The aim of this blog is to connect fly-tyers all over the world, to share, techniques, patterns, information and knowledge.

Posts tagged “Caddis

Shove,Shave,Singe and Sand Technique

 

 

My Shove, Shave, Singe and Sand technique for the tightest deer hair bodies.
Probably the most frequent question I am asked at shows and demos is how do I get my small deer hair bodies so tight. Well heres my secret in full step by step tuition.

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This is one of my very early patterns the deer hair pupa that was inspired by a meeting with the late Gary LaFontaine many years ago and his own deep sparkle pupa pattern. The first requirement for tight bodies is the correct deer hair.

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Although I acquire most of my own spinning hair from late season hunting here in Norway the best hair I can recommend is the spinning hair from Natures Spirit and the natural roe deer hair from Veniard’s. The hair should be dense, straight with little under fur and fine well marked tips. Although the tips are not required for this pattern they are useful to have for sculpting nicely marked wings on others.IMG_0065

You will also need a hair stacker, a good hair comb, a Wilkinson razor blade, I specify Wilkinson because I have tried many cheaper blades over the years but it’s a false economy, I have found none that are as sharp and last as long. You will need a lighter and some fine sand paper.

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1
Secure your dry fly hook in the vice with the hook shank horizontal.

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2
Attach your tying thread and cover the whole hook shank.

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3
Cut and clean a small bunch of deer hair by combing out all the under fur and shorter hairs. Stack this bunch not by the tips as usual but by the butt ends as shown.

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4
Tie this bunch in just a little down the hook bend. Make sure that each wrap of tying thread is tight and doesn’t trap any hairs unevenly.

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5
Repeat this technique with another bunch of hair.

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6
Take a hair packer, the one I am using hear is a Brassie on larger patterns I use Pat Cohen’s Fugly packer. Place this over the hook shank and push and twist at the same time, you may need to hold your thumb and finger of your left hand at the rear of the hair so you don’t push it along the hook shank. This will pack the hairs tight into each other.

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7
Once the required amount of body is covered with tightly packed deer hair, whip finish and remove your tying thread. Now comb the hair to release and free any hairs that may not be standing 90 degrees from the hook shank, this is important for perfect results.

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8
Take a razor blade between your finger and thumb and bend it to the shape of the body and slowly push it through the deer hair from the front towards the rear of the hook. If you haven’t done this before take your time it takes a little practice.

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9
The body at this stage doesn’t have to be perfect, just sculpt it to a basic body shape. You can use your scissors here too if you feel more comfortable using them.

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10
Now take your lighter and carefully ‘singe’ the deer hair body, take your time or the whole thing will go up in smoke if you get too close and burn it! This will even out the whole body.

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11
Take a piece of sand paper and carefully sand off the soot and smooth out any un-even parts.

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12
The result should look something like this, and feel rather like a cork.

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13
To imitate the gas bubble of the hatching pupa’s shuck I like to use Spirit Rivers UV2 Sparkle Yarn.

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14
You only need a small amount of the yarn.

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15
Split your tying thread and spin the yarn into a dubbing brush.

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16
Wind the yarn to form a vail over the whole surface of the deer hair body.

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17
Sin a little hares hear hair into another dubbing brush.

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18
Wrap this on as a collar make sure that its spiky and buggy.

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19
Take a natural beige CdC hackle and place in a magic tool clip. Spin this into another dubbing loop and wind at the head of the fly again as a vail over the body.

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20
Whip finish and your deer hair pupa is finished.

PS.
As a note on fishing this pattern I find the most effective methods is in combination with a floating line and a heavy sinking leader. When pulled it will dive and float slowly up to the surface when you stop the retrieve, creating the desired affect of a ascending pupa.


Fly tying course # 5 Dry Fly Adult caddis

X Caddis

X Caddis

X Caddis

Dont forget! If you have any questions please dont hesitate to ask. Just post your question at the foot of this page.

If you would like to receive a message when the next stage of the course is published, just add your e mail address at the top right of this page. Thanks, The feather bender.

This next fly in the course is the X Caddis. This is a no hackle dry fly that floats extremely well because of the natural buoyancy of the deer hair and Antron tail.

Hook: Mustad R50 94840 # 10-18

Thread: Dyneema

Tail: Cream coloured Poly yarn or Z-Lon

Body: Light Olive Antron dubbing

Wing/head: Deer hair

I can´t recommend the X-caddis enough. No grayling or trout fisherman should be without this pattern in their fly box. The original from John Juraceks and Craig Mathews was intended as a hatching caddis fly that is skating across the surface trying to escape from the nymphal skin that is trailing behind it, before it flies to freedom.  This pattern has taken fish for me all over the globe, in all kinds of conditions and not only during caddis hatches but also under extremely selective feeding during mayfly hatches and midge fishing. The high flared deer hair wing and head, position the low profile no hackle body, so perfectly in the surface film that grayling just can´t resist it.  I have had most success with this pattern in the smaller hook sizes from # 16-18. When tying these smaller sizes I prefer to use the finer hair from the roe deer mask.  This hair is nicely marked and extremely fine even for the smallest patterns, and only flares to 45 degrees unlike the more buoyant body hair that will flare to 90 degrees.  Although you can tie the X-caddis in various body colours I have found the one shown here the most effective.

If you would like to receive a message when the next stage of the course is published, just add your e mail address at the top right of this page. Thanks, The feather bender.

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1

Make sure that when you secure your hook in the vice that the hook shank is horizontal. Cover the hook shank with a layer of tying thread.

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2

Cut a very small piece of cream coloured crimped polypropylene yarn or Z-Lon (material from John Betts) Tie this in where the hook bend begins as shown. You dont need much, this is going to represent the nymph skin trailing behind the hatching caddis. It should be about half the hook shaft length.

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3

Wind your tying thread back to the tail base. Spin a thin dubbing string onto the tying thread and wind tightly forward.

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4

Wind the dubbing forward so that you get a slightly increasing body thickness as you approach the hook eye. Leave 2-3 mm behind the hook eye so you have room for the wing and head. Make a whip finish, but dont remove the tying thread.

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5

Cut a small bunch with fine deer hair and even the points in a hair stacker if you have one. If you dont have a hair stacker try and get the points of the hair as even as possible. Holding the hair measure the wing by holding the hair on top of the hook shank. The wing should be a fraction longer than the body.

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6

While still holding the deer hair make two loose turns of tying thread around the wing and hook shank, still holding the deer hair, then tighten by pulling down. Make 5 or 6 tight turns of tying thread as shown.

X Caddis

7

With a pair of sharp scissors cut off the excess deer hair over the hook eye with one neat cut as shown. Make a couple of whip finishes and your X caddis is ready. You can also put a tiny drop of varnish just on the whippings.


Elk Hair Caddis Step by step

Elk Hair Caddis

Hook Mustad R30 # 16-10 http://www.mustad.no/productcatalog/product.php?id=175

Thread Dyneema http://www.virtual-nymph.com/index.php?option=com_virtuemart&page=shop.browse&category_id=1&Itemid=26

Body Olive dubbing

Hackle Brown Cock

Wing Bleached elk

This classic caddis pattern is from the tying bench of well know American fly tyer Al Troth.

This is probably the most well known caddis pattern in existence, and rightly so. The EHC as it is also known is one of the best adult caddis patterns that you could use.  I myself have fished this pattern for at least 30 years, and every season it never fail to provide me with great sport.

