Hook : Grip 11001 # 14 Dry Fly
Thread: 14/0 Brown
Body: Chocolate Brown Ring Neck Pheasant
Hackle: Brown (I’m using a Metz Cape)
Ribbing: 0.1 mm Copper Wires
Wing: Natural Deer Hair / Natural elk
1) Build a solid thread based ensuring your cotton is corded slightly to create a slight ribbed effect on the hook shank. More specifically in the last 1/3rd behind the eye.
- We are going to tie in the materials just before the bend of the hook in reverse order to how they will be strapped. (Copper wire, hackle, pheasant) BUT FIRST
2) Create a small hook on the copper wire and tie that in
3) Prepare your hackle by gripping the tip of the feather and splaying the top 5mm. Trim the 5mm of fibers to create teeth (0.5mm long). This helps grip the feather when tying it in.
Tie the 5mm piece of feather in, Shiny side of the feather facing AWAY from you.
4) Clip three fibers of pheasant tail and tie in the tips first, lighter side of the feather facing TOWARD you. Ensures a natural tapering due to the nature of the feather. Wrap the fibers in side by side at a slight angle
5) Wrap the hackle in, palmer forwards. Four/ five turns should suffice
6) Using your thumb and forefinger tease the hackle fibers from the back of the fly to the front
7) Trim the hackle down at an angle and rotate the fly to ensure it is rounded. (See picture)
8) Wrap the copper wire in counter clockwise at an angle. Wiggle from side to side so not to trap too many fibers. Whip finish the fly off.
9) Cut a small pinch of deer hair. 1/5 of a pencil in terms of feel. Hold the tips and clean out the “Fluffy stuff” with your other hand. Line up the fibers in a stacker.
To this point the fly is simple….. now for the tricky bit
When taking the deer hair out of the stacker grip the tips in your left hand and hold the fibers above the hook, tips at the bend. Trim off toward the base of the deer hair to ensure it is the length of hook shank
Now to tie in the wing: (Ensure you are holding the deer hair in your left hand the entire time)
- Holding the deer hair parallel to the hook, loop the tying thread around the deer hair once and then slowly tighten. Pulling the deer hair down onto the hook shank. DO NOT pull tight. This loop is created to stop the fibers from splaying.
- While still only applying minimal pressure, take FOUR wraps over the deer hair and hook shank.
- Now to secure the wing. On the FIFTH to SEVENTH wrap, apply as much pressure as your cotton can handle. This will then splay the head of the deer hair and the wing will remain in its original form.
- You can gather the head with your fingers should you want a smaller head. The original Elk Hair Caddis requires a large splayed head, I prefer smaller and more upright head.
10) Whip finish TWICE over the same area.
11) Critical success factors
a) When building the body, ensure you leave the last 1/3rd of the hook shank for the wing
b) The ribbed 1/3rd base helps when trying to secure the wing
c) Copper wire must be wrapped counter clockwise to give the fly durability
d) The loop over the deer hair is CRITICAL
e) The FOUR loose wraps are essential to keeping the form of the wing
f) Ensure your wraps while tying the deer hair in, lie next to each other from the back of the wing toward the front.
g) The tight wraps over the wing are essential to holding the wing in place
This fly has been extremely successful on both rivers and still waters. It has proven itself in caddis hatches as well as brown ant hatches. What is particularly pleasing is how many large, picky fish, this fly has seduced.
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