E/C Cutter Caddis |
By Jason Akl
Since its original publishing in the year of 1981 many fishermen the world round have tried to improve and change the Ralph Cutter Caddis pattern, only to come back to the original style. The E/C Cutter caddis is a fantastic fly pattern that imitates an adult caddis that is emerging or has become trapped in their pupal shuck, giving way to the name E/C, emergent/ cripple caddis.
From an underwater vantage point Ralph Cutter studied caddis’ to realize that traditional hackles on his pattern did not actually simulate what a live hatching caddis fly looked like while drifting down stream. Ralph changed the hackle on his fly to a parachute wrap around the base of the wing to better produce the impression of a crippled caddis. Cutter also used life-like materials like Antron or Zelon on this pattern and it does a great job in imitating the trailing shuck seen with the real critters. In addition to this Cutter used contrasting colors for the body of the fly (green thorax, brown abdomen) to help better simulate the look of a fly emerging from its pupal shuck.
To fish the E/C Cutter Caddis no special conditions or tackle are required. Simply douse the fly’s wings, hackle, and thorax with gel floatant or dry fly spray but be careful not to touch or spray the abdomen of the fly as you want it to sink beneath the film. If you are going to be fishing this pattern as a searching pattern, then a good idea is to use a long leader so that you do not spook any potential fish. If you are going to be fishing a caddis hatch, simply match the fly you are using as best you can to the hatching insects and hang on because it will not take long before the fish take notice and start biting.