The March fly of the month from PRO-Team member Paul Procter is the Stick Fly. To see the fly of the month for February, click here.
Hook: Sprite all purpose nymph size 8-10
Thread: Black 14/0 Sheer
Underbody: Lead wire
Body (case): Hare or rabbit fur duding
Collar (grub): Wool or floss of your choice Glo-Brite No12 floss used here)
Hackle (legs): Black hen
Spring might well see lengthening days when a touch of warmth creeping into the afternoons encourages all manner of fly to hatch. Despite these promising signs, conditions remain chilly overall, especially if a cruel arctic blast brings a threat of snow. Emergent insects take a knock now though down on the lake or river bed, it’s business as usual where cased caddis are concerned.
Obviously the shelters of many caddis larvae are created from tiny pebbles, grit and sand, which affords them a fair bit of ballast, keeping them anchored. Yet, spring gales on stillwaters produce strong undertows that stir up water and dislodge cased caddis. On rivers too, water trundling through at a fair lick pretty much does the same. Both scenarios inevitably have trout on the lookout for the tube like bundles of cased caddis.
This simple Stick Fly pattern ticks all the boxes both in terms of being a plausible imitation and not overly complicated to dress. It has to be, as fished correctly on rivers, chances are you’ll catch up on annoying snags, often robbing you of flies! A generous layer of lead wire provides that all-important weight though also helps shape the overall profile of a caddis case. Various materials can be incorporated to suggest the stony case or shelter itself. A good all-rounder is a blend of rabbit and hare’s fur dubbing. Whatever you choose be certain to utilize the dubbing loop technique, which makes for a neat, compact structure as per the natural. A generous dollop of varnish instantly soaks into dubbed turns and improves durability no end.
The caddis grub itself is best copied using a few wraps of wool or floss. Most natural grubs tend to be cream, white, pale yellow or green in colour. Naturally then a degree of license exists here though I’ve always scored well with dressing boasting a fluorescent green looking grub (collar). A turn or two of black hen hackle to mimic legs finished the job nicely.