Tie Talk: Cased Caddis

Today a seldom used fly and a great story involving that bug from Jason Borger's youth. Tying instructions included. Thanks Jason!

"A cased caddis is one of those types of patterns that many trout anglers have in their box, but don't seem to use all that much. I'll admit to being in that category to a degree, and that I should probably tie this type of pattern on more than I do. The fly shown here is one from my father's 1991 book, Designing Trout Flies, and is one that has seen duty in a lot of waters over the years.

"For me, the most memorable experience with this fly came one summer yeas ago on a big western river. It was the peak of the day and the action was slow. Being a kid, I started to get bored once the surface feeders had ceased. I decided that my only hope was to go down after the fish, and the Peeking Caddis I had in my box looked about right: it was heavy and my father had long used cased designs to good effect.

"After lashing the fly to the tippet and molding some weighted putty on the leader, I began to work the deep recesses of the pool in front of me. I got a whole lot of nothing, but at least I was ticking bottom, so I knew I was deep enough.

"Then the fly stopped. I set and got nothing but dead weight--a snag. Then--as the the old story always goes--the "snag" started to move. Not fast, just deliberately. It pulled a lot harder than I wanted it to pull, frankly, since I couldn't so much beyond hold on watch line start to spool off my reel. I pulled back--pretty hard, too--but didn't do much to help matters. I finally started to get a little panicky as the thing's momentum increased and it headed down-stream toward the throat of a rapids.

I tried to stop it, but my youthful attempts yielded little. Suddenly, the fly pulled loose, leaving me with a disappointing softness in my line.

"My mind played the episode over and over. What could it have been? I imagined that it was a huge brown trout, hook-jawed and heavily spotted, like those that I saw enshrined on the walls of Dan Bailey's fly shop. In reality, I had probably hooked the godzilla of suckers, and there was no way I was going to win that battle. Of course, I didn't let that stop me from telling of the encounter, and hoping that as I did, other anglers would also have visions of 6-pound brown trout, and not bugle-mouthed bottom-dwellers."