Skeetering the Elk Hair Caddis

I want to take a moment to discuss a tactic for attracting trout during midsummer conditions when the fish require an extra bit of coaxing. The tactic is referred to as skeetering, and works best when imitating an egg-laying caddis. Ideally, this is recommended during a hatch when the fish are already engaged in targeting a particular species of bug. Then, when presented with the alternative offering of an egg laying caddis dancing across the trout’s field of vision. The circumstance is simply too enticing for them (the trout) to deny. That’s when the strike is induced, and boy, it is quite the strike. The strike is such that it represents a unique opportunity for the trout. Not only do they get to sample the tasty morsel that is the caddis fly, but even more enticing is the caviar tethered to its hindquarters.

In this quick, three-step process. I intend to teach you how to engage trout with the skeeter:

1. Find a feeding fish.
It’s important to find a fish that is already feeding, and is holding in a particular stretch of water.

2. Cast above and beyond the spot from which the trout is feeding.
If you know exactly where a fish is feeding. Then, simply cast above the location of the fish by a few feet and beyond it by about a foot and a half. (NOTE: The amount at which you lead the trout will vary with the speed of the water.)

3. Make the caddis fly dance across the water in front of the feeding fish.
At precisely the time where the fly would meet the trout’s kill zone. Make the fly dance across the top of the water by raising your rod tip and lightly trembling the line (by twitching the rod) while slowly stripping. This will cause the fly to skip and hop across the water. This action can make even the most calmly feeding fish turn in to a frenzied killer.

What tools are required to execute a successful skeeter to midsummer trout:
• ANT Fire Rod, 5 WT, Fast Action —
• 5 Weight Floating Fly Line
• 5X Leader and Tippet
• Elk Hair Caddis, Size 16 or 18 (are my preferred sizes)
• Fly Floatant

NOTE: The above tactic is best executed in environments where caddis flies exist.


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