Streaking Caddis: Another deer hair tutorial
I believe that many great trout patterns have several things in common: they are quick and easy to tie, no special techniques or tools required. The materials are easy to obtain, that would say available from most fly tying stores. They cast without problems and last but not least they catch fish. This legendary pattern comes from the vice of the Swedish fly tying Guru, Lennart Bergquist.
The bullet shaped aero and aqua dynamic form of this pattern makes casting a dream and presentation precise, for me there is something magical from the moment my SC lands on the water with a its distinctive “plop” that attracts attention, even from resting or lethargic fish. The body semi submerged and the wing and head floating high. This I always follow with a pause, let the fly rest on the surface for 5-10 seconds, allowing the leader time to sink and the fly to settle and hang. Then comes the retrieve. With your rod tip down, close to the water, and your line taut, start with short jerky retrieves streaking the fly 10-15 cm at a time, creating a small wake behind the fly as you pull. After you have covered a meter or so of water, take another short pause. Follow this procedure until the cast is fished out. When fished as an attractor pattern, you increase the speed and length of your retrieve ploughing the streaking caddis just under the surface causing it to pop and gurgle as it goes. This can induce fast and aggressive takes, even when there is little fish activity to be seen.
The shear “fishability” of this pattern just has to be tried to be believed. Firstly, as it was ment to be fished, under a caddis fly hatch. Where adult caddis are streaking across the waters surface. But in recent years the streaking caddis has also found its way into the fly boxes of sea trout and salmon fishermen. Fished in the same way, as a wake fly, it has teased up fish from the bottom of otherwise dead pools of many a salmon and sea trout river.
Hook: Mustad 94840 # 8
Body: Poly dubbing
Wing: Deer hair
Head: Spun and clipped deer hair
Secure your hook in the vise as shown. Run the tying thread along the hook shank.
When the body is dubbed run a little dubbing, but not too much, along the remaining hook shank behind the eye of the hook. This will help hold the deer hair in place, and stop the wing and head from moving on the finished fly.
Select your deer hair. The best deer hair to use for this particular pattern is taken from a deer that is killed during the coldest part of the year, the hair I use is from the European Roe deer that I have shot myself on the last day of hunting (23rd December) here in Norway. The colder the climate the thicker and more buoyant the deer hair.
Cut a large bunch of deer hair. The most common mistake in tying this popular pattern is to use too little deer hair. Remove all the under wool and short hairs with a dubbing comb.
Stack your deer hair in a hair stacker. Before you remove the hair completely from the stacker measure the correct wing length.
Holding the wing in place with your left hand, make, not one, but two loose turns of tying thread around the deer hair as shown. This should be made at the point where the clipped head goes over to the wing.
Now tighten the turns by pulling the tying thread ”upwards” this is important, if you tighten the thread by pulling downwards the wing will slip around the hook shank, and you need all this hair on-top of the body.
Now you can continue over the head of the fly as for a regular spun deer hair pattern.
Whip finish your Streaking caddis and remove the tying thread.
You can now begin the clipping process. Long serrated scissors are best for this as these grip the deer hair and give a better cut. It also helps to clip from the back of the fly as shown. The head should be cone shaped.
Clip all around the overside of the head.
Now finish the rough clip on the underside.
The next step is a good trick for most spun and clipped deer hair patterns. Take a lighter, with the gas set on the lowest position and carefully ”singe” the clipped head. This will seal the ends of the deer hair and give a very even surface and form to the finished head. It will also tighten the hair and make the wing lie flat in the correct position. But take care not to burn the hair and tying thread.
With an old toothbrush, remove all the soot from the head.
The finished Streaking caddis.
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