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Swing Into Summer with Caddis Emergers

The caddis emerger is the unsung hero of the summer fly box and deserves a little love!

As the caddis larva prepares to transition from larva to adult it closing itself within a case, (similar to its terrestrial cousins the moth and butterfly in their cocoons) the caddis will pupate before breaking through the case and beginning its emergence. Sharing the characteristics of both the larva and adult, the pupa's mature wings are trapped beneath its pupal shuck (or skin) while its adult antenna and fully developed legs are free. Most caddis pupa will swim towards the surface, whereupon breaking through the surface of the water, they will break free from their pupal shuck and fly to the streamside vegetation.

Similar to the mayfly emerger, the caddis pupa is indecisive and will often travel up and down between the bed of the river and the surface before committing to its final push to the top. This lack of conviction and commitment results in a feeding frenzy as trout fill themselves on juicy caddis pupa (aka emergers)!

Our go-to rig for fishing every caddis hatch is a 2 fly rig of a dry caddis on top (an Elk Hair Caddis or Foam Caddis will get the job done) and trailing a caddis emerger as a dropper below. When fishing this rig, always be sure to let the flies drift until the line draws tight downstream, forcing the emerger pattern to swing towards the surface of the water and temping the trout to strike before their meal flies away!

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