We will start with number ten and work our way up the list each day for the next ten days examining why I prefer each pattern and what times of the year they are most effective. Number ten is a great example of why people shouldn't sleep on the classics. There is only one other fly that I have landed more fish with on the surface and I can't tell you what it is yet because it's number two on my list. The Elk Hair Caddis in sizes 14-18 is a must have dry fly in Colorado. One of the funnest hatches to fish is the Mothers Day Caddis Hatch on the legendary Arkansas River, but anywhere there are hatching caddis in the spring and fall it is a safe bet that you can catch fish on the Elk Hair.
|#10 Elk Hair Caddis|
The best times of the year to use this pattern are starting around late March through the middle of July, and again starting around September through the beginning of November. Size 16 in the color tan is what I prefer to use to imitate the adult caddis. It might surprise you that caddis aren't limited to small streams and rivers and that they live in lakes and reservoirs as well. And the Elk Hair is my go to fly in stillwater.
The hollow Elk hair and the hackle feather it's wrapped with give this fly great air trapping qualities which means it rides high on the water's surface and floats well without a lot of special treatments such as gink or any other silicone based floatants. It's hard to beat true originals and the same holds true for flyfishing. Even though this is number ten on the list save an entire side of your dry fly box for the Elk Hair Caddis and you're well on your way to consistently catching fish on the surface.
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Tight Lines and Screaming Reels!