Most of the materials are readily available but in the past few years the bleached elk hair has become more difficult to obtain.  Al Troth himself recommends that you use the thigh hair from a cow elk, bleached, this I have found impossible to obtain but any good quality bleached elk does a good job.  If you find like me that the bleached elk cannot be obtained, regular elk will also do a good job, it’s just a little more difficult to see at a distance on the water.

You can fish this pattern dry so that it just floats high on the hackle points, you can fish it half drowned so that it gurgles like a popper when retrieved and you can even fish it wet just under the surface. A brilliant all round pattern.

1

1

Attach the tying thread and run it along the hook shank until it hangs level with the hook barb.

2

2

Prepare the hackle and tie in at the base of the hook shank.

3

3

Attach the dubbing to the tying thread and begin to build up the body of the fly.

4

4

Once you have dubbed the whole body make sure you leave enough space for the elk wing head (2 mm behind the hook eye) secure the dubbing with a few turns of tying thread.

5

5

Using a hackle plier wind on the hackle, palmered style along the whole of the dubbed body.

6

6

Tie off the hackle and trim off the access.

7

7

With the use of a small hair stacker even thew ends of a small bunch of elk hair. You can also remove the under wool at this stage.

8

8

Remove the hair from the stacker and lie it along the top of the hook as shown to measure the correct length of wing required.

10

9

Still holding the hair in place , change hands and make two loose turns of tying thread around the head of the fly, and pull tight. Make a couple more turns of tying thread to secure the wing.

11

10

You can now trim of the surplus elk hair butt ends to make that distinctive EHC head.

Tie off the tying thread and remove.

12

11

The finished Elk Hair Caddis.


Elasticaddis in the house!

The elasticaddis is a Impressionistic larva house built from rubber legs.

House building caddis larva are available in most waters all year round, and are an important segment of the diet of trout and grayling.  There are many techniques that have been developed over the years from fly tying benches all over the world to imitate the house of the caddis larva, but this technique really gives the right impression.  This is a pattern I believe was developed in the US, but other than that I cant find any other information about it.  The great thing about this pattern is if you trim the rubber legs close to the body you get the impression of a caddis larva house built out of gravel, but if you spin the rubber legs not so tight and trim them a little longer it makes for a great house made of vegetation and sticks.  Also the rubber gives that extra needed weight when you need to get down deep and not least extremely durable.

You may find that this isn´t the easiest pattern to tie at the first attempt as the rubber legs seem to have a life of their own, but after a few attempts is no more difficult then any other pattern.  Try mixing colours and rubber types to achieve different effects.

Hook Mustad R72NP-BR # 12-6 with Bead head

Tying thread Dyneema

Body Rubber legs

Collar CdC

Head Course antron dubbing

1
Place a bead head on hook and your hook in the vice.

2
Attach tying thread to hook and run a foundation of thread along the whole hook shank.

3
Cut 3 small strips ca. 2 cm long, of double rubber legs in various colours and diameters if available.

4
Tie in the three rubber legs at the rear of the hook. If you are going to use heavy rubber legs, with a large diameter it is best to make a foundation of tapered loose dubbing on the hook shank first, otherwise the rubber will not flare as easy as fine rubber legs.

5
Once they are secure you can pull on them to split the double legs into single.

6
Carry on with the same procedure, mixing the colours as you go along the hook shank.

7
After each bunch of rubber legs is attached use the bead head to push the legs and pack them tightly. This will give a more compact body.

8
Attach more rubber legs until you have covered all but 3-4 mm of hook shank.

9
Now you can trim the house / larva case.

10
Continue all around the body of the fly until you have the desired size and shape.

11
Spin a couple of CdC hackles in a dubbing loop, just behind the bead head.

12
Wind on the dubbing loop brushing the CdC back over the body of the fly with each turn, so as not to trap the fibers.

13
Now dubb the tying thread with a little coarse dubbing with longish fibers and dubb the head of the fly tight into the bead head.

14
Whip finish and remove the tying thread. Using an old tooth brush brush out all the CdC and dubbing fibers, so they lie back over the body.

15
The finished elasticaddis.

No matter what you tie there is always room for artistic expression.


Fly Tying Course # 19 The G & H Sedge

The G & H Sedge or Goddard Caddis

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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.

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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.

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1.

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

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2.

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

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3.

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

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4.

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.

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5.

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

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6.

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.

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7.

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.

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8.

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.

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9.

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

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10.

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.

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11.

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.

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12.

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!

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13.

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.

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14.

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

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15.

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

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16.

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.

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17.

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.

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18.

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.

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19.

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.

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20.

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


Fly tying course # 5 Dry Fly Adult caddis

X Caddis

X Caddis

X Caddis

Dont forget! If you have any questions please dont hesitate to ask. Just post your question at the foot of this page.

If you would like to receive a message when the next stage of the course is published, just add your e mail address at the top right of this page. Thanks, The feather bender.

This next fly in the course is the X Caddis. This is a no hackle dry fly that floats extremely well because of the natural buoyancy of the deer hair and Antron tail.

Hook: Mustad R50 94840 # 10-18

Thread: Dyneema

Tail: Cream coloured Poly yarn or Z-Lon

Body: Light Olive Antron dubbing

Wing/head: Deer hair

I can´t recommend the X-caddis enough. No grayling or trout fisherman should be without this pattern in their fly box. The original from John Juraceks and Craig Mathews was intended as a hatching caddis fly that is skating across the surface trying to escape from the nymphal skin that is trailing behind it, before it flies to freedom.  This pattern has taken fish for me all over the globe, in all kinds of conditions and not only during caddis hatches but also under extremely selective feeding during mayfly hatches and midge fishing. The high flared deer hair wing and head, position the low profile no hackle body, so perfectly in the surface film that grayling just can´t resist it.  I have had most success with this pattern in the smaller hook sizes from # 16-18. When tying these smaller sizes I prefer to use the finer hair from the roe deer mask.  This hair is nicely marked and extremely fine even for the smallest patterns, and only flares to 45 degrees unlike the more buoyant body hair that will flare to 90 degrees.  Although you can tie the X-caddis in various body colours I have found the one shown here the most effective.

If you would like to receive a message when the next stage of the course is published, just add your e mail address at the top right of this page. Thanks, The feather bender.

_E6D0003

1

Make sure that when you secure your hook in the vice that the hook shank is horizontal. Cover the hook shank with a layer of tying thread.

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2

Cut a very small piece of cream coloured crimped polypropylene yarn or Z-Lon (material from John Betts) Tie this in where the hook bend begins as shown. You dont need much, this is going to represent the nymph skin trailing behind the hatching caddis. It should be about half the hook shaft length.

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3

Wind your tying thread back to the tail base. Spin a thin dubbing string onto the tying thread and wind tightly forward.

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4

Wind the dubbing forward so that you get a slightly increasing body thickness as you approach the hook eye. Leave 2-3 mm behind the hook eye so you have room for the wing and head. Make a whip finish, but dont remove the tying thread.

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5

Cut a small bunch with fine deer hair and even the points in a hair stacker if you have one. If you dont have a hair stacker try and get the points of the hair as even as possible. Holding the hair measure the wing by holding the hair on top of the hook shank. The wing should be a fraction longer than the body.

