish with me. As it got closer I could see it was a big fish and asked Marcy to come down here to get a picture of it. This little rod was sure getting a lot of action.

Sage 5126-4 Z-AXIS

Length: 12' 6"     Line: 5     Pieces: 4

The new 5126-4 Z-AXIX is ideally suited for such rivers as the Rogue, Grand Ronde and Deschutes.  It is also very effective as a trout rod.
Line Match:
WindCutter 5/6, AFS 5/6, Skagit 300.
Sinking Tip Lines:
15' 109-grain in floating, intermediate & type 3, 6 & 8. 
Spey VersiLeader 10' & 15'.
Reel Match: Sage 3400D, Tibor Everglade. Ross CLA 5, Momentum 5, Nautilus 10.
Rod weight: 6 1/8 Ounces

Line Wt
Action Handle Price To Top
5126-4 Z-AXIS 5 Fast F $740 SALE ENDED

Scientific Anglers Sarkskin Shooting Line

Scientific Anglers Sharkskin Shooting Line

This shooting line incorporates all of the great characteristics of standard Sharkskin technology plus some very cool features. An 8 inch welded loop allows an angler to slip a spool or reel through for easy switching out of shooting heads. A very slight taper from .032 up to .040 is provided for extra durability. A drab colored 5 foot tip allows for easy differentiation between head and shooting line.

Our personal on-the-water tests reveal that Sharkskin textures in this line results in some real advantages for the angler. This line is amazingly supple and has no memory at all. It comes off the reel spool straight every time. It virtually refuses to tangle while casting and shooting line. It is amazingly friction free in the guides, but because of the textured surface is very easy to hang on to. We were worried that the textured surface might be abrasive to our hands while stripping in to recast. Actually the texture seems to retain a film of water to reduce friction in the hands. Models are available in .032 and .035 diameters.
Yellow Color.

Item Description Size Price To Top
186484 Scientific Anglers Sharkskin shooting Line .032", 20-pound $59.95 SALE ENDED
186477 Scientific Anglers Sharkskin shooting Line .035", 25-pound $59.95 SALE ENDED

G. Loomis 10-Page Magnum Tackle Binder
The most popular tackle organizer is back in good supply. This pack is indispensible for keeping the best steelhead guides in the Pacific Northwest organized & ee-fish-ent.

Great storage for large flies, leaders, shooting heads, tools, etc.
* 10" long x 12" wide x 2" deep
* Holds (10) 8" x 8" heavy duty plastic zip lock pages with metal reinforced rings (included).
* 1200 Denier, extra heavy poly material with polyurethane coating on the back side to help repel water and give a stiffer, tougher feel.
* Easy carry molded rubber handles.
* Gusseted sides provide more storage capacity.
* Ya', we know you don't use rubber worms, but it's the only picture they had.
Item Description Price To Top
58916 G. Loomis 10-Page Magnum Tackle Binder $30.00 SALE ENDED

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Fish long & prosper,
Mark & Patty


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