Top 12

by Brian Zinger on March 8, 2016

The forecast for Northern Vermont over the next 15 days features 11 days of temps over 50 and only one night with lows under 30.   The avg high for this time of year is 35.  That means no more snow and ice. Not that there was much of that this winter, but with info like that you can really start to think Spring.  Now is also a good time to start looking over you fishing gear and establishing what you;ll need for the regular season.

One thing that fly fishers always need and can’t have enough of are flies, especially flies that have been successful for you and give you great confidence.  My top 12 flies is exactly what I’m talking about. If If only had this assortment of flies in different sizes, and in good quantity, I would feel confident 365 of the year that I could have a productive day of fishing.   That being said I still have a ton of tying to do. There are 4 flies left on that list that I have to get busy on.

At this weeks club tying night, it’s back to the top 12 with the VTX caddis. I learned of this gem back in the 90’s during a “duel fly duel” on the Winooski river.  I didn’t participate in the 1st year of this event, but it was clear when registering the 2 flies I planned on using during the 2nd year what fly out performed in the 1st year. Almost every contestant that was back entered an X-caddis as one of there flies. I finished 3rd only because I had an 88 as one of my flies, but I realized the importance of the X-caddis during that event and consider it to be in the top 4 of flies you gotta have.

The fly is simple, only needing 3 materials. I have tried tying it in different colors with little success, so now I only tie it one way. It is very versatile in that I have caught fish in all levels of the water column. It’s best fished in the top 3inches, using it both as a dry and emerger all in the same drift.


VTX caddis

Hook- Mustad 94840 #12 & 14

Thread- Olive

Shuck- beige antron

Body-green antron

Wing- bleach white Elk hair


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