Alright, calm down, we aren’t actually toasting here. Instead, this post is an appreciation for one of my favourite flies. I wish you could actually drink to praise a fly, that would be a great excuse for a beer, but with my return to uni looming I suppose I don’t really need any excuses to drink. So, this fly I’ve mentioned… What is it? Well, Fulling Mill have been churning out some amazing flies this year, absolutely deadly patterns that have helped me achieve my goal for the season, a 12 inch plus wild Brownie.

 

The fly in question is Fulling Mill’s CDC and Elk Hair Caddis pattern. First introduced to me by Nick Hart, this fly has been proving deadly on all our sessions when dries have been the proven tactic. I try not to tell big fish stories, but this article deserves it.

 Loaded up with Fulling Mill Dries, all of which are superb patterns for my local waters. 

Loaded up with Fulling Mill Dries, all of which are superb patterns for my local waters. 

 

So here we go, I’ve finished my exams and am heading home for summer. I had one intension with my fishing this summer, and that was to refine my river skills and land a 12 inch Brownie. All year they continued to evade me, be it through missed takes or snapped leaders, I just couldn’t get that big fish. I continued to catch loads of average fish, all thanks to the fly in question, but I just couldn’t get that specimen.

 

It’s a little cliché, but it was my last session on the Exe this season when it finally happened. I saw a small fish rising, and cast tight to the fallen tree where it was lying, but did the small fish take? Nope. What did take was a big old trout, determined to break me off. It went air born, it dived deep, it went up stream and down! Forgive my over indulgence, I know you’ve all caught big fish before, but I was and still am very excited. What came into the net was a fish of around 14 inches! I was stoked, but after some slight mis-handling the fish slipped out before a photo was taken! So the big browns still evade my camera, but at least I know I caught one, and I have this fantastic fly to thank for it!

 The CDC and Elk Hair Caddis, sitting on my vice for a closer inspection.

The CDC and Elk Hair Caddis, sitting on my vice for a closer inspection.

 

I don’t know the science, profiles or physics behind this flies success. I’m sure there’s been a lot of thought put into how it rides in the water, its profile and the behavior of the materials but to me it just seems to be a simple, quality pattern that catches lots of fish. Try it and see for yourself!

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