X Caddis

By Nick Simonson

The X Caddis is that perfect imitation of a struggling bug trapped in the surface film of a stream or lake.  Unable to quite break free of the weight of its shuck, this in-transition insect is an easy meal for a hungry fish below.  Quick to tie and effective to fish, the X Caddis stays perfectly in place, not above the water, not below it, but right in that zone that signals “dinner time.”  Crank a bunch out and be ready for the first caddis hatch of the year!

Hook: Dry, Size 12-16
Thread: 6/0 Tan
Tail: Antron Yarn
Body: Dry Fly Dubbing
Wing: Stacked Elk Hair

Click Here for Step-by-Step Tutorial

Start the X Caddis by tying in a tail of antron yarn fibers that extend about one hook length back from the fly (1).  At the bend, create a dubbing yarn utilizing dry fly dubbing of your choice or based on the color of the predominant caddis flies on a given water (2).  Wrap the dubbing-coated thread forward to form the body of the fly (3).

Select a pinch of elk hair, clean it and stack it in a hair stacker; tie it in about one hook eye length back from the eye to form the wing, being certain to wrap the threads repeatedly over the same tie in point without going too far back or forward (4).  Trim the hairs with a slightly diagonal cut of the scissors, forming an angled head (5).  Secure the hairs with a couple of thread wraps under the head, and then whip finish and add a drop of cement (6).

The elk hair provides the buoyancy, the antron tail dangles tantalizingly in the water and fish can’t resist this offering whether there’s a major hatch, or nothing going on, so give it a shot when prospecting. Tie a bunch up and the X Caddis will mark the spot for good fishing!

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