Wisconsin Fly Fishing for Trout

Caddisflies

Caddis fliesCaddisflies hatch throughout the Spring, Summer and Fall season and are a major source of food for trout. They vary in color, size and emerge at different times of the day and night. Some of the largest caddisflies, such as the Great Brown Sedge (Pycnopsyche) are over an inch long and emerge at night during the Summer. In the Spring on the Northern Wisconsin trout streams it is common to see several different Brachycentrus species emerge, such as the Grannom (darker olive body with a dark brown wing, size #16) or the Apple Caddis (very light tannish colored wing with an apple green body, size #16).

The Little Short-Horn Sedge (Glossosoma) comes off around the same time as the Hendrickson hatch (Ephemerella subvaria) and often times goes unnoticed by the fly fishermen. They are a small, size (#16 - #18) caddis that can get the trout's attention and make fishermen frustrated wondering what the heck the trout are feeding on. Glossosoma larva make small round huts out of tiny pebbles on the rocks along the stream bed. The larva are whitish colored. As the larva grow they must abandon their pebble homes and build a new larger one, which makes them vulnerable to the trout while in the drift looking to establish a new home. A size #16, squirrel dubibng body with a silver wire ribbing and a partridge collar makes a deadly soft hackle pattern for the emerging Glossosoma pupae.

Common Northern Wisconsin Caddisfly Hatches

Below are listing some of the most caddisfly hatches found on northern Wisconsin freestone streams. Some occur as dusk or after dark durung the summer and early Fall and may be missed by fly fishermen.

  • Little Black Caddis
  • Little Short-Horn Sedge
  • American Grannom
  • Spotted Sedge
  • Green Sedge (Green Rock Worm / Apple Caddis)
  • Little Sister Sedge
  • Long-Horned Sedge
  • Little Plain Brown Sedge
  • Zebra Caddis
  • White Miller
  • Giant Rusty Sedge
  • Great Brown Autumn Sedge (large stick cases)
  • Little Dot-Winged Sedge

See also: Lifecycle of Caddisflies for more detailed information.

Here is my caddis fly box for the northern Wisconsin Spring time caddis fly hatches. Notice a lot of small darker soft hackle patterns and green body patterns.

caddis fly patterns for northern Wisconsin

Below are some caddisfly photos I have taken over the years in northwest Wisconsin.

caddisflies
Caddis in stick house

These large stick case larvas may be Hydatophylax argus, the Giant Cream Pattern-Wing Sedge which emerges during the summer nights. It has a cream colored body and light colored wing. There is also another very large caddisfly in the family Limnephilidae genus Pycnopsyche (Great Brown Autumn Sedge), also called the October Caddis, which emerge in September or October in Wisconsin. The adult caddis are about 20mm long and have a burnt orange colored body and a brownish mottled wing.


Stick Caddis and caddis larva
Stickcase caddis larva

Notice the green body of this size #16 tannish wing caddisfly. These caddisflies emerge sporatically throughout the days in May in many northern Wisconsin troutstreams. The body is more of a size #18 and the wing is a size #16, which is typical of caddisflies. A CDC and elk is an excellent for this.. See photo below..

Grannom caddis larva in case
Grannom caddisfly adult

Rhyacophila caddis pupa pattern
Rhyacophila larva

Grannom caddisfly on tree
white winged caddisfly on bush

Green body caddis
Grannom caddisfly

   Copyright © 2021 WiFlyFisher.com. All Rights Reserved.