CAD11. Goddard's Green Caddis (G&H Sedge) Fly
GODDARD'S CADDIS FLY PATTERNS. Hook size 10 12 14 16 18 - $US each - Great for rough water
& HENRY'S CADDIS DRY FLY PATTERNS
The Goddard's caddis with clipped hair body work great on fast water over big rocks where higher flotation and visibility is important. It also works well on quieter water, The trout looking up at the surface recognize the silhouetted shape of the clipped Goddard's Caddis as that of the natural caddis. On bright sunny days fishing on water that is reflecting the sunshine it can get difficult keeping track of your fly. Use a White Goddard's Caddis. If the sun goes in try a more natural colored Goddard’s caddis to match the local hatch like this on.
Originally this caddis imitation was called the 'G & H Sedge' (John Goddard & Cliff Henry sedge) and still is in Britain. Sedge is another name for Caddis. It was designed by the fly fishing entomologists Mr John Goddard and Mr Cliff Henry after they had observed and studied the silhouette of caddis flies as they skittered invitingly over the water's surface during the later part of the day. They wound buoyant deerhair onto a hook and then sculptured the material until it matched the insect's wing and body shape. They ended up with a nearly unsinkable fly that when retrieved on the water surface produced a realistic wake. The trout loved it. It was a radical design when it was first published in fly fishing magazines and pattern books. To understand the design of this Caddis fly you need to know a little of the natural history of the caddis. When the caddis hatch the emergent adult tries to swim as fast as it can to the safety of the bank. In this mad dash for survival it creates a 'V' shaped wake a bit like a small speed boat. The trout are on the look out for this give away sign of fast food on the move and home in on these flies with some spectacular takes. The blunt stubby wings that copy the shape of the natural insects's wing cause a disturbance on the retrieve, in the water surface that mimics that caused by the scuttering adults.
Goddard's Caddis flies are not the answer to all your rising fish fly fishing situations. When the trout are sipping little blue winged olives from the water surface they will often ignore a large floating Goddard's. But during quiet periods without any major hatch underway the Goddard's Caddis is a great searching fly for drawing strikes from larger than average trout. The versatility of this fly is the key to its success. Fished dead-drifted over a rising trout will often draw a strike, but when this does not work the high floating characteristics means it can be skated, twitched or otherwise worked on the surface to get a response. Sometimes these tactics can draw slashing strikes from large fish as big trout hammer the fly with the same gusto of a big bass taking a surface deerhair popper.
I like to fish these flies down and across the stream. I use a reach-casting and then slack line technique to avid drag. When the line tightens in the current I twitch the fly briefly and then lower the rod tip to create slack and the momentary dead drift of the fly as if it is resting. I dress both fly and leader with floatant. The leader must be floating along with the fly or your twitches will drag the fly under. Sometimes I only dress the fly with floatant. The leader tippet sinks drawing the fly under when it is twitched. If you give it some slack at this point the deer hair will bob quickly back up to the surface in an action trout find irresistible. The Goddard's Caddis's extreme buoyancy means that it also works well as a strike indicator
The common or slang term ‘sedge’ originates from the fact that adult Caddis flies can often be found clinging to sedge grass near the waters. Sedge/Caddis flies have four wings. The forward pair are normally a little longer than those at the rear. At rest their wings lie close along the body in an inverted V shape. Caddis flies do not have tails but many have long antenna. The Latin name for this group of flies is ‘Trichoptera’. They pass through four stages in their development; egg, larva, pupa and adult. The eggs are laid by the adult female in large jelly mass, which often floats on the water surface and drift until they stick to some river side vegetation. Some species lay their eggs directly on vegetation.
The eggs hatch into larva in about 10-12 days. The Larvae produce a sticky substance and attach what ever material in on the river bed to their body. This offers protection and camouflage. The pupa stage lasts for several days. The fully formed pupa has middle body legs that it uses to swim to the surface to hatch. Some species choose the shore or vegetation to emerge rather than open water where they are easy prey for the trout.
Adult caddis flies vary in size. Their bodies are rather drab in color from gray, brown to green. The wings are mottled, patterned or pale and vary in colour from black, brown to gray. If the fish are not taking fly patterns of natural colors try a brightly colored attractor pattern of the correct shape. Most hatch early or late evening. Some hatch in the afternoon and some at night. The fish have two chances of catching these flies; when they emerge and when they return to lay eggs. Some species have a problem drying their wings and remain on the surface for a considerable time, causing a disturbance. Others that move to shore to hatch fully also cause a disturbance.
I can always remember my first introduction to fly fishing using caddis flies. At the village pub one summers evening a friend of mine had been telling tales of the great sedge hatches on the lake near his house. I expressed an interest to try this style of fly fishing and he invited me to have a try the following evening. He told me to meet him at 9pm. I felt this was a bit late but I turned up on time anxious to get started.
He did not rush. There was barley an hour left of daylight. When we got to the lake it was flat. Nothing was moving. I was a bit disappointed. We rowed the boat upwind of a broadleaf weed bed. He told me to wait and watch. For about 15 minutes nothing stirred. I was so impatient to get my rod out and try a few casts before we lost the light. Out of the corner of my eye I detected movement. About 40 yards downwind the first adult caddis flies were starting to emerge and scutter towards the weed beds and relative safety. This woke up the trout. The next batch to hatch were attacked in a wild feeding frenzy. We put the boat within striking distance and caught fish after fish for the next two hours with the aid of moonlight.
Try letting the fly sit stationary on the water surface and just give it a little tweak. If that fails skating the fly across the surface very fast by pulling the line with the left hand and at the same time raising the rod. Make sure you do not raise it more than 60-70 degrees from the horizontal or you will be in danger of having no room left to strike. After each retrieve lower the rod about 10 degrees and recover the line. Be prepared for strikes when the fly is moving not just when it stops.
When fishing from a boat try to do what is called a re-float, gently lifting the rod tip and just letting the fly skip back towards you for a few feet while staying awake for a strike at any moment. Often the trout jump out of the water and down onto the fly causing many fisherman to try setting the hook before the fish has the fly in it's mouth. A re-float is done by picking the fly rod tip up after caddis fly is on the water. This gently skips the fly back towards you. Now lower the rod tip and once again lets the fly drift. Besides imitating the natural habit of a caddis laying eggs on the water, it increases the time spent fishing instead of casting resulting in much more water covered and fished by the fly.
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