Fly Fishing Tips: Skating Caddis

Fall is an excellent time of year to be fly fishing at HomeWaters. If you missed my previous post discussing all the fall fishing options we have at the club, be sure to check it out. When it comes to fly fishing for trout during the fall months in Pennsylvania, caddis are one of the first bugs that come to my mind.

As anglers we have become accustomed to fishing our flies “dead-drifted”, especially with dry flies. With caddis, a long drift with absolutely no drag is not always the desired method. But why? In this case, it’s pretty simple, caddis flutter or bounce around as they hatch and especially while laying eggs.

I have actually been on the water at times that I could not get a fish to eat my caddis; UNLESS I moved it. The concept of moving your dry on the surface of the water is often referred to as “skating”.

In order to catch fish while skating a dry, I prefer to skate the dry across the water in the area in front of the fish. First, make a cast across the stream. Second, wiggle the tip of the rod side-to-side while pulling the fly back towards yourself across the surface of the water. Third, let the fly pause for a couple seconds and strip in loose line to maintain tension while it drifts.

I like to skate the fly for a couple of feet, let the fly sit and drift, and then skate the fly for another couple of feet. This method is a very exciting and fun way to catch fish on the surface.

During the fall season at the club there are usually plenty of opportunities to see a variety of different caddis while on the water. For example, last week on the same day we saw a mixture of October Caddis, larger Brown Caddis, and smaller Olive Caddis. Skating caddis is just another trick to keep up your sleeve to put a few more fish in the next.

If you are due for some fall fly fishing at HomeWaters, call Joel in the fly shop to get your trip on the books. The Fall is an excellent season to soak in extra time on the water!