Barr’s Graphic Caddis
Caddisflies are one of the most abundant and diverse groups of aquatic insects out there. With three varieties of larvae, fly fisherman should familiarize themselves with free-living, net-spinners and case makers. Today, I want to talk about two of our favorite caddis patterns here at Tailwater Junkie.
Barr’s Graphic Caddis is one of our best sellers during the caddis season. This realistic caddis pupa always seems to produce and will fish well anywhere caddisflies are prevalent. This fly features a partridge collar and ostrich herl head that breathes life.
According to John Barr in Barr Flies, “The name Graphic Caddis comes from the use of silver holographic Flashabou under the stretch-tubing body. The Flashabou gives the illusion of the silvery air bubble that accompanies a pupa as it ascends in the water column.” We suggest carrying it in sizes (#14-#16) in both olive and tan colors.
The Bead Head Breadcrust is one of the best caddis imitations ever created. Rudy Sentiwany invented the original pattern back in the early 1940’s for the trout streams in the Pocono Mountains. Ed Rolka later popularized the pattern when he began tying it commercially.
It quickly ganied national attention when Ed started tying it for the Orvis company. In two different colors, red and gray phase, it can imitate a free-living caddis, net-spinner and/or a cased caddis. This alone makes it one of the most verstaile nymphs on the market. We reccommend carrying it in sizes (#10-#18).
During April through June you cannot go wrong fishing a two-fly nymphing rig consisting of a Breadcrust or Graphic Caddis as your lead fly. We recommend fishing these patterns on the dead-drift but allow the flies to swing and the end of the drift. It is never a bad idea to set the hook (a position set) after the flies have swung to see if the a trout grabbed the fly on the rise.
We will often drop a smaller baetis nymph off of the larger attractors. We suggest using a Sparkle Wing RS2, Mercury Pheasant Tail or Foam Wing Emerger as a trailing baetis nymph. This will create a deadly tandem setup that imitates both caddis and baetis nymphs, two of the most important food sources during the spring season.