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Caddis Nymphs

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As spring rolls in and temps warm, Caddis start to become more active. Caddis nymphs will become a part of the trout’s diet on a regular basis through early spring and well into the late summer and early fall months. Considering there is technically no "nymphal" stage in the caddis fly's development. The caddis nymph fly is commonly referred to caddis larvae or caddis pupa patterns. Nymph caddis flies, not to be mistaken for dry caddis flies undergo complete metamorphosis. Their life cycle includes four stages egg, larva, pupa and adult. Most produce one generation per year. Larvae do not live in protective cases, but like other caddisfly larvae, they build protective structures for the pupae. At any time, trout could be feeding on a caddis fly nymph.

The Caddis nymph is a very widespread dry fly and is one of the most abundant in trout streams. There is a range of subspecies to this family of caddis nymphs which makes for a wide selection of caddis fly nymph patterns. The larval stage is on the bottom of the river year-round, so they become a constant food source and become important to any trout in a river. Caddis fly nymphs can range from case building down to many species that will use no protection at all other than the rocks. They can commonly be found underneath logs in the bottom of the river. Some of the caddis fly nymphs resemble this stage are, Caddis Larva in various colors, SRI Caddis and the Peeking Caddis.

The next stage in caddis nymphs would be the pupa stage, the last stage of the lifecycle before becoming an adult. The larvae will often form small cocoon like structures and adhere them to the rocks at the bottom of rivers. It is here where they will “pupate” and prepare for adulthood. The caddis pupa looks like the adult although they are covered in a protective membrane that will make them appear to glisten. During this stage the caddis becomes an easy target to trout and a great food source during the emergence from pupa to the adult. Summer months produce the best caddis hatches when the water warms which brings us amazing dry fly fishing. But, fishing the emergence and focusing on emerging caddis can be way more deadly at times. This is why having a good variation of caddis fly nymphs can mean all the difference.