The X Caddis was developed by Craig Matthews and represents an emerging or crippled caddis. Caddis emerge quite quickly once they reach the surface, often too quickly for trout to have a chance to eat them. Trout know this and often will not waste their time or energy trying to feed on adults that are not crippled or in the process of emerging. With this in mind Craig Matthews developed this wonderful pattern. It represents those emerging and/or crippled caddis that the trout key in on. The Z-lon shuck represents the pupal shuck of the natural and the lack of hackle allows it to sit low in the water like an emerger or cripple. What is even better than how well this fly works is how easy it is to tie. It is a perfect pattern to crank out late the night before a trip. So tie some up, get a good dead drift, and hang on.
Tie this pattern in sizes 12-18.
Start your thread and coat the shank of the hook back to the bend of the hook. Take a small clump of Z-lon and tie it in extending off the bend of the hook. Tie the butts of the Z-lon down about half way up the shank of the hook and tie them down to the bend of the hook. Clip the butts off.
Now clip the shuck to length, roughly 1 ½ times the gap of the hook, and thin the end of it with the tip of your scissors. You do not want to the shuck to have abrupt edges; they look unnatural on the water. Dub a tapered body up the shank of the hook, stopping just shy of the eye of the hook so there is enough room to tie in the wing.
Cut, comb and stack clump of elk or deer hair and tie it in, tips facing the bend of the hook. The wing should be tied in directly behind the eye of the hook and extend the length of the body. Cut the butts of the wing off even with the front edge of the eye of the hook and whip finish.