Sticks, sticks and more sticks - stick caddis that is. Rarely does a trout's stomach contents not contain at least a few stick caddis.
The female caddis lays her eggs on the water's surface. The eggs attach themselves to underwater structure such as rocks, weeds, sticks ect. The eggs take several weeks before they hatch into worm like lavae. It's at this stage the lavae seek some shelter. This can be done in a number of ways. The lavae will take refuge in sunken leaves by rolling them into a tube, use hollow stalks of reeds or glue together particles of sand and gravel to create a protective shell. The lavae spend about a year in this case until the pupate and then hatch into the adult caddis.
Fly tiers seem to love imitating the adult, and largely ignore the lavae which is in all probably far more important.
Have a close look next time you are wading or in the water and chances are you'll see some stick caddis swimming along in a semi-horizontal manner. Their head protrudes from the top of the case and little legs are paddling like mad to move them along. The trout love this stage as they can pick them of virtually at will. Learn to imitate the little stick caddis and learn how to fish it slowly and your rewards will be great.