Maternal Instincts

Fishing the Mother's Day Caddis Hatch. 

Still suffering from cabin fever? Well, it’s time to dust off those winter cobwebs and get ready for the first big hatch of the year, the Mother’s Day Caddis Hatch.

This hatch is best experienced in person, as it has to be fished to truly be appreciated. It’s not always the easiest hatch to hit just right, but when you do you’ll never forget it. The Black’s Ford Caddis Pupae is a relatively simple and effective pupae (aka, caddis emerger) pattern that fishes well behind a dry fly, as your dropper on a nymph rig, or swung like a soft hackle. This pattern can be modified in a number of ways to fit one’s needs and desires.

Hook: Standard scud/pupae hook, size 14-16
Thread: 8/0 or 70 denier black
Body: Caddis green Ice Dub
Back: Turkey tail fibers
Rib: Small gold wire
Wingcase: Brown razor foam (can be substituted with turkey tail)
Wings/Legs: Natural CDC fibers and natural hare’s ear guard hairs (or natural-colored rabbit dubbing)

1. Start at about mid-shank. Wrap the over the turkey fibers until midway around the bend of the hook.
2. Tie in the gold wire on top or on the far side of the hook and dub Ice Dub 2/3 up the shank. Note the body is slightly larger toward the rear of the fly and gets smaller toward the head.
3. Pull forward the turkey fibers, then rib the gold wire with a few evenly spaced wraps.
4. Cut a strip of razor foam at least one inch long and half the width of the hook shank. Tie it in so the extra material is angled toward the rear of the hook.
5. Create a dubbing loop with equal parts Ice Dub and guard hairs from a hare’s mask. Wrap forward toward the eye of the hook with just enough space to tie in the wingcase and have a small thread head.
6. Pull forward the razor foam, tie in, and trim. Whip finish or half hitch and add a drop of head cement. You can also pick out the hare’s ear and CDC at this point to bring out more fibers.

Jimmy Armijo-Grover is the general manager of Gallatin River Guides in Big Sky and has been obsessed with fly tying and fly fishing for over 33 years.