This next fly in the course is the X Caddis pattern. This is a no hackle dry fly that floats extremely well because of the natural buoyancy of the deer hair and Antron tail.
I can´t recommend the X-caddis enough. No grayling or trout fisherman should be without this pattern in their fly box. The original from John Juraceks and Craig Mathews was intended as a hatching caddis fly that is skating across the surface trying to escape from the nymphal skin that is trailing behind it, before it flies to freedom. This pattern has taken fish for me all over the globe, in all kinds of conditions and not only during caddis hatches but also under extremely selective feeding during mayfly hatches and midge fly fishing. The high flared deer hair wing and head, position the low profile no hackle body, so perfectly in the surface film that grayling just can´t resist it. I have had most success with this pattern in the smaller hook sizes from # 16-18. When tying these smaller sizes I prefer to use the finer hair from the roe deer mask. This hair is nicely marked and extremely fine even for the smallest patterns, and only flares to 45 degrees unlike the more buoyant body hair that will flare to 90 degrees. Although you can tie the X-caddis pattern in various body colours I have found the one shown here the most effective.
X Caddis pattern recipe
- Hook: Mustad R50 94840 # 10-18
- Thread: Dyneema
- Tail: Cream coloured Poly yarn or Z-Lon
- Body: Light Olive Antron dubbing
- Wing/head: Deer hair
How to tie X Caddis
Make sure that when you secure your hook in the vice that the hook shank is horizontal. Cover the hook shank with a layer of tying thread.
Cut a very small piece of cream coloured crimped polypropylene yarn or Z-Lon (material from John Betts) Tie this in where the hook bend begins as shown. You dont need much, this is going to represent the nymph skin trailing behind the hatching caddis. It should be about half the hook shaft length.
Wind your tying thread back to the tail base. Spin a thin dubbing string onto the tying thread and wind tightly forward.
Wind the dubbing forward so that you get a slightly increasing body thickness as you approach the hook eye. Leave 2-3 mm behind the hook eye so you have room for the wing and head. Make a whip finish, but dont remove the tying thread.
Cut a small bunch with fine deer hair and even the points in a hair stacker if you have one. If you dont have a hair stacker try and get the points of the hair as even as possible. Holding the hair measure the wing by holding the hair on top of the hook shank. The wing should be a fraction longer than the body.
While still holding the deer hair make two loose turns of tying thread around the wing and hook shank, still holding the deer hair, then tighten by pulling down. Make 5 or 6 tight turns of tying thread as shown.
With a pair of sharp scissors cut off the excess deer hair over the hook eye with one neat cut as shown. Make a couple of whip finishes and your X caddis is ready. You can also put a tiny drop of varnish just on the whippings
12 thoughts on “X Caddis pattern”
The fly tying instructions are great !
Thank you … Steve
Thanks Steve, keep a look out, there will be more later today.
Articles like this just make me want to visit your website even more.
Reblogged this on Gin Clear and commented:
This is a great pattern. Very nice, simple step-by-step tying instructions.
Should the deer hair flair out like a Comparadun? Or should it be right atop the hook?
The deer hair used should be the same as you use for comparadun’s, hair that fairs only to 45 degrees. If you use longer hair from the winter coat it will flair to 90 degrees when pressure is applied to the tying thread. I personally use hair from a European roe deer mask. The mask contains a huge amount of material that differs in colour length and markings well worth trying to get hold of one if you can!
Bra, lykke til!
først takk for BRA lesing på bloggen din!
jeg plages litt med å få hårvingen til å se fin ut. Tar du et par løse tørn rundt selve vingen FØR du legger den ned på krokskaftet og strammet med et par turn?
I’m wondering does it flair out to the sides too or does it all sit directly atop the hook?
Hi Steve, it depends! If you wish to fish it high and dry it should flare a little out to the sides to support the fly on the surface. But if you wish to fish it as a emerger, which I personally think is best, the wing should be high, so the body of the fly is partially submerged.
Thank you. I must say, this is my favourite fly fishing site. You are really doing an excellent job. The quality of information and presentation is first rate, It’s always interesting.
Well, thank you Steve for taking the time to view.
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