Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Tying the Bighorn CDC X-Caddis

If you are going to fish the Bighorn River in Montana during the period from late July into September, this fly is a must have.  Almost daily, the black caddis (Brachycentrus sp.) hatch from late morning right up until darkness over takes the big river, and the trout feed on them throughout the period.  I tie them with and without the trailing zelon shuck, preferring the pattern with the shuck in the faster riffles as it helps support the rear-end of the hook and keep the whole fly up on the film.  The bottom line is that this pattern works very well, and I can't wait to get on the river later this month to enjoy the feast-ivities.


Hook: TMC100 16-20
Thread: 6/0 Black Danville
Shuck: Amber zelon
Body: Olive-grey superfine
Wing: Two dark dun CDC feather tips.

I also tie these with a small ball of caddis green ice dubbing in place of the shuck to imitate the egg-laying females that come to the river near dusk - those are the eggs on my waders in the video.  I fish this pattern in the surface film, and also will fish it as I would a wet fly - dead-drift and let it swing at the bottom of the drift.

Egg-laying CDC Caddis
Thanks to Tim Flagler for another great job producing the video.

Sharpen your hooks!


Anonymous said...

Sure would like to hear about your Bighorn River trip! Did you wade, or float? Which section(s) did you fish, and which areas did you like most? What times of day did you find most productive? Was the dry fly fishing good throughout the day, or did you nymph until evening? Did you stay in Fort Smith? What were the good and bad things about the trip? I heard that there is a lot of moss in the river. If so, was it a problem? I'm thinking of going next year and I've gleaned a lot of info on-line, but your commentary would be appreciated.

Anonymous said...

Matt, I sent the original comment with questions about your Bighorn trip, and appreciate the response. My Dad (80) and I are going to the Bighorn in August this year. Since we're both getting a little long in the tooth, we decided to go the guided route, although your self-guided trips sound like a lot more fun. I've been tying some Bighorn X-Caddis and Harrop's CDC Bubble Back Caddis to take along. Even though our guide will furnish flies, it's always more satisfying to catch on a self-tied fly, so I hope that the black caddis are still plentiful when we get there. When I tell the guide that I want to use my own fly, I want to make it count :). I know we'll have fun, however the fishing turns out.
I have thoroughly enjoyed your tying videos and fishing reports. Best of luck for your Montana trip, too.