How to Tie J.E.B.'s Low Rider CDC Caddis

by J.E.B. Hall

As many of our readers know, late winter fishing can be quite productive on our lower elevation free stone streams.  More often than not, this fishing occurs during the middle of the day, and the presentation is one involving multiple split shot and strike indicators.  While nymphing is the core of our winter fishing repertoire, there are those special days when the sun’s warmth combines with good karma and the river’s surface comes alive with tiny dark Stoneflies.  This hatch is never of the “blanket” type, nor does it occur with enough consistency to plan a trip especially for it.  It does, however, make for some fine dry fly fishing for those who happen to be on the right stream at the right time.  Since most of this fishing occurs in long slick pools, flies that have a low riding profile often work best.  The trouble in fishing a low riding dark Stonefly is that black is a difficult color to see, especially when the fly is riding in the surface film.  This is where the Low Rider CDC Caddis comes in.  It features a lower riding profile than its hackle laden Elk Hair Caddis cousin, but keeps the same hi-vis hair wing for user friendly drifts.  The body of the Low Rider is constructed with Trout Hunter’s CDC dubbing which gives it a buggy appearance along with excellent water repellency.  The under wing is made of a Trout Hunter Premium CDC feather, which matches the long gray wings of the dark Stoneflies.  The combination of both a CDC body and CDC underwing, gives this fly the ability to float in all, but the fastest riffles, and can even support droppers such as unweighted nymphs, or midges.

Tip:  When fishing the Low Rider, make sure to give it a dose of Dry Magic Fly Floatant before the first cast, and then to treat it with Frog’s Fanny after it gets a little soggy.  A Samadou fly drying pad is also helpful for cleaning it between fish.


Hook:  TMC 200R sz. 18

Thread:  Danville 70 Denier 6/0

Underbody:  Trout Hunter CDC Dubbing-Black

Underwing:  Trout Hunter Premium CDC Feather

Over Wing:  Bleached Elk Hair

How to Tie:

Step 1:  Tie onto the hook and wrap to the back of the hook shank.  Be sure to lay down a good thread base.
Step 2:  Loosely dub the CDC dubbing onto the thread.  Do not use dubbing wax for this, as it will cause the dubbing to clump.
Step 3:  Dub forward creating a body with a very slight taper
Step 4:  Tie in the CDC feather for the underwing.  Make sure the tips of the feather extend slightly beyond the hook shank.
Step 5:  Tie in the Elk Hair over wing.  Make sure the over wing is slightly longer than the underwing.  Trim the head of the fly and whip finish.