J.Stockard Pro Tyer: John Collins, Stewartsville, NJ, you can find him on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/electric_tyer/

November and throughout the winter is the perfect time of the year to fish “Free Living” Caddis Larva.

That was the thought over 15 years ago when I came up with my Electric Caddis Larva series. A easy imitative pattern to mimic the type of caseless Caddis Larva that pretty much inhabit every major water way across the country. Which can be fished all year, but is especially deadly during the cold months of the year.

Years ago when fishing during the late fall and early winter months is when I discovered that Caddis Larva were a major staple in the trout’s diet. During this harsh time of the year food is at a premium, as far as variety goes. Midges, scuds, aquatic Worms and forage fish are available, but there was something else that the trout were keying in on.

After pumping stomach samples from the first few fish that day I discovered they were loaded with Free Living Caddis Larva. Hydropsychidae (net spinners) of several different earth tones in coloration, and the larger Rhyacophila (Green Rock Worm), most of which were still alive and moving, when rehydrated in the sample jar. I later found out that there is frequent Caddis Larval Drift, during the early winter months, and they are exposed to the trout more often than usual. That’s why the fish we caught were loaded with dozens of Caddis Larva.

I always try to be a “Student of Observation” and hopefully come up with a fly to imitate what I observe and discover, stream side.

Rhyacophila Larva are predatory and usually are found in the faster, more turbulent sections of rivers and streams. Their brilliant green coloration, flat bodies, and large size (I’ve sampled them, close to an inch long) make them stand out among their other caseless, free living caddis cousins.

A large curved hook such as the Klinkhammer style is perfect for these large “Green Rock Worms”.

Materials list:

Threads: UTC 8/0 Fluorescent Green for the Abdomen, and UNI Light Olive 8/0 for the Thorax area.

Hook: Daiichi 1167 Klinkhammer hook – size #8 thru #14
Abdominal Claws: Green Antron Yarn
Abdomen: Chartreuse Brassie sized Ultra Wire inserted into Waspi Small Green Stretch Tubing, wrapped over fluorescent green thread. Then flattened with toothless needle nose pliers
Thorax and Legs: Light olive Ostrich Herl, burned on top.
Pronotum: Top of burned herl, coated with Solarez Thin UV Resin.

Step 1.

Prepare tubing/wire combo, by cutting about a 4 inch piece of equal lengths of wire and green tubing. Once the wire is inserted into the tubing, twist the tubing and feed the wire through, until it comes out of the other side.

Step 2.

Cut about a 1 inch piece of Antron Yarn. At one third of the hooks length (Klinkhammer 1167 hook has a flat spot just behind the eye) tie in the Antron onto the back of the hook, where the curve starts, wrapping your thread rearward a little more than halfway around the curve of the hook and return to the point where you attached the Antron. Take the front tag of Antron and bend it rearward, wrapping it down, and then cut the Antron parallel with the hook shank and then cover with thread. Returning to the hump created by folding the Antron back.

Step3.

At that little hump where you bent back the front Antron tag, attach a tiny bit of bare wire, sticking out of the tubing, to the flat spot on the front of the hook. Then proceed to cover the wire/tubing combination, completely with florescent green thread, rearward , running it down the side of the hook, from front to back and then back to the hump made by the Antron.

Step 4.

Wrap the wire/tubing combo forward until you reach the Antron hump and tie off the fl. green thread on the flat part of the hook and cut with wire nippers. Next cut the Antron Yarn short for the abdominal claws and cut the green thread off and flatten the abdomen with a pair of toothless needle nose pliers. It will hold its shape due to the wire inside.

Step 5.

Now attach your light olive thread and the ostrich herl to the flat part of the hook, with the quill forward. Wrap the Ostrich forward to the eye of the hook and tie off.

Step 6.

Now take a “Bic” lighter and burn the Ostrich fibers on top, being careful not to burn the fibers underneath. Brush off any charred ends with a dental brush, and take a brown Sharpie and make 3 small spots on top of the cleaned, burned Ostrich. Finally coat with Solarez Thin making a small dome for the Pronotum (Wing Case) and cure with a UV light.

Note:

Due to the nature of free living Caddis Larva, when in the drift they undulate forming different shapes. So curved hooks, swimming nymph hooks and standard bends can be utilized to create different shapes of this Fly. A Klinkhammer Hook is a natural for making Caddis Larva flies, and not just Emergers.

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