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6

While still holding the deer hair make two loose turns of tying thread around the wing and hook shank, still holding the deer hair, then tighten by pulling down. Make 5 or 6 tight turns of tying thread as shown.

X Caddis

7

With a pair of sharp scissors cut off the excess deer hair over the hook eye with one neat cut as shown. Make a couple of whip finishes and your X caddis is ready. You can also put a tiny drop of varnish just on the whippings.


Fly Tying Course # 19 The G & H Sedge

The G & H Sedge or Goddard Caddis

IMG_0162

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.

IMG_9592

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.

IMG_9537

1.

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

IMG_9538

2.

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

IMG_9540

3.

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

IMG_9544

4.

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.

IMG_9545

5.

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

IMG_9547

6.

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.

IMG_9548

7.

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.

IMG_9551

8.

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.

IMG_9554

9.

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

IMG_9555

10.

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.

IMG_9556

11.

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.

IMG_9559

12.

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!

IMG_9561

13.

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.

IMG_9563

14.

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

IMG_9564

15.

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

IMG_9565

16.

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.

IMG_9567

17.

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.

IMG_9569

18.

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.

IMG_9573

19.

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.

IMG_9578

20.

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


Marc Petitjean – CdC deer hair caddis

It’s been a while, but I am back, and posting more patterns after a busy season photographing and fishing, where I have been testing new patterns and materials that I will be writing about later.  I have also visited some new destinations that I am sure, will blow your socks off! I will reveal more later.  On arriving back from my travels, there is a mountain of new materials, tools and books waiting for me to review so keep tuned as I will be going through the best of these as and when I get time. Marc also extends the deer hair wing of this pattern and fishes it as a large stone fly .

For now, here is the Marc Petitjean CdC deer hair combo caddis that I promised you earlier this summer.

MP CdC & Deer hair Caddis

Hook: For smaller sizes 16, 14, 12 short shank dry fly hook for 10,8 long shank dry fly hook

Thread: MP Split second thread

Body: Three CdC hackles

Wing: Deer hair

Hackle: CdC 

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Marc playing a wild brown taken on his CdC Deer hair caddis.

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Marc developed this CdC deer hair caddis to imitate a adult skating caddis pattern that would float high and dry. I have often noticed that when fishing adult caddis patterns, trout tend to prefer the patterns that float extremely high on the water, almost not touching the surface. So if a pattern I am fishing becomes waterlogged and begins to fish heavier in the surface, I dry it off or change it! Marc’s idea behind this pattern was to combine the two best floating materials available (CdC and deer hair) to achieve long lasting float-ability and fishability.

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1

Secure your hook in the vice with the hook shank horizontal-

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Run the tying thread along the hook shank until it hangs vertical with the hook point.

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Cut a small bunch of deer hair from the winter coat and remove the under fur. Marc doesn’t stack his deer hair in a hair stacker but just  holds the points as level as possible to save time. Tie in the deer hair as shown on top of the hook shank and tight into the rear of the hook eye.

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Select three similar sized CdC hackles, you decide the colour combination.

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Tie all three in by the points at the rear of the hook shank. Attach a MP CdC hackle plier to all three.

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Trim off the ends of the hackles close into the hackle plier before winding.

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Now while holding the CdC hackle fibers in place with one hand make two twists only of the hackle plier to form the CdC dubbing rope. If you make more than two twists the hackles will break!

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Now with each wrap of CdC dubbing rope make one twist of the hackle pliers by rolling it in your fingers. Marc calls this wrap and roll. Remember to hold each turn in-place on the hook shank.

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Continue wrapping and rolling until the body is complete.

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Once you have covered the whole body, carefully tie off the CdC hackles.

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Once secure trim off the hackle buts.

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With a pair of straight scissors trim off the extending CdC hackle fibers from the body.

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The finished result, a segmented CdC caddis body.

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Prepare a magic tool with two CdC hackle loaded and place in a split dubbing loop of tying thread. This will form the hackle.

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Once the CdC fibers are loaded in the magic tool spin your bobbin to make a dubbing brush.

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Make two or three turns of CdC hackle close into the body and forward towards the head of the fly.

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Now pull the deer hair wing back over the body, keeping all the deer hair fibers on top of the hook shank and away from the sides of the pattern.

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While holding the wing in place, make two or three turns of CdC dubbing brush over the deer hair to form the head and wing.

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You can see that a small ball of deer hair is formed at the head of the fly.  Whip finish.

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The finished MP CdC deer hair caddis that floats high and dry…


Melt Glue Caddis Pupa:

The melt glue caddis pupa has a semi transparent body that becomes extremely realistic when wet !

Keeping on the theme of melt glue I thought I would show you this pattern that has a little different technique than the Mutant. Here I combine the  material into the melt glue. It does take a little practice and time to master these melt glue techniques but the results are worth it! For more general info on caddis pupa take a look at the Bee Cee caddis in the archive.

A melt glue gun can be purchased from a hobby shop for just a few pounds.

Melt Glue Caddis Pupa:

Hook: Mustad C49SNP-BR # 12-8

Thread: Dyneema

Body: Melt Glue

Gills/rib: Olive Ostrich herl

Thorax/Head: Black and brown Antron dubbing and CdC

Secure your hook in the vice and tie in one long olive ostrich herl at the bend of the hook. Whip finish and remove the tying thread.


With a melt glue gun starting just behind the eye of the hook apply a layer of melt glue along the hook shank.

When you warm the melt glue with a lighter the glue will ‘flow’ around the hook shank. Take care not to burn the herl and you must rotate the hook (vice jaws) to even the glue.

This stage has to do with timing! When the glue has ‘set’ but is still pliable, wind on the gill rib, so that it sinks a little into the glue with each turn. This takes a little practice but works well when you have done it a few times.

The herl should be held in place by the glue! Now with a wet index finger srtoke the herl on the top of the body down towards the hook bend.

Using a water proof felt pen make one belt of colour along the back of the body as shown.

The body should now look like this!

Attatch your tying thread again and spin a sparse dubbing loop with CdC.

Wind on the CdC dubbing loop as a collar.

Now apply a little black and brown Antron dubbing mix to the tying thread and wind on to form the thorax and head.

Once the head is formed, whip finish. Now take a soft dubbing brush, I use an old tooth brush and brush out the fibers backwards towards the hook bend.

The finished melt glue caddis pupa.


Streaking Caddis: Another deer hair tutorial

The adult caddis fly

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 shear “fishability” of this pattern just has to be tried to be believed.

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.

Streaking Caddis

Hook: Mustad 94840 # 8

Thread: Dyneema

Body: Poly dubbing

Wing: Deer hair

Head: Spun and clipped deer hair

A sure winner when caddis are skating the surface

 

02

1

Secure your hook in the vise as shown. Run the tying thread along the hook shank.

03

2

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.

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4

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.

05

4a

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.

06

5

Stack your deer hair in a hair stacker. Before you remove the hair completely from the stacker measure the correct wing length.

07

6

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.

08

7

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.

10

8

Now you can continue over the head of the fly as for a regular spun deer hair pattern.

11

9

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.

12

10

Clip all around the overside of the head.

13

11

Now finish the rough clip on the underside.

14

12

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.

15

13

With an old toothbrush, remove all the soot from the head.

16

14

The finished Streaking caddis.

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This is my version of the streaking caddis for night fishing.

