Elk Hair Caddis |
By Jason Akl
Another of the time honored dry flies is the Elk Hair Caddis, it has caught trout from California to Labrador. It represents most of the adult species of caddis flies seen throughout the world. Unlike mayflies, adult caddis flies are not especially vulnerable to trout when they first hatch as they go into the woods for most of the day. However, they are a long lived species as compared to mayflies, and often find their way back to the river near the evening to mate.
The Elk Hair Caddis is best fished in turbulent waters. Needless to say the thick elk hair wings along with a bushy palmered hackle body allow the fly to ride high on the surface. For slower waters it is best to clip the body hackle flush against the underside of the belly of the fly. By doing this the fly will ride lower on the water’s surface creating a more realistic profile for selective fish.
Fish the elk hair caddis with a standard dry fly presentation and try to seek out spots that are near overgrown banks, below overhanging trees, and in or around other vegetation. If the elk hair caddis starts to sink after repeated takes from fish, adding a pinch or two of floantant to the elk hair wing will keep it floating high on the waters surface for hours on end.