The sight of a beautiful trout or grayling rising majestically to the surface inhaling an insect is the highlight of many flyfishers dream – the sight that drives us off to the water again and again.

One of the most important insect species is sedge or caddisflies, which can occur in massive quantities and which can really lure the fish to the surface. It is estimated that there are up to 15,000 species within caddisflies against “only” about 3,000 species of mayflies. Therefore, there must not be a lack of caddisflies in any fly fisherman’s box when hunting trout or graylings in both running and stillwater. Like the mayflies, the caddisflies are important both as nymphs, emergers and adults, and imitations are plentiful.

The roof-shaped wing and the relatively thick body and head, give the fly tyer a fine opportunity to tie life-like imitations with lots of material, which ensures good floating properties.

Here, the Swedish fly tyer and fly fisherman Håkan Karsnäser shows his bid for a good caddis imitation. This can be tied in versions to imitate the very smallest species from a few millimeters to the very largest Phryganea Grandis, which can achieve a length up to 50 mm.

Pro Caddis – by Håkan Karsnäser

Hook: Ahrex FW504 – Dry Fly Short
Thread: Brown
Body: Beige colored cdc
Wing: Pro Sportfisher Caddis Wing, colored with a brown marker
Head: Natural Deer-hair

Tie in a beige colored cdc-feather at the tip.
Wrap the cdc-feather for creating the body.
Trim the body by cutting the longest fibres – leaving a furry body left.
The wing is the pre-cut caddiswing from Pro Sportfisher. To match the color of the original insect, the wing is colored by a permanent marker.
The colored wing is tied in.
Add a bunch of deer-hair for the head and let the tips cover the wing.
Tighten the thread, spin the deerhair and create a muddler-head.
Finish off the tying thread.
Trim the deer-hair with a scissor.
The finished Pro Caddis.
The profile of the caddis from the top.

This version is with with a head of deerhair for excellent floating properties, but a more traditionally version with a dryflyhackle like the one below can also be excellent – and less messy while tying…

A beautiful trout from the Gunnison River was fooled by a small caddis-imitation by swedish dryfly-legend Stefan Larsson.

In this video, Lars Chr Bentsen ties his version of a Pro Caddis – but with a cdc head instead of deer hair – all versions work excellent, so give them am both a try.