Fly tying course # 5 Dry Fly Adult caddis

X Caddis

X Caddis

X Caddis

Dont forget! If you have any questions please dont hesitate to ask. Just post your question at the foot of this page.

If you would like to receive a message when the next stage of the course is published, just add your e mail address at the top right of this page. Thanks, The feather bender.

This next fly in the course is the X Caddis. This is a no hackle dry fly that floats extremely well because of the natural buoyancy of the deer hair and Antron tail.

Hook: Mustad R50 94840 # 10-18

Thread: Dyneema

Tail: Cream coloured Poly yarn or Z-Lon

Body: Light Olive Antron dubbing

Wing/head: Deer hair

I can´t recommend the X-caddis enough. No grayling or trout fisherman should be without this pattern in their fly box. The original from John Juraceks and Craig Mathews was intended as a hatching caddis fly that is skating across the surface trying to escape from the nymphal skin that is trailing behind it, before it flies to freedom.  This pattern has taken fish for me all over the globe, in all kinds of conditions and not only during caddis hatches but also under extremely selective feeding during mayfly hatches and midge fishing. The high flared deer hair wing and head, position the low profile no hackle body, so perfectly in the surface film that grayling just can´t resist it.  I have had most success with this pattern in the smaller hook sizes from # 16-18. When tying these smaller sizes I prefer to use the finer hair from the roe deer mask.  This hair is nicely marked and extremely fine even for the smallest patterns, and only flares to 45 degrees unlike the more buoyant body hair that will flare to 90 degrees.  Although you can tie the X-caddis in various body colours I have found the one shown here the most effective.

If you would like to receive a message when the next stage of the course is published, just add your e mail address at the top right of this page. Thanks, The feather bender.

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1

Make sure that when you secure your hook in the vice that the hook shank is horizontal. Cover the hook shank with a layer of tying thread.

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2

Cut a very small piece of cream coloured crimped polypropylene yarn or Z-Lon (material from John Betts) Tie this in where the hook bend begins as shown. You dont need much, this is going to represent the nymph skin trailing behind the hatching caddis. It should be about half the hook shaft length.

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3

Wind your tying thread back to the tail base. Spin a thin dubbing string onto the tying thread and wind tightly forward.

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4

Wind the dubbing forward so that you get a slightly increasing body thickness as you approach the hook eye. Leave 2-3 mm behind the hook eye so you have room for the wing and head. Make a whip finish, but dont remove the tying thread.

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5

Cut a small bunch with fine deer hair and even the points in a hair stacker if you have one. If you dont have a hair stacker try and get the points of the hair as even as possible. Holding the hair measure the wing by holding the hair on top of the hook shank. The wing should be a fraction longer than the body.

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6

While still holding the deer hair make two loose turns of tying thread around the wing and hook shank, still holding the deer hair, then tighten by pulling down. Make 5 or 6 tight turns of tying thread as shown.

X Caddis

7

With a pair of sharp scissors cut off the excess deer hair over the hook eye with one neat cut as shown. Make a couple of whip finishes and your X caddis is ready. You can also put a tiny drop of varnish just on the whippings.


CdC tutorial with Marc Petitjean part 1

This is a tutorial I made with my good friend Marc Petitjean to demonstrate how he uses the magic tool and a few other CdC techniques he has up his sleeve.

Marc Petitjean is a master with CdC, and without doubt, one of the main reasons for its popularity today.  Photo copyright Barry Ord Clarke.

Marc Petitjean is a master with CdC, and without doubt, one of the main reasons for its popularity today. Photo copyright Barry Ord Clarke.

If you are not familiar with Marc’s tools and materials they really are the bee’s knee’s. Super high quality Swiss made Vices and ingenious, yet simple to use tools and his CdC is some of the continuously best available.

This is the step by step for one of Marc’s quick and simple CdC body and caddis wing. The vice, tools and all materials used are Marc’s own and are available from  http://www.petitjean.com/shop/

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1. Once your hook is secure in the vice attach you tying thread.

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2. Select a nice large CdC hackle and place it up towards the hook shaft and tying thread.

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3. With a couple of loose turns of tying thread, catch the CdC hackle and slowly pull towards you.

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4. Once you have reached the point of the hackle secure it well with a few tight turns of tying thread.

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5. Tie down the end of the hackle to the hook shank and attach your hackle pliers at the base of the shaft.

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6. When your hackle pliers are attached make a couple of turns of the hackle while holding the fibers into the hackle stem, but only a couple.

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7. Once the hackle stem is twisted you are ready to start winding it on.

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8. Holding the CdC hackle tight make your first turn around the hook shank. You are going to use the twisted CdC hackle as a dubbing rope.

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9. Once you have made one turn of the hackle, hold the fibers into the hackle shaft again and twist only once or twice.

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10. Repeat the turn and twist until the whole hook shank is covered. Its very important that you dont twist the hackle all in one go and then wind it on the hook shank. This will lead to the hackle breaking when you try to wind it on.

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11. Once the hackle is wound on, with a little room left behind the hook eye for the wing tie it off.

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12. Trim off the excess hackle.

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13. Your caddis body should now look like this.

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14. With a pair of small sharp scissors carefully trim off the protruding CdC fibers from the body.

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15. Now you should have a fine segmented spun CdC caddis body as here.

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16. Select three similar lengthen CdC hackles of your chosen colour.

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17. Take each hackle and hold horizontally.

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18. Carefully draw the fibers so they are 90 degrees to the hackle stem.

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19. The correctly prepared hackles should look like this.

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20. Once all three hackles are prepared lie them on top of each other as shown.

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21. Choose the size of magic tool appropriate for the hook size used.

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22. Take hold of all three hackles at the same time and pre s down into the magic tool.

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23. Once in the magic tool trim off the ends of the CdC on both sides of the tool. This is very important otherwise the CdC will hang up in the spring of the clip.

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24. Now place the receiving clip over the fibers of the CdC in the first clip.

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25. Once the receiving clip is in place release the first clip and remove the CdC.

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26. Now trim off the hackle stems.

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27. Your CdC should now look like this, ready to place in the dubbing loop.

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28. Split your thread and place the CdC clip in the loop. Holding the loop closed with your right hand.

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29. Remove the clip.

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30. You can now spin your tying thread just a few times with your fingers to hold everything in place for the big spin.

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31. While holding your bobbin up with the tying thread hanging on your finger between the bobbin and the dubbing, spin your bobbin clockwise.

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32. Once the bobbin has spun a little, put tension in the tying thread by pulling slightly on the bobbin and then run your index finger and thumb, up along the tying thread towards the dubbing. This will set tension in the thread and tighten the spin in your dubbing brush.

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33. Now wind on your CdC dubbing brush, but take care to hold ALL the CdC fibers back in the wing position with every turn. That means after each turn of dubbing collect all the fibers from under the fly and hold as shown-

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34. Once all the dubbing is wound on, while holding the wing in place make a few turns of tying thread to hold it in the correct position.

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35. Whip finish.

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36. Trim off the rear of the wing. About a half hook length from the hook bend.

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37. Turn your fly up side down and pull the whole wing down on each side of the fly. Trim off the surplus on the underside.

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38. The finished Petitjean CdC caddis. Although this has been a rather lengthy tutorial, Marc ties this extremely effective pattern in under 3 minutes.

