Fly Patterns - Bill's Fall Phase Stick Caddis

                  Bill's Fall Phase Stick Caddis



Daiichi 1260 or similar bent shank 2x Long hook, sizes 6-10

Bead: Burnt orange glass bead with silver lining


Brown 6/0


Small tuft of dark brown marabou


Brown dubbing mix"Paxton"s Buggy Nymph highlighted with bronze brown Lite Brite

"Sticks": Pheasant tail fibers mixed into the body


1st collar: burnt orange Buggy Nymph;

2nd collar: black Buggy Nymph


Dark brown or black hen (Optional)


15-20 wraps of .020 lead or substitute



The Stick Caddis pattern has been very successful over the years. It was born many years ago in its original form on the North Yuba, one of my favorite streams. The current versions of the fly (there are several) reflect a long metamorphic history of tweaks and improvements. One of my favorite versions is the one I call the "Fall Phase". Although I use the Stick Caddis in one form or another all year long (even for Winter steelies on certain rivers), the Fall Phase is reserved for the magic months of late September, October, and November when the October Caddis hatch is in full swing. Those who have fished the fly can attest to the fact that it is deadly when fished properly, meaning fished as a "rock roller" as Andy Burk would say, right on the  bottom. I combine this fly with an emerger on the rigging, but that's next month's article. For now, let's kick out a few Fall Phase Stick Caddis.

Tying Instructions

1.  Smash the hook barb unless you are using a barbless hook. Place the bead on the hook and cover the shank with 15-20 wraps of lead or substitute. Push the wire up against the bead and cover the shank and wire with thread. Apply a coat of Flexament to hold it all together.




2.  For the tail, cut a small bunch of dark brown marabou and tie it in just above the back end of the barb. With your thumb and forefinger shorten the marabou by pulling on it sharply"don"t use scissors to cut it as it results in a blunt, non-lifelike appearance. 

3.   Form a dubbing loop and insert your dubbing loop tool into the loop. Fill the loop with the dark brown dubbing mix by pulling small bunches of it from a wad held in your hand. This technique is very important to the overall silhouette of the fly.

4.  Twist the loop into a "chenille" by spinning the dubbing loop tool. It helps to hold the loop closed at the point where the dubbing inserted into the loop ends and then spin the tool.



5.  Using hackle pliers, grab the "chenille" at its bottom end, cut the thread below the pliers, and wrap the rear 1/3 of the body. Don"t cut the "chenille;" rather, keep the hackle pliers attached and move them out of the way.

6.  Tie in six pheasant tail fibers, two at a time, spread around the hook. Sweep them back and take a few wraps in front of them. These are the "sticks;" they should be of random lengths when you are done.



7.  Move the thread forward and repeat steps 5 and 6 for the middle 1/3 of the body.

8.  Take two wraps of dubbing in front of the last set of sticks and tie off and cut the dubbing loop. Place a few more "sticks" in front of these last wraps.



9.  Form a second dubbing loop; place three small bunches of burnt orange dubbing and two small bunches of black dubbing into the loop. Twist the loop as in step 4 and wrap the "chenille" forward to behind the bead. This creates the two collars"first the burnt orange, and then the black. Tie off and trim the loop.



10.   Tie in a black or dark brown hen hackle wet fly style and take three wraps behind the bead. Tie off and trim the hackle. Whip finish.




Finished Bill's Fall Phase Stick Caddis Fly



Tying Tips

1. Don"t blunt-cut marabou after it"s been tied in as a tail. Instead, use your fingernails to "pop" it off at the proper length. This creates a more lifelike, uneven appearance that looks much better in the water.

2. When forming a dubbing loop, always close the top of the loop by dropping the bobbin over the loop and then wrapping forward on the shank. This makes it much easier to keep the material inside the loop as you work with it.


Fish this beast in pocket water. The reason I call it the "Fall Phase" is because during the emergence the larva changes color from pale yellow to a burnt orange tone.  See ya on the creek.




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