The X-Caddis is an emerging caddis (obviously) pattern designed by Craig Matthews. This is fly has become a staple in many fly boxes not because it is a beautiful fly or exactly imitates a specific species of insect, instead fish love it. Part of the reason fish love this pattern is because it imitates a caddis that is in the process of emerging and becoming an adult but is still trapped in it’s shuck, and while in this stage they are an easy meal for a fish. Another great thing about this pattern is it is very simple and quick to tie. Give it shot as a point or trailer fly… or if your up to it (and it is legal on your waters) in between a true adult and a pupa pattern and you can effectively imitate all the stages of a hatch in one drift.
Start by securing the hook in your vice and then start your thread base at the eye and advance your thread to the end of the shank.
Next tie in a small section of Z-lon for the shuck. This should be approximately 1.5 times the hook gap. Then trim off the excess and advance the thread to the end of the hook shank.
Now you will apply a small amount of dubbing to the thread and wrap it forward leaving a space clear (approximately the length of the hook eye) on the shank.
Next, using a hair stacker, stack a small clump of deer of elk hair for the wing and head of the fly. Trim the stacked hair so that the tips reach the end of the body and the butts are just over the hook eye. Secure the hair to the hook using one soft wrap followed by progressively tighter wraps until it is secured.
To finish the fly work the thread through the butt ends of hair to the hook eye and then whip finish.