The elk hair caddis is all you need

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All those little brown bugs in my driveway, that I find very morning under the yard light, tell me the caddisflies are hatching.

Plus, it’s already the middle of July.

What this means for fly fishermen is that we can pretty much rely on hatch of caddisflies most evenings before dark.

When caddis pupae float to the surface, trout gobble’em up!

The pupae live in tiny casings, sometimes made of stones, attached to submerged rocks.

They are easily identified because the two wings of adults lie over their backs, like a tent.

Hence, some of the most effective fishing flies during a caddis hatch feature tented wings.

Actually, you only need one fly now: the Elk Hair Caddis.

The first fly fishing story I ever sold, many years ago, was titled “One Fly for Montana.”

The Elk Hair Caddis was invented over 60 years ago by famed tier Al Troth, who later lived in Dillon.

The Elk Hair Caddis catches fish when fished dead drift, sometimes even not during a hatch.

A fly fishing novice can catch fish on it, because even if it sinks and is dragged through the water, trout and whitefish will hit it.

The hatch is on! Go catch some fish!

Jerry Smalley’s Fishful Thinking appears weekly in the Hungry Horse News.

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