Which is it?

The Forum is Closed. Forums The Hatch Which is it?

This topic contains 3 replies, has 3 voices, and was last updated by  Scotty MacFly 1 year, 5 months ago.

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    Scotty MacFly

    I went out today to the Saint Vrain and did some dry fly fishing along the banks. The Saint Vrain doesn’t get all blown out like other bigger rivers do, and wading was definitely doable, though I just stayed on the bank and casted along it, dipping in between the rocks and such, doing my run off search & detroy thing.

    I was fishing with a dry tandem with a elk hair caddis as the lead fly. I got tangled up so many times, and caught in the willows & weeds beyond comprehension. I switched the caddis to a Royal Wulff and didn’t have any more issues. I then remembered that every time I fish the elk hair bad things would happen. And to this day, after all these years I still have never had a trout go for my elk hairs. This is just my opinion, but I am starting to believe the all famous elk hair caddis is just a lie.

    I really really hate that fly. In fact, they are going to vacate my fly box.

    So after a day on the water, and putting up with that fly, I was wondering, and this being the Dry Fly Forum, is there a dry fly in your box perhaps that you just despise? A fly you have no confidence in? A fly that looks good, but performs like ****?

    I would rather use a San Juan worm than use an Elk Hair Caddis.



    Flies that don’t catch trout are razored off and the hooks re-used for flies that do work.

    Some flies act like a propeller and twist the leader, especially if the tippet is too fine for the given bug. Switching from say a #20 beetle on a long 6x tippet to a #14 variant without changing to a more appropriate length of 4x will make a tangled mess in just a few casts. Heavily palmered flies like EHC’s tend to be the worst tippet twisters – maybe this is what’s happening?

    I rarely use EHC’s anymore – look up the CDC and Elk – a no hackle pattern that kills for me. Plus it takes maybe three minutes to tie one. CDC flies are a pain ’cause they gets slimed and you have to constantly put on a fresh one but at least for me the fly works so much better than an EHC it’s worth the trouble.



    I catch a ton of fish on the E HC. I put it in the same class as an Adams and always have them with me.

    You do have to use it on waters that have caddis. Which is every water I fish. I never fished the St Vrain, but I seem to remember John Gierach saying the EHC is a fly he used on it.

    Are you fishing the EHC in a quiet drag free drift Scotty? That’s not how the real adult acts. It needs action put on it. Jerk it around.


    Scotty MacFly

    You both gave me advice I didn’t think of.
    I was using about a 12 leader & tippet set up and using 5x tippet. So going shorter and thicker may be one answer to the problem.
    Yes Creek, I was targeting all the soft water I could find. Not too deep or muddy. I could still see rocks below the surface. I do remember watching an episode of The New Fly fisher and Bill Spicer said to twitch the caddis because it spotters across the water. Thanks for bringing that up. Maybe I will have to give it another go before I give those flies the eviction notice.

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