Fly of the Month –  October Caddis  

Pattern, notes & photo by John Kreft
Used by permission
From the October 2017 newsletter

RiverKeeper-October-Caddis.jpgHook: Dai Riki 270 # 8 – 10
Thread: Black
Body: Orange wool
Rib: Small gold wire
Hackle: Brown furnace
Underwing: Black krystal flash
Wing: Black dyed elk

Summer’s over. It’s Fall and the weather is just beginning to turn. My wife doesn’t like hearing that. But what does that mean to a fly fisher? Well, October is just around the corner and I saw a few October Caddis on the river last week. I thought about how important they are to the fish.

These bugs are BIG. I’m talking about a size 8 caddis pattern, not the familiar size 16 & 18 caddis, pale morning duns (PMD) and blue wing olives (BWO) the fish have been eating lately. Every once in awhile, you’ll see a big, splashy rise. Maybe it was a fish taking an October Caddis!

Here is a fly I tyed and fished in 2014. It’s a slight variation to a standard Elk Hair Caddis fly pattern. Think I’ll call it the RiverKeeper October Caddis!

Fish an October Caddis pattern in the afternoon and evening when the adults are most active. I blind-cast these when I don’t see any fish rising and WHAM! Other times, cast it to a fish that’s eating other bugs and see if they’ll eat it. An occasional twitch of the rod tip will provide movement similar to the real caddis. Give it a try.

October Caddis begin hatching about this time of year, but I see them sporadically throughout the year on the Metolius River in Oregon. I’ve heard about tremendous hatches on other rivers. Perhaps it’s your home water. Celebrate the changing seasons by getting out on the river.


  1. Start thread on hook immediately behind hook eye and advance to barb.
  2. Tie in gold wire at the barb of hook.
  3. Tie in orange wool and wind forward. Stop 2 eye lengths back from eye.
  4. Tie in hackle where body stopped and wrap back to barb using 5 – 6 evenly spaced wraps.
  5. Hold hackle and using wire, wrap forward in 5 – 6 evenly spaced wraps and tie off at end of body. Wiggle wire while wrapping forward to prevent catching hackle barbs. Trim wire and hackle.
  6. Tie in 3 strands of krystal flash. After securing, fold remaining material back for wing. This technique will provide a total of 6 strands of flash for the underwing.
  7. Prepare elk hair, stack and measure proper amount for wing. Tie in elk hair where body stopped. Using pinch wrap, take 2 soft wraps, then pull straight down to tighten thread around hair and hook. Continue to wrap another 5 tight wraps. Pull hair ends upright and wrap thread through ends (2 or 3 times) to strengthen and keep hair in place. Trim butt ends of elk.
  8. Form head and whip finish or use half hitches to complete fly. Trim thread.

More fly patterns, insects they imitate, and fly fishing advice is available at John’s website: