Fly Profile: Elk Hair October Caddis

Dan Curtis’ Elk Hair October Caddis
Ok, I’m all fired up because it’s late August and there’s already fresh snow on the mountains and the weather forecasters are calling for frost. All I can think about are fall hatches and that includes the October caddis. You’ll find that bug on lots of Rocky Mountain streams from now into November with a major presence happening in late September and through October.

In my mind, the bastion of the fall caddis is in Idaho’s northern panhandle where the St. Joe, Kelly Creek, the Coeur d’ Alene and the North Fork Clearwater beckon. Take a pile of Dan Curtis’ Elk Hair October Caddis to that region in September and prepare to slay—those wild, native westslope cutthraots crush this pattern.

Notes: The elk-hair caddis was created by Al Troth of Dillon, Mont., but this October variation was created by Dan Curtis of Rathdrum, Idaho, to match caddis that emerge on northern Idaho’s wonderful cutthroat and rainbow trout streams during fall.

According to Curtis, the best time to fish this pattern is when adult female caddis return to the river to deposit eggs. Typically, anglers findegg-laing females most abundant in the afternoon and evening.

You can fish the Elk Hair October Caddis in riffled water, but it may be more effective when danced across slick glides and tailouts to simulate the actual insect. Expect violent strikes.

Hook: TMC 900 BL, sizes 8 and 10

Rib: Fine gold wire

Body: Blend of golden rabbit, yellow seal, and golden retreiver underfur

Hackle: Long brown saddle

Wings: Elk body hair

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