November 15, 2008

caddis nymph time

What do you get when you have high flows, an ample supply of angelina fibers [thanks KB], and 6mm metal beads?

The Cannonball Caddis:

The Cannonball Caddis

This fly was inspired by a great pattern from the late Great Lakes steelheader, Mike "Dr. Steelhead" Bennett, the Dr. Mike caddis nymph pattern. It is quite the simple tie, involving a dubbed body, partridge, grouse or other soft hackle legs, peacock herl head, and a beadhead.

"Dr. Mike" caddis fly nymph pattern

The body is typically tied with a dubbing loop, but I opted for a traditionally dubbed body, since I was using a homemade, longer fibered angelina and antron dubbing mix. Since I like synthetics so much, I swapped out the herl for some more durable peacock glimmer chenille. The original pattern called for a gold or copper bead, but I prefer to use the more subdued gunmetal beads for caddis, and let the synthetic body get all the flash and glory. I tied on the 6mm bead to get the fly down deep during high flows or in faster riffle sections.

A few more alternate ties in different weights and with a black angelina and olive antron body dubbing blend.

The true inspiration behind the Cannonball Caddis.  Cannonball.....Cannonball coming!