The skating caddis is another of Gary La-Fontaine’s signature patterns, and again devised from many hours of observances of the natural in the field.
This pattern is used to represent the adult caddis as it skitters about the stream surface laying its eggs.
As the caddis skims the stream surface dipping its ovipositor into the meniscus it leaves a small V-shaped wake which is what the trout key in on, and that is the key to how best to fish this particular fly.
This is not a pattern that I normally fish during the day, although it would still be quite effective on those warm late-spring days when big caddis can be seen fluttering clumsily about the stream surface.
My favourite method is to use this fly as part of a tandem rig with a deep caddis pupa fished below, casting across and downstream the deep pupa will swing across and rise through the water column while the skater is skimming across the surface leaving a nice little wake to rouse the attention of the trout.
Trout taking caddis generally do not sip the flies delicately, as there is a sense of urgency to grab the cheeky sucker from the surface before it has the chance to fly away.
Fishing the two-fly rig, I generally high stick the rod, that is to say hold the fly rod up at about 45, as the flies move across the current I tend to lower the rod slowly until it is parallel with the surface by the time the fly line is directly downstream.
Now anyone who has fished an evening rise will understand the frustration of standing in a run with fish bopping about everywhere and for the most part ignoring the old favourites like Royal Wulffs, Hairwing Coachman, and so on. You stand there fingers trembling as you try to change flies with one eye, while the other is frantically scanning the water looking for where that huge slash has just come from.
As with the fading light so does your eyesight as you try to position yourself facing west and holding leader and fly at arms length try to maximise the last rays as your trying to thread the needle. And of course still trying to look over your shoulder to no try and spot the lunker that has moved out from under the willow on the far bank.
Save yourself a whole lot of heartache, frustration, strokes and insanity. Tie on the Hi-Vis Skating Caddis with the caddis pupa and you can fish up to and right through the evening madness.
TYING INSTRUCTIONS and MATERIALS
|HOOK:||Mustad R50 # 12-14|
|BODY:||Cream Czech nymph dubbing|
|HACKLE:||Brown cock hackle.|
|WING:||EP fibres Golden sulphur.|
|RIB:||Fine gold wire.|