The vice, tools and all materials used are Marc’s own and are available from  http://www.petitjean.com/shop/


Elk Hair Caddis Step by step

Elk Hair Caddis

Hook Mustad R30 # 16-10 http://www.mustad.no/productcatalog/product.php?id=175

Thread Dyneema http://www.virtual-nymph.com/index.php?option=com_virtuemart&page=shop.browse&category_id=1&Itemid=26

Body Olive dubbing

Hackle Brown Cock

Wing Bleached elk

This classic caddis pattern is from the tying bench of well know American fly tyer Al Troth.

This is probably the most well known caddis pattern in existence, and rightly so. The EHC as it is also known is one of the best adult caddis patterns that you could use.  I myself have fished this pattern for at least 30 years, and every season it never fail to provide me with great sport.

Most of the materials are readily available but in the past few years the bleached elk hair has become more difficult to obtain.  Al Troth himself recommends that you use the thigh hair from a cow elk, bleached, this I have found impossible to obtain but any good quality bleached elk does a good job.  If you find like me that the bleached elk cannot be obtained, regular elk will also do a good job, it’s just a little more difficult to see at a distance on the water.

You can fish this pattern dry so that it just floats high on the hackle points, you can fish it half drowned so that it gurgles like a popper when retrieved and you can even fish it wet just under the surface. A brilliant all round pattern.

1

1

Attach the tying thread and run it along the hook shank until it hangs level with the hook barb.

2

2

Prepare the hackle and tie in at the base of the hook shank.

3

3

Attach the dubbing to the tying thread and begin to build up the body of the fly.

4

4

Once you have dubbed the whole body make sure you leave enough space for the elk wing head (2 mm behind the hook eye) secure the dubbing with a few turns of tying thread.

5

5

Using a hackle plier wind on the hackle, palmered style along the whole of the dubbed body.

6

6

Tie off the hackle and trim off the access.

7

7

With the use of a small hair stacker even thew ends of a small bunch of elk hair. You can also remove the under wool at this stage.

8

8

Remove the hair from the stacker and lie it along the top of the hook as shown to measure the correct length of wing required.

10

9

Still holding the hair in place , change hands and make two loose turns of tying thread around the head of the fly, and pull tight. Make a couple more turns of tying thread to secure the wing.

11

10

You can now trim of the surplus elk hair butt ends to make that distinctive EHC head.

Tie off the tying thread and remove.

12

11

The finished Elk Hair Caddis.


Drift boat fishing in Trysil

Marc Petitjean and Torill Kolbu fish a drift on the Trysil River with Espen from Call of the wild.

My pale yellow mayfly imitation that was easy to see on the dark water, drifted perfectly 7-8 metres from the boat, quickly approaching two rolling grayling in the next pool, that we had had our eyes on for the last 80 metres or so, drift. When without warning another, previously unseen fish rose from the depths of a dark pool and enthusiastically disappeared with my mayfly. Espen began pulling on the oars to slow our decent and dropped the anchor. I lifted my rod and it immediately assumed the golden arch position with the grayling diving deep into the pool. After a short battle my first grayling of the season was released.

Late one Sunday night, 02.45 to be precise, the last week of June, I was woken when my mobile bellowed out the familiar SMS tone, was this the message that I had been waiting a week for ? “1 new message received”  I pressed the keys on my mobile feverishly, as I fumbled for my reading glasses.  The message read, The Danica are hatching, Come ASAP, Espen.  03.26 I was packed and in the car with only a thermos of strong black Columbian and a *Swedish General, to keep me company for the five hour drive from my home town just south of Oslo, to meet Espen Eliertsen inTrysil.

Espen who is owner and head guide for “Call of the wild”  a fishing guide service in Trysil, is the first person in Europe to import and use Clacka drift boats from the USA. Espen is a trained guide who has guided both hunting and fishing in USA and Austrailia, as well as being a white water rafting instructor. Earlier in the month, he had promised me a boat fishing trip unlike any other. If you regularly read any north american fly fishing magazines, the very unique and American looking Clacka drift boats, will be familiar to you, normally photographed in the equally unique landscape on a river in Big sky Montana. But how would they look and even more, function, on a Norwegian river ? I was intrigued and couldn´t wait to find out…

The drop anchor on one of the clacka drift boats.

Anchor release system.

Rod holders are safe and well placed in the boat.

The standing support feature keeps the caster on an even keel.

These McKenzie style drift boats can be traced back to old North Atlantic cod fishermen but where somewhat popularised  for fly fishing by the the famous Western Novelist and fisherman Zane Grey, who used them at his fishing camp on the Rogue river.

Allthough the initial overall shape of the boat has remained the same the modern  design features that Clacka have used years developing, make this the ultimate river drift, fishing platform.

After a brief safety talk, about what, and what not to do, not dissimilar to that you receive on a plane from a flight attendant, we where in the boat and starting the first drift.

The weather forcast for the next two days was echoed in the headlines of the tabloid press, all using words as “Tropical” “Heat wave”  “Over the whole of Norway”  “30 degrees +”. As I understood from Espen, we needed the temperature to rise in the river, in order for the Danica to do there thing, but was this going to be too much of a good thing ?

Espen with a 43 cm Trysil grayling.

There where Danica and Sulpherea and Rodanis mayflies hatching everywhere, and when I say everywhere, I mean everywhere, but this being the first day of the hatch, the famous Trysil grayling were not as eager as the seagulls to take advantage of this seasonal delicacy. I couldt belive that fish where not rising! The whole river surface was covered with duns, popping up and floating like small sail boats down river.  Espen re-asured me that it always takes a little time for them to start feeding on the surface when the Danica hatch first begins. The first few hours they concentrate where the food is most plentiful and that below the surface.

For the next three hours we had only been in contact with a few fish and drifted just about every type of river condition from shallow rapids to fast flowing channels to flat calm slow drifts, and the Clacka drift boat in combination with Espen´s expert handling impressed me more and more, performing perfectly as a sturdy fishing and casting platform at all times.  We drifted through breath taking Alaskan type landscape, with steep rising pine and spruce covered mountains on each side of us, that you only get full effect of from mid-river, down to where the river opens out and widens almost into a large basin, here Espen suggested that we take lunch, I had actually forgotten about eating but suddenly realised the almost Parkinson like symptoms my hands where showing form the consumption of way too much Columbian and General in the last ten hours and no food. So I agreed and Espen dropped the anchor in mid stream, We can sit and watch for rises as we eat lunch. It sounded like a plan.

Doing the Alska drift.

While we where finishing up sandwiches and ice cold drinks that Espen had tucked away in  one of the boats many water tight storage compartments, heavy clouds began moving in from the north accompanied with a light rainfall, but still the air temperature over 25 degrees. In other words, perfect hatching weather. We noticed first one rise, close to land, not a huge splash but a typical grayling rise followed by a delicate sip, leaving the tell tale bubble the way grayling do. Shortly followed by  another one not far from the boat, and yet another,  and like magic, and for reasons we will probably never come to understand, small rings began to decorate the surface of the flat calm river everywhere, it had started.

On the drift down the fish I had managed to take, after a few changes of fly had all fallen for a detached bodied CdC mayfly pattern of my own creation, I tied on a new one while Espen pulled up the anchor and manoeuvred the boat into a tactical  casting position for what he thought was a better and steady rising fish.  The anchor on these drift boats is ingenious to say the least. No disturbing the fishermen in the boat while you open hatches and dig out the rope and anchor, and then throw it overboard. This is fishing boat design at its best. All Espen has to do is step on the anchor release which is positioned by his feet where he sits to row, and the anchor is released from the back of the boat. When he needs to take in the anchor, he just pulls on the rope from his sitting position and its up again.

