Quill-Winged Caddis

Return to Flies With a Story


Flies With a Story #79:

Flies and story by John Wight of Bethel, Maine

John is a Master Maine Guide and Registered New Hampshire Fishing Guide. He guides on several western Maine streams and rivers and drifts the Androscoggin in Maine and New Hampshire in a 16-foot drift boat he built himself. John has guided more than 50 canoe trips on Maine’s renowned Allagash River. When not guiding, John teaches Mathematics and coaches cross-country skiing at Gould Academy in Bethel, Maine.


"... About 60% of my dry fly fishing is with a caddis pattern ...."

Inside of 30-minutes from my home in western Maine you can wade for trout in cool, clear mountain streams or drift the Androscoggin River in both NH and Maine. For me as a guide this is a perfect set up for fishing for cold water fish.

Most of the insect activity comes from various caddis hatches, with a few stone flies at certain times of the season. Fishing carefully over a variety of runs, riffles, pocket-water, and pools, offers many chances to present flies to waiting fish. Stealthy movements are rewarded, and exact hatch matching is not always necessary.

About 60% of my dry fly fishing is with a caddis pattern I call the Quill-winged Caddis.  I use about 10 variations of this simple design. This fly is easy to tie and, depending on the quantity of hackle used, it can work well in slow or in fast water. Change the color of the body and/or hackle to match your local caddis hatches. A few of the most successful combinations are shown in Peter's photos below:

--John Wight

Four samples of Quill-wing Caddis, as designed and tied by John Wight

 Fly Photos by Peter Frailey

Tying Sequence:

Hook: Mustad extra fine dry fly hook
Thread: Danville 6/0
Body: Dubbing
Wing: Turkey quill
Hackle: Dry fly quality

Tying and fishing tip:

Because this pattern lies flush with the surface, an extra fine hook helps to keep it afloat.  Also, I frequently grease the tippet with floatant when conditions require a little extra help.



 copyright © Notice by fishingwithflies.com. All rights reserved. This material is for your personal enjoyment. Please obtain prior written permission from the author and fishingwithflies.com before any other use.