What Is a Caddis in Fly Fishing?

Caddis are an important part of fly fishing, and they can be found in both fresh and salt water. Caddis is a type of aquatic insect that, once they reach adulthood, are capable of flying. In fly fishing, caddis flies are used to entice fish to bite. They come in a variety of sizes, shapes and colors, making them an attractive choice for anglers.

Caddis larvae are the immature form of the aquatic insect and live in water. Depending on the species, caddis larvae may live in streams or lakes for up to two years before reaching adulthood. During this period, they feed on small particles from the water and grow until they are ready to pupate and emerge as adult caddisflies.

When it comes to fly fishing with caddis, anglers typically use dry flies or wet flies. Dry flies imitate adult caddisfly which rest on top of the water’s surface while wet flies imitate the larval stage which live below the surface. Dry flies come in a variety of sizes and colors and can be used to attract fish to bite at any time of day or night. Wet flies are typically larger in size than dry flies but still come in various colors that can help entice fish into biting.

Caddisfly patterns can also be used for nymphing (fishing with lures that sink below the surface), streamer fishing (fishing with lures that imitate small baitfish) or even trolling (dragging your lure through the water). No matter what technique you use when fly fishing with caddisfly patterns, it is important to match your lure with what is natural food for the fish you are Targeting.


Caddisflies play an important role in fly fishing due to their ability to attract fish from both fresh and saltwater sources. Anglers can use dry or wet flies that imitate both adult and larval stages of caddisfly life cycles when Targeting different species of fish. No matter what technique is used when using caddisfly patterns, it’s essential to ensure they match natural food sources for your Target species in order to have success.

Photo of author

Lindsay Collins