Palomino Caddis

A "must-have" for caddis fishing

Palomino Caddis
Several years back, I was revamping my caddis dry fly box, and I was tying the typical Elk Hair Caddis, X-Caddis, etc.  Many times when I'm refilling my boxes or looking for new patterns to fish, I'll turn to my friends who guide a lot.  Guide flies are typically fairly simple to tie, and they absolutely catch fish.  I was talking to Charles Card, who guides on Utah's Green River, and asked him about caddis patterns.  He told me about a caddis with an ultra-chenille body, a CDC underwing, and a painted egg sack.  I was curious, so based on what I envisioned his fly looking like, I tied a version of the palomino caddis that I have been fishing ever since.  

This fly is designed to float high, and skate on the water when twitched.  I actually like to cast out, and add a very slight "pop" to it right when it hits the water to entice hungry fish.  This fly has been a top producer for me during the caddis hatch, and also when I'm just fishing it as an attractor when there is no hatch going on.  Most recently, I started teaching my brother how to fly fish, and this is the fly I tied on because it floats really well even if there isn't necessarily a drag free drift.  This fly essentially taught him how to fish.

I asked a good friend (Bryan Gregson) to write about one of his first trips fishing the Palomino Caddis:

There I was, standing in the river parking lot at sunset, shaking my head while frantically rummaging through my gear bag. Rod – check. Waders, boots – check and check. Flies, leader, tippet, floatant, and nippers – check x5. Reel and fly-line, ummmuhh, S*%@!!... no-check.
There were only a few options at this point. Whine andhave my buddy who brought all of his gear take me all theway home, which isn’t really an option, or figure something out. A quick inventory of the gear bag and a few minutes later I was all rigged and ready to go. I tied a knot at the reel seat and strung my rod with 12-ish feet of 25lb maxima. On the end of the mono I tied on a 9-foot leader and a few feet of tippet. Fly selection was a Palomino caddis tied by a good friend, Cheech.
I was limited in my fishing, as I couldn’t really cast. I waded out as deep as I could to the middle of a fast riffle section. My buddy was easily casting and fishing where ever he pleased. It was frustrating, at first.
I would do my best to haul, double haul, triple haul, water haul, any haul, to get the line past my rod tip, but with little success. Once I finally figure out how to hack the fly onto the water, I’d dance the Palomino caddis on the surface, skittering across the fast water… all the way into the mouths of willing fish. At first I was absolutely amazed I was able to get the fly out, let alone actually hook a fish, but many was a bit shocking at first. Landing the buggers was also entertaining and not very graceful. My fishing buddy didn’t have much success that night, even though he was efficiently mobile. Then it all made sense. I was standing in the middle of feeding fish during a caddis hatch with the right materials, the proper profile and with the appropriate action for the situation. I learned a few things that evening, one of which is location, location, fly-select-tion…and not to over fish while casting.

Material List

Add to Cart   View in store

Hook: Daiichi 1130 - Light Wire Scud Hook - 14     
Thread: MFC Premium Fly Tying Thread - Light Brown - 6/0     
Body: Ultra Chenille - Worm Brown     
Underwing: Polish CDC - Gray     
Wing: Nature's Spirit Select Cow Elk - Natural     
Dubbing: Super Fine Dry Fly Dubbing - Cinnamon Caddis