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After my recent Sunday outing that saw a massive caddis hatch, a discussion with other knowledgeable anglers in our area has lead me to believe that what I have referred to as the “Gray Caddis” hatch was incorrect. I’ve been fishing a different hatch. That’s not to say I was completely wrong, the Gray Caddis hatches during this same period and perhaps some of the hatches in the past included the Gray Caddis (i.e. two or more hatches were overlapping). There is some debate as to what specie I was witnessing come off but what is not debatable is that it’s the same specie I’ve been running into for the last couple years. I didn’t stop to pick up adults when they were hatching in force on Sunday, that was a rookie mistake I won’t make again. With that said my curiosity had to be satisfied so I went searching for more of those same caddis hoping I could find a few hatching to gather more information for the weeks to come. Along the way I managed a handful of Browns on a #8 Black Hairball and in between I did toss a #16 EHC for fun…I love rising trout and rise they did, even with minimal hatching adults the EHC took fish after fish, crushed upon subtle impact.

General Notes/Observations:

  • Two Sizes of Caddis Adults found: #16 and a #18 (Referring to Body Length).
  • The #16 Showed a Lighter Colored Wing w/Olive & Black Abdomen/Body.
  • The #18 Showed a Darker Colored Wing w/a Mostly Black body with a spot of Olive.
  • The #16 and #18 were found mating so I’ve got to think they are the male/female of the specie.
  • Legs on Both were Black changing to Cream or Tan at the end of the legs.
  • There were more of the #16’s around than the #18’s by 2:1 easy.
  • A Search of the substrate and riffles showed a majority of the tubular cased shells were sealed for the beginning of the pupating process. I am not sure if this is the larval form for this adult or not but it was the only larval form pupating that I found in quantities that would support this hatch.
  • Catching Caddisflies and documenting them with a camera even under good lighting conditions is difficult, especially when your searching for the few that are around. Also, remember that a photo taken doesn’t necessarily represent the colors of the natural 100% all of the time, lighting plays a huge role in what you take home with you and reference later.
  • Note the width of the body on the #16, something to think about, maybe break out of that perfectly Mayfly tapered body mold for a change, after all isn’t it size, shape, then color? Size and shape of these bodies are not consistent with the standard Mayfly.

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  1. Fortunately fishing them is more straightforward than identifying them! My bet is that there are 2 or 3 species, but as long as it’s gray(ish) and a caddis, I’ll fish them pretty much the same.

    avatar JRS
  2. I would tend to agree but prior to this I was putting a grey winged, black bodied adult pattern on fish when I was seeing these. What I am thinking now is that it should be a Grey/Tan with maybe some Darker Brown in #16/18 with maybe an olive body.

    I am perhaps more…particular than most, that is just my nature.

  3. Caddis are indeed bulbous in the abdomen. To reverse a Captain Beefheart-ism, “slow and bulbous!”
    I continue to enjoy your posts and envy you your location.
    Thanks, Jim

    avatar Jim Anderson

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