The Case of the Cased Caddis: Davy Wotton

Dave Phillips with a rare Rim Shoals Trophy rainbow trout 22″ x 16″ caught on a DW Cased Caddis _ Davy Wotton image

Davy Wotton has been bending fingers to keyboard, in between developing new fly patterns and putting his fly fishers onto some great fish. Davy had kindly sent us a couple of articles, I reckon you will really enjoy. Thanks Davy and T-Bird for the images.

There are essentially two larva stages of the caddis life cycle, the only
major difference is species other than that is is how they live in their laval
stage which amounts to the fact they either make a case and reside in it
during their growth or they are free swimmers or net spinners.

In either cases both are vulnerable to trout either by the fact that
trout pick them up from the stream bed or they become vulnerable during the
stages of behavioral drift. That is when the larva by choice choose to use the
natural movement of the stream to move further downstream.

In the case of our tail waters often as not caddis larva are forced to
move as water levels rise and fall or are subject to the force of water flow
that dislodges them from the substrate, either way there are many zones
through the White river system that contains many millions of caddis larva of
the different species known to habit our waters.



Depending on the caddis species and the available matter which would
include aquatic vegetation, gravel, sand all of which are if you like house
building materials. Some species are in fact very particular in so far as what
they choose to use to form the case which is also a means to identify specific

Bear in mind also that after the egg of the larva is deposited by the
adult caddis there is growth, in some cases caddis larva will produce a case
as long as 2 ins, often known as stick caddis, in this case generally formed
from small sticks.


There are many fly patterns tyed to represent either the free swimmers or
cases caddis, that said in general terms it is not necessary to go to great
lengths to tie elaborate fly patterns, all that is generally needed is a good
representation of the caddis case.

Often as not due to the fact that you need to fish the fly close to the
river bed losses can be high.

In our case for the White river caddis larva particularly at this time of
the year are a good bet for sure, more to the point both Bows and large Browns
love em. Do not let the high water deter you from fishing caddis larva, sure
the water levels may change but the larva are still there..

Past two days at Rim have produced for my fisherman some 1st class
fishing. Many of the materials you need for these flies are low cost such as
peacock herl, hares ear dubbing in different colors of tan and olive. 

You may add a bead head or another preferred alternative is to lead the
hook shank, which is one of my preferences or you can use the free bead method
which gives you the choice of both bead color and weight.


My rigs are set up by 4 methods and generally include a dropper,normally
a white tail midge.

If there is one big mistake anglers make it is fishing weight either too
close to the fly or too much weight or both, it is largely a issue related to
your overall leader length and the drift time to allow for the flies to sink
to the productive zone. 

1st Rig is simply build by tying a stop knot 1ft below this a detached
dropper 1ft below that is the position for the tail fly, normally the caddis
larva is tied to the dropper, weight is added above the stop knot.

2nd Rig  is built by tying a dropper, 1ft to 15 ins below a stop
knot 1ft to 15 ins below the tail fly is tied. Weight is added above the stop

3rd Rig   is built by  tying a dropper, 1ft to 15 ins
below that a bead of choice is put on the leader then the caddis larva is tied
for the tail fly.

4th Rig   is built by tying a dropper, 1ft to 15ins below that
a second dropper, below that 1ft to 15ins you tie a stop knot, your weight is
added above this stop knot.

Why do l choose to use different rigs, the answer is very simple, they
all cause the flies to drift in a different manner to the stream bed, one of
which will be the lost productive, the other main reason is due to the nature
of the substrate l am fishing over, is it clean gravel, rocky bottom. Further
the above rigs are also related to all other means of fishing a two fly nymph


NOTE: We can take custom orders for the cased caddis (minimum of 6 flies in each size and color) . We also have good stocks of TMC competition jig hooks in stock and beads.