Arve puts Jon onto another fish.

One of the other great advantages of fishing from these boats, is the boat with a little help from Espens control with the oars, gives a drifted fly the perfect drift with a minimum of mending the fly line. You are also not only casting to rising fish, but while drifting your fly is constantly covering new water and new fish.  When drifting over faster runs of water you can change from dry fly to a single nymph or a set-up with a heavy nymph on the point and a couple of lighter nymphs as droppers and a strike indicator. This is not only an extremely effective method for fishing pocket water  but a deadly technique for searching out larger grayling in the deeper faster water, that otherwise would be inaccessible.  If you intend to maximise your fishing affectivity you can set-up two rods, one with dry fly and one with nymphs that you can alternate between as the river determines as you drift.

With a new fly on the leader and Espen holding the boat steady he says ” nine o clock, 15 metres ” I lift my rod and make a couple of false casts to shake of the dry fly floatant and lie my line down in the nine o clock position, “perfect” says Espen.  The fly drifts perfectly along with several naturals, one of which is 60 cm or so ahead of mine, when it slowly enters the steady risers feeding window and “sup” its gone. Mine is next in line ! and like a text book account of how it should be, the fish obliges and leaves only  small rings in the surface where my fly once was. If there was only a slight breeze these rises would be impossible to see.  I automatically lift the rod and my line tightens, I can feel immediately that this fish is of another class from the ones I have had contact with so far. The fish dives and enters the strong under current using his majestic dorsal fin to his advantage and holding his position deep on the bottom.  After 2 or 3 minutes he succumbed to the overwhelming power of space age carbon.  What a beautiful fish, 38 cm of grayling, a new personal record on dry fly.

The largest fish of the day,about to be released.

The rise continued for another 45 minutes or so, or five more fish, and then began to fall off until there was only the odd rise here and there. We drifted down to the bridge where we where going to take the boat on shore.  While unloading the boat I noticed some hefty rising that wasn´t more than 70 cm from one of the bridge supports. There where three heavy grayling rolling in the surface one after another, each time they came up showing their whole side and dorsal fin to us.  I pointed them out to Espen when he returned from the car park, you´ll have to take the boat out yourself if you want to try for them. Espen had and appointment with a priest and 20 other people that he would float them down the river as part of a mid summer eve event, and he was already running late. I just have to go and get the hanger, I´ll be back in 15 minutes.  I jumped in the boat and drifted the 50 or so metres I needed to get me in casting distance and dropped the anchor.  After quickly dusting my fly I could now see clearly 3 huge grayling, one of them or more, rolling every 10 – 15 seconds sucking in every dun that floated over them.  I made a cast, but I had misjudged the current and mid section of my fly line began forming a rapidly increasing down stream loop, that any second was going to start stripping my fly out of a natural drift. I began mending my fly line like a mad man, trying to correct the drift before my fly sailed over the rising fish. Just before my fly entered the critical part of the drift, over the fish, I gave my rod a violent flick and lifted what fly line I could out of the water stripping my fly across the surface for about 40 cm and quickly dropped the tip of my rod again. The result was perfect and as soon as it came over the first fish he rolled and once again my line tightened.  And like the other grayling it wasen´t long before he was on the bottom in mid river.  Typical I thought, the best fish of the trip and no one here to help me photograph it. When I eventually brought him up to the boat and slipped the landing net under him I could see this was even bigger than my previous best fish earlier in the day.  I lifted him into the boat and removed the hook. Knowing Espen was soon to return I placed the fish back in the landing net and into the water.

A couple of minutes later Espen was back on the shore and I lifted the net in triumph, and shouted we need to photograph it before the light goes. After 20 or so pulls of the oars Espen was reviving the fish while I sorted out the camera gear. We returned the fish after a short photo session. He was between 43 – 45 cm, another personal record from the river Trysil.

I can strongly recommend this drift boat trip on the Trysil river for both boat and bank fishermen alike.  You experience a whole new type of fishing in fantastic surroundings. But it dosen´t stop at the river Tysil. The area around Trysil is full of lakes and rivers that contain not only trout and grayling but also char and pike. All the information that you need can be obtained by contacting Espen, who speaks fluent English or Destination Trysil the local tourist office.

Lots more information can be obtained from Espens website. www.callofthewild.no which is also in English.

Marc with a nice Trysil brown taken on the wade and fish beats.

Drift boat fishing on the Trysil River info:

Day trip drift boating

Price per boat (max 2 persons per boat) Nok 3000,-

8 hours drifting including transport too and from the river.

Day trip includes:

Meet at the Trysil Hyttegrend/ Trysil fishing centre.

Drive to putout sight for boat where drift will begin. Here you will be instructed about the boat and its equipment and safety.

One stop approximately half way through the days drift and lunch. There will also be opportunities to stop if wished for wading and fishing on good wading stretches of the river throughout the drift especially in the shallower parts in the middle of the river, that are otherwise difficult to access without a boat.

Included in the price:

Transport too and from the river

Guide and boat

Lunch

Not included:

Fishing license

Fishing equipment (can be hired)

Recommended equipment:

Waders

Hat (Must have)

Sun glasses (Must Have)

Neck scarf

Rain clothes

Warm pullover

4-5 weight rod

Half day drift boat trip:

Price per boat (max 2 persons per boat) Nok 1500,-

4 hours drift including transport too and from the river.

Meet at the Trysil Hyttegrend/ Trysil fishing centre.

Drive to putout sight for boat where drift will begin. Here you will be instructed about the boat and its equipment and safety.

Drift a 4 hour stetch of river. There will be oppertunities to stop if wished for wading and fishing on good wading stretches of the river throughout the drift especially in the shallower parts in the middle of the river, that are otherwise difficult to access without a boat.

Included in the price:

Transport too and from the river

Guide and boat

Coffee

The different drifts:

North drift:

The drift starts way north in Trysil  and we drift down to Sennsjøen. The river is slow  flowing here but has many fine stretches with good dry fly fishing. A very good drift with possibilities for good Grayling, trout and lower down near Sennsjøen big white fish.

You will drift through fantastic landscape with good opportunities to come in contact with big fish.

Middle drift:

We start between Trysil centre and Jordet. This stretch offers a varied fishing from faster flowing stretches to slow stretches with deep pools. The Grayling dominates this stretch but there are still good possibilities for trout and down at Sennsjøen big white fish and Grayling.

Southern drift:

This drift goes through the Gjerfloen fly fishing zone of river. We drift through all types of river from slow floating to powerful rapids. Here it is only allowed to fish with fly and this stretch has a bag limit of one fish per fisherman under 38 cm. But you can continue to fish catch & release. This stretch was the first of its kind in Norway. Only 20 fishing licenses sold each day.

Half day drift boat trip:

From Strandvollen bridge to Trysil centre.

This stretch offers a good varied fishing for Grayling but trout are possible down near Trysil centre here are also possibilities for big white fish. This trip gives you a good introduction as to what drift boat fishing is all about.

Season:

Week 24-27 Mayfly excellent hatches and dry fly fishing

Week 26-27 Danica/ Vulgata hatching

Week 28-29 Start of the caddis fly hatch. Also possible mayfly hatching.

