The Clown Shoe Caddis is a Hi-Viz dry fly and may look very familiar to fly fishers on the Front Range of Colorado. This fly has been known for years as the Boulder Creek Caddis. It has now gone “Hollywood” so-to-speak…as it is tied commercially and is available for sale for the first time. And, like many who have come before, was required to leave the regional name behind.
The development of this fly began with the frustration over the inability to find a decent work horse dry fly to act as a mule for a couple heavy dropper nymphs in rough water. Foam bodied hopper patterns are too big to work well all year, elk hair caddis always seem to find a reason to sink and stimulators have a knack for riding sideways and then falling apart after the third trout eats it. The low-slung abdomen of the Clown Shoe forces it to ride correctly every time…even when rigged without a dropper. This fly is an exceptionally buoyant dry fly, I have found it often does not need any Gink…and when it does, only once an hour to keep it riding high. This is a result of two ingredients; one is the proportionally gigantic clump of elk hair as a wing, and two; the McFly Foam post at the top (almost impossible to sink!). With distinctive clump of flouresant cerise McFly Foam the Clown Shoe is by far the most visible caddis dry available. Over the last five years I have tested every imaginable color of McFly Foam post (on friends, family, fellow guides, clients and half-blind strangers on the river) and have found that none of the colors, even the most gaudy, have any baring on the effectiveness of the fly…but the flouresant cerise was the one color that the most diverse group of people could always see on the water with odd light conditions. I have also extensively tested the durability of the Clown Shoe…and can say with confidence that, if tied correctly, an individual fly can land over 100 trout and still be quite fishable!
See Charlie Craven Tie The Clown Shoe Caddis Step By Step!