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Fly Tying Course # 19 The G & H Sedge

The G & H Sedge or Goddard Caddis


The G & H sedge, as it was originally named was created by John Goddard and Cliff Henry.  John Goddard who died last December was one of the great innovators of fly tying. This is a small tribute to one of, if not, his most famous patterns.


The dressing and style of tying I demonstrate here, is taken from the 1977 re-print of his 1969  book ‘Trout flies of still-water’.  

Original recipe

Hook:  Long-shank 8-10

Tying Silk: Green

Underbody: Dark green seals fur

Body: Natural deer hair 

Hackle: Two rusty dun cock hackles

Antennae: The two stripped butts of the hackles.



Secure your hook in the vice, ensure that the hook shank is horizontal.



Attach your tying thread and run the whole way down to the end of the shank.



Make a short dubbing loop for spinning the seals fur under belly of the fly.



Apply a little dubbing wax to the tying thread and spin just a little dark green seals fur tight in the dubbing loop. You only need a dubbing brush a little longer than the hook shank.



The G&H sedge requires good dense winter hair from the roe deer.



once you have cut a small bunch of deer hair carefully remove the underfur with a dubbing comb or old tooth brush. This is very important! If you dont remove the under fur you will restrict the spinning and flaring ability of the hair.



Now using a hair stacker even the butts of the hair bunch NOT the points. Once even place the hair stacker on top of the hook shank and tie in the deer hair. Keeping the seals fur dubbing brush out of the way.



Once the first bunch is tied in, repeat with a little smaller bunch. But note, if you would like to tie the original G&H you dont pack the stacked hair, just keep it tight but open.



Tie in another even smaller and shorter bunch of deer hair.



And now the last and smallest bunch. Make sure that you leave enough space for the hackle and head between the hook eye and deer hair.



Make a whip finish before you start trimming. If you find it easier you can remove the tying thread here for the trimming and re attach it later.



I find the easiest way to trim the G&H is by using long straight scissors that i rest on the hook eye at the correct angle and trim around the whole body. Take care not to cut the dubbing brush!



Once the body is the correct shape turn your fly up side down in the vice and draw the dubbing brush over the underside of the body.



Tie down the dubbing brush and remove the excess. Whip finish. Turn your fly the correct way in the vice again.



Using long flat scissors make one cut at the rear of the fly at a slight angle.



Prepare two rusty dun cock hackles by stripping the stems and tie in as shown. Make sure that the stems are long enough for the antennas.



Bring both the hackle stems forward and tie down over the hook eye. Before you begin winding on the hackles make a few wraps of tying thread over the hook shank and hackle stems to make a good even foundation. This will ensure the hackle stands correct when wound.



Wind on you hackles one at a time. First the rear  hackle should be wound a couple of turns backwards into the deer hair body and then forward to the hook eye and tied off. The second hackle is the wound in between the first but just forward. Whip finish.



Carefully trim off all the hackle points on top of the hook at the same angle as the deer hair body. The finished G&H sedge.



This is a more modern version of the G&H with a tight packed deer hair body and full traditional dry fly hackle.


6 responses

  1. great ideea with the dubbing rope belly …!

    August 23, 2013 at 1:35 pm

  2. Toni Fernstrom

    Thanks Barry. Another very informative tutorial. The G&H Sedge is great pattern. To me it just looks “buggier” than the American adaption the Goddard Caddis.
    I fish it together with the Streaking Caddis when the large Grannoms are on the water.
    John Goddard’s ‘Trout Flies of Stillwater’ was my second book on fly tying/fly fishing – Brian Clarke’s ‘The pursuit of Stillwater Trout’ (translated to Swedish by Bengt Öste) was my very first. Sweet memories…

    August 23, 2013 at 5:16 pm

    • Thanks Toni, It is a great fly and holds some sweet memories for me personally.


      August 23, 2013 at 5:48 pm

  3. Great tribute to both inventors. This fly provided the inspiration for my first Real Deer Hair pattern some 18 years ago. Your SBS bring back great memories. Thanks.

    August 23, 2013 at 5:56 pm

  4. Reblogged this on Gin Clear and commented:
    Another one of my fave patterns. Nice step by step instructions.

    August 31, 2013 at 5:17 am

  5. Hans Christian Rygnestad Nielsen

    Have you tried using PJ Magic Tool to this fly? Spinning deer hair in a dubbingloop, then just hackle it on, it gives a light, smooth body. And makes the fly much easier to tie.

    November 30, 2013 at 11:29 am