Week 30-35 Caddis hatches especially good in the evening and at night. Some mayfly hatching.

Week 35-40 Second generation mayfly hatches and caddis. Normally very good fishing on days with good weather conditions right until there is ice on the water.

For information on water levels and air and water temperature, hatches see Trysilflyfisher on Twitter.

Booking, Contact and other info:

Espen A Eilertsen

Tel: 0047 404 15677

e mail: espen@callofthewild.no

http://www.callofthewild.no/


Elasticaddis in the house!

The elasticaddis is a Impressionistic larva house built from rubber legs.

House building caddis larva are available in most waters all year round, and are an important segment of the diet of trout and grayling.  There are many techniques that have been developed over the years from fly tying benches all over the world to imitate the house of the caddis larva, but this technique really gives the right impression.  This is a pattern I believe was developed in the US, but other than that I cant find any other information about it.  The great thing about this pattern is if you trim the rubber legs close to the body you get the impression of a caddis larva house built out of gravel, but if you spin the rubber legs not so tight and trim them a little longer it makes for a great house made of vegetation and sticks.  Also the rubber gives that extra needed weight when you need to get down deep and not least extremely durable.

You may find that this isn´t the easiest pattern to tie at the first attempt as the rubber legs seem to have a life of their own, but after a few attempts is no more difficult then any other pattern.  Try mixing colours and rubber types to achieve different effects.

Hook Mustad R72NP-BR # 12-6 with Bead head

Tying thread Dyneema

Body Rubber legs

Collar CdC

Head Course antron dubbing

1
Place a bead head on hook and your hook in the vice.

2
Attach tying thread to hook and run a foundation of thread along the whole hook shank.

3
Cut 3 small strips ca. 2 cm long, of double rubber legs in various colours and diameters if available.

4
Tie in the three rubber legs at the rear of the hook. If you are going to use heavy rubber legs, with a large diameter it is best to make a foundation of tapered loose dubbing on the hook shank first, otherwise the rubber will not flare as easy as fine rubber legs.

5
Once they are secure you can pull on them to split the double legs into single.

6
Carry on with the same procedure, mixing the colours as you go along the hook shank.

7
After each bunch of rubber legs is attached use the bead head to push the legs and pack them tightly. This will give a more compact body.

8
Attach more rubber legs until you have covered all but 3-4 mm of hook shank.

9
Now you can trim the house / larva case.

10
Continue all around the body of the fly until you have the desired size and shape.

11
Spin a couple of CdC hackles in a dubbing loop, just behind the bead head.

12
Wind on the dubbing loop brushing the CdC back over the body of the fly with each turn, so as not to trap the fibers.

13
Now dubb the tying thread with a little coarse dubbing with longish fibers and dubb the head of the fly tight into the bead head.

14
Whip finish and remove the tying thread. Using an old tooth brush brush out all the CdC and dubbing fibers, so they lie back over the body.

15
The finished elasticaddis.

No matter what you tie there is always room for artistic expression.


Minnivallalækur, Icelands prehistoric monster trout

One of the huge wild trout from the Minni

After a short drive, south east from reykjavik, a small farm road leads us the last few kilometers to the fishing lodge at Minnivallækur, the weather was perfect, for September. A little overcast, with small patches of blue, a slight breeze and 14 degrees “dry fly fishing was written all over the sky.

Jan and I where so hyped, we could almost hear heavy brown trout rolling in the surface and sucking in size 22 midges, over the sound of the engine of our four wheel drive hire car.  But in true Icelandic fashion, by the time we had pulled on our waders and put up our rods, Ice cold pounding rain and hail , that with the help of a force 10 gale from the north, made not only up-stream dry fly fishing, but any kind of fly fishing, down right impossible.

Minnivallækur is approximately one and a half hours drive along the coast road south east of  Reykjavik, through the most interesting volcanic landscape.  If you mention Iceland to most fishermen, they immediately think of fast flowing rocky rivers and million dollar salmon fishing.  This is of course what Iceland is internationally known for, but the fantastic fishing that is to be found in it’s slow – winding  trout rivers and streams can only be compared to that of Patagonia and the Russian tundra.

Fishing one of Minni’s many pools, with mount Hekla in the background

Situated in the shadow of Mount Hekla, Europe’s most active volcano, Minnivallækur is small to Scandinavian standards, and for the most is quite shallow.  Snaking it’s way slowly through the impressive treeless landscape of flat volcanic fields and improvised farm land,  like a giant serpent, each bend in the river revealing  new pools and new fish.

It was my fishing friend and companion for this trip, Jan Idar Løndal, that first turned me on to Minnivallækur.  He had fished the river for the first time some years ago, and Jan being a hardened salmon fisher, this was a little out of character to be so enthusiastic about brown trout fishing, so I immediately new that it had to be something special !

Our first day was, to say the least, disappointing, NO – disastrous! After arriving late in the afternoon to be met by the worst weather imaginable, we could only manage a couple of hours of waving carbon. We retired to the fishing lodge, and indulged ourselves in 12 year old Scottish culture, while searching text TV for the mornings weather forecast, and admiring the two monster brown trout trophies  the walls of the sitting room taken from the river last year. One of 8 kg taken on a nymph and another of 10 kg that was found dying in one of the pools.

The next morning we where out and fishing at day break.  The wind had dropped but there was still a light rain, and heavy black clouds hung low in the sky hiding Mount Hekla.  We began fishing at the hatchery pool.  This is one of the widest stretches of Minnivallækur and the uppermost beat. Not the prettiest beat, as there is an old hatchery research center on the west bank, one of the few buildings to be found on the rivers banks.  This hatchery caused some problems a few years ago. Some visiting foreign fishermen had travelled long and far to fish for these monster wild trout. While two of them where fishing the hatchery pool one of the employees emerged from the hatchery with a big landing net containing some huge brown trout, made his way down to the river, and released them !!!  To say the least the fishermen where shocked ! This was supposed to be a wild fishery, with NO stocked fish. The fact that the trout are so big fueled there misunderstanding. There was no way that such a small river could  possibly grow such large wild fish.  Our host Throstur Ellidson explained that several times each year the hatchery which grow salmon to fingerling size have to remove the brown trout that have made their way into the settlement pond of the hatchery in search of food. And as for this river not being able to sustain trout to this size: this is nonsense.

Jan’s tiny dry worked again!

Jan began fishing with the fly that produced the most fish for him on his last vist, a tiny #22 dry. Constructed of nothing but a little dubbed body of black seals fur.  After a short while when our eyes adjusted to the low light and the ripple of the uppermost part of the pool, we began to see small steady careful rises, but still no sign of insects.  I positioned myself up on top of the highest advantage point of the pool upstream form Jan. As I approached the river a huge long thick shadow shot out from under the bank and into deeper water. This was a fish of 5-6 kg. I turned and gestured to Jan with both my hands wide apart, he responded with the same gesture and then pointed a few meters up stream for him,  this is what we had come for.  Like most big fish rivers, Minnivallælakur doesn’t grow fish.  These huge trout spend the winter months in large lakes and migrate up this small river in search of food and spawning.  Thrustor Ellidson who,s is as a fresh water biologist, leases this river along will several others in Iceland told me about this special strain of brown trout in Minnivallalækur. We believe that they are some of the very last remaining trout of this strain. It was this brown trout that was over the whole of Northern Europe, this is the original “Salmo Trutta”

It didn’t take long before I heard Jan shout “Fish On” . His # 5 weight rod was bent double as he tried to back his way out from the middle of the river to the east bank.  The fish managed to round him twice before he reached terra firma.  After several powerful runs, ripping line of his reel, our first Minnivallækur brown trout was in the net.  We where both, nothing but astonished!

