Grannomses II

i was going to simply share Davie McPhail’s new tying tutorial of his Emerging Grannom Caddis but thought a little more background wouldn’t hurt. basically a reprint of the post with the same name and since i’m very busy preparing a special ‘Welcome the Snake’ party… here’s nevertheless a recap on this early season bug and it’s representative flies that should to be in every trout angler’s box.

Grannoms- Brachycentrus Caddis fly
often neglected in favor of the various ‘mythic‘ mayfly species, the Grannom is an early season and widely distributed caddis who’s imitation in different sizes and colors is well worth having in your fly box. Grannom hatches can be massive and will usually have the fish in a debilitating frenzy, excluding every other bug that might be around. i’ve been in the middle of one of these hatches on a Scottish river and was literally covered from head to water level and had to quickly pull up my buff to be able to breathe without eating at the same time…

“This prolific genus includes the popular eastern US early-season Apple Caddis and Grannom hatches. Their life cycles are ideal for the fly angler, and every stage is frequent trout prey. This species changes color dramatically after it emerges, and imitations of egg-laying adults should be a different color from imitations of emergers. Emergers have pale blonde, almost off-white wings and bright green bodies, while the egg-laying adults have light brownish gray wings and medium green bodies.”

these two aren’t grannomses, they’re Mark and Terry.
Mark is a super friend, Terry is some guy Mark and i found in the parking lot while we where gearing up for some fishing on a lovely little river in northern England. don’t get the wrong impression, Terry doesn’t just hang out in parking lots, he’s a passionate entomologist and charming man full of stories and a great enthusiasm for sharing his buggy knowledge.

when we all got to the water, Terry did a quick scan of the river-bed rocks, turned towards us and proudly announced:  “That one”.
he quickly waded in, picked up the “That one” rock and showed us a gelatinous mass stuck to it’s bottom. at first i thought it was just some yucky slime hidden under the rock by some alien with a nasty head cold but after further explanation it turned out to be a ‘nest’ of Grannom eggs. weird and geeky entomologists would probably have some way of counting them on a square cm average or something but my little mind quickly realized that i was looking at thousands and thousands of future caddis all under just this one rock. and there where countless rocks everywhere one looked…

every little dot on this out of focus image is an egg. (sorry for the out of focus image, this was an exciting moment)

an adult Grannom courtesy of Jim Williams.
judging by the size of the finger holding it we’ll notice that it’s very small, my guess between a size 16 and 18.
in the two videos below the flies are tied in 16 and 14 and a little research will tell you of the size to expect and tie for your area.

here are three grannom fly variations with a brand new one from Davie McPhail, the Emerging grannom with a nice twist, the laid -forward hackle post that looks nothing like the real bug but in my eyes is a million times better than the usual upright/phallic/‘wave you hands in the air’ wing post. enjoy !

– Emerging Grannom by Davie McPhail

– Egg-Laying Grannom tied by Matt Grovert

– CDC Bubble Grannom by Davie McPhail

caddis portraits

i’m going off to talk to the trout  for a few days next to the Norwegian border and wanted to leave you some creepy-crawly caddis portraits for your enjoyment.
there may or may not be internet connexion but i’ll try to post at least some images during the stay.

and the weirdest and rarest one of all, a USNM Trichoptera

image source: Google Images

enjoy and have a great week-end !

Peeping Stick Caddis

by Mick Hall via Mustad

” Caddis larva come in two forms, those that build portable homes (Stick Caddis) and free living.  All caddis larva have a hardened section near and including the head, whilst the bodies are soft and range in colour from off white through to a dirty yellow and some have green bodies in a variety of shades.  They also have a set of claws at the end of their bodies.  Stick or case caddis use these claws to cling onto the inside of their portable case.

If you can catch a stick caddis and give it a little squeeze, the animal will be pushed out and it should be noted that because the grubs hold on to their case with those claws of theirs, they will most probably die from this exercise.  So the best thing to do is give it a good squash but don’t waste it, eat it…  “

that last bit says a lot about how Mick thinks and feels about nature and being part of it. this, in my opinion is what has brought him to such a deeper understanding of the aquatic systems than most.
this little article is indeed a real treat, read the rest HERE.

here’s Mick at last year’s fly fair in Stockholm. after showing me how to tie three of his wonderful flies and the tips and tricks that make them special he gave them to me and they’re now in the ‘special box’, the one that holds all my friend’s flies that will never go anywhere near water and the one i jokingly refer to as my ‘retirement fund’.
as we can see, Mick has a really big nose but other than that he’s a sweet-sweet man i very much look forward to meeting and spending time with again.

CDC and Elk Caddis

yup, another great tying video by Tightlines Productions with a wonderful classic fly designed by Hans Weilenmann.

i know it’s a little weird to say things like this, but if there was to be only one top of the water caddis imitation in my box this would be the one.
the silhouette, trigger points, floatation level, color and ‘simplistic’ material list and tying  are so spot-on that while making and playing around with other patterns might be fun, they’ll rarely outfish this one. as noted in the film, outside of the hook and thread there’s only two materials: CDC and elk or deer hair. give it a try if you aren’t already hooked.