A fish of  no more than 600 grams. Even Jan who had fished this river before was amazed by the sheer fighting power and strength of this fish.  On closer examination this trout was very different from any trout that I had ever seen.  Apart from the condition of the fish, short  and deep, with a small well proportioned head,  the spots on its side continued around and under it’s stomach.

The next few hours we explored the pools of the upper 3 km of the river.  Its essential while fishing in Iceland that you have a four wheel drive, as there are no roads, only farm tracks that follow the river, if your lucky.  The last part of the day produced several more fish up-to, and just over the kilo mark, most of which fought  with just as much passion and determination as the first.

Our last days fishing produced better weather, with the occasional sunny period, we could now observe the smallest midges hatching everywhere and the odd caddis fly coming off, but for some reason there where less rising to be seen.  This is a challenging river to fish as these big trout are spooked easily, with gin clear water, high banks and a minimum cover. We spent a lot of time on all fours crawling to the bank and spotting fish, rather like fishing for big trout in New Zealand.  The traditional Icelandic method of fishing here is with large normally traditional streamers, Black ghost, Muddler minnow etc;  in the early part of the season fished down and across stream, and later on it the year with small weighted nymphs fished upstream in combination with a strike indicator when fishing deep. Iceland has no tradition with dry fly fishing.

We had spotted several big fish during first half of the day but with no results, we tried fishing some of the pools Iceland style with streamers and heavy nymphs, but without producing a single take. We both agreed to move back up stream.

As we made our way to the uppermost pool it looked like the weather was about to go sour on us again, we had to hurry.  While crossing the bridge, some 100 meters below the pool we saw a good fish,  tight into our bank, he was a steady riser. We played stone, paper, scissors, and it was decided that Jan would put the first fly over him. I moved up stream to the bend above the pool, giving his fish a good birth so as not to spook it.  To my surprise as I crawled to the edge I saw several fish rising just of a point some 15 meters above me, a sandy coloured caddis fly danced across the surface in a back eddy just behind the rising fish, “SPLOSH” it was gone.  I quickly clipped of my tiny midge and and tied on a streaking caddis.  With the minimum false casting possible I placed my fly behind the rising fish, and as my fly line hit the water, that big dark shadow, right under me shot out into deeper water, F****!! How could I be so stupid. To make things worse just at that moment another fish rose, splosh, my fly was gone. I lifted into my rod to find only slack line and a drowned streaking caddis.

Releasing another huge Minni brown

Jan on the other hand was doing things right! He was into another fish, but this time it was bigger.  After a good fight and several acrobatic leaps the best and last fish of our three days at Minnvallalækur was in Jans net, not a monster but a perfect specimen of a brown trout. We never did catch that huge trout, but we saw them!! Not just one but several.  Taking into the weather factor and that we fished the very end of the season, I am without doubt that this is some of the best dry fly trout fishing in the world. Our return trip is already booked.

Fishing Home pool right outside the lodge

Our short stay at Minnivallalækur, produced 16 fish, the majority of which where taken on dry fly, with a couple of fish on small gold head nymphs.

The fishing at Minnivallalækur is fly only and catch and release, but you are allowed to take the occasional fish for the table. The beat covers about 7 km of river, which is fished by only four rods at one time.  The season runs from 1 April – 30 September. The average size of the fish in Minnivallalækur is an amazing 1 to 2 kg.  The new fishing lodge is first class and has 4 double bedrooms and a view from the sitting room over home pool.  A visit to www.strengir.is  will give you all the info you need.


Melt Glue Caddis Pupa:

 

The melt glue caddis pupa has a semi transparent body that becomes extremely realistic when wet !

Keeping on the theme of melt glue I thought I would show you this pattern that has a little different technique than the Mutant. Here I combine the  material into the melt glue. It does take a little practice and time to master these melt glue techniques but the results are worth it! For more general info on caddis pupa take a look at the Bee Cee caddis in the archive.

A melt glue gun can be purchased from a hobby shop for just a few pounds.

Melt Glue Caddis Pupa:

Hook: Mustad C49SNP-BR # 12-8

Thread: Dyneema

Body: Melt Glue

Gills/rib: Olive Ostrich herl

Thorax/Head: Black and brown Antron dubbing and CdC

Secure your hook in the vice and tie in one long olive ostrich herl at the bend of the hook. Whip finish and remove the tying thread.

 


With a melt glue gun starting just behind the eye of the hook apply a layer of melt glue along the hook shank.

When you warm the melt glue with a lighter the glue will ‘flow’ around the hook shank. Take care not to burn the herl and you must rotate the hook (vice jaws) to even the glue.

 

This stage has to do with timing! When the glue has ‘set’ but is still pliable, wind on the gill rib, so that it sinks a little into the glue with each turn. This takes a little practice but works well when you have done it a few times.

The herl should be held in place by the glue! Now with a wet index finger srtoke the herl on the top of the body down towards the hook bend.

Using a water proof felt pen make one belt of colour along the back of the body as shown.

The body should now look like this!

Attatch your tying thread again and spin a sparse dubbing loop with CdC.

Wind on the CdC dubbing loop as a collar.

Now apply a little black and brown Antron dubbing mix to the tying thread and wind on to form the thorax and head.

Once the head is formed, whip finish. Now take a soft dubbing brush, I use an old tooth brush and brush out the fibers backwards towards the hook bend.

The finished melt glue caddis pupa.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Streaking Caddis:

The adult caddis fly

I belive that many great trout patterns have several things in common: they are quick and easy  to tie, no special tecniques 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 shear “fishability” of this pattern just has to be tried to be belived.

The bullet shaped aero and aqua dynimic form of this pattern makes casting a dream and presentation precise, for me there is somthing 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 settel and hang. Then comes the retrieve. With your rod tip down, close to the water, and your line taut, start with short jerky retreives streaking the fly 10-15cm 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 retreive plouging the streaking caddis just under the surface causing it to pop and gurggle as it goes. This can induce fast and aggresive takes, even when there is little fish activity to be seen.

The shear “fishability” of this pattern just has to be tried to be belived. 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.

Streaking Caddis

Hook: Mustad 94840 # 8

Thread: Dyneema

Body: Poly dubbing

Wing: Deer hair

Head: Spun and clipped deer hair

1
Secure your hook in the vise as shown and make a foundation of tying thread.

2.
Dubb the body of the fly.

Sellect 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 bouyant the deer hair.

4
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.

5
Stack your deer hair in a hair stacker. Before you remove the hair completly from the stacker measure the correct wing length.

6
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.

7
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.

8
Now you can continue over the head of the fly as for a regular spun deer hair pattern.

9
Whip finish your Streaking caddis and remove the tying thread.

10
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.

11
Clip all around the overside of the head.

12
Now finish the rough clip on the underside.

13
The next step is a good trick for all 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.

14
With an old toothbrush, remove all the soot from the head.

15
The finished Streaking caddis.

A sure winner when caddis are skating the surface