Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Elk Haired Caddis

Okay, the pattern for my blog isn't going to be fish on the weekends and show fly tying patterns in the middle of the week. I have an idea for a post that has nothing to do with fly fishing, but I'm saving it for tomorrow. Yes, I'm going to post two days in a row, but I'm justifying it by making tomorrow's post about a different subject.

Now for the post at hand: We are tying my favorite dry fly. For those of you who have no clue about fly fishing there are 4 major types of flies that we use. Dry flies: They float on the water and are to look like real flies, may fly, caddis fly, stone fly these are just a couple examples of dry flies. Wet fly: These are dry flies before their wings are fully formed and ready to take flight for the first time. Nymphs: This is the beginning stage of a fly's life and it spends time on rocks on the bottom, getting kicked up by people,animals, and other obstructions that hit the water. Lastly most fly fishermen will lump this last one in with wet flies but I find that you just can not do that. Streamers: They imitate other animals in the water, minnows, crawfish, and other larger creatures. So my favorite dry fly is the Elk Haired Caddis....

For this Caddis I am using a size 16 dry fly hook. I always start my trout flies by pressing the barb down, it makes the release easier and the faster you get a trout back to the water the less stress is put on the fish. Some will say you loose more fish this way but I'd rather not get them to hand, then have to take more home then I plan on eating. To start I'm using tan thread and starting the fly in the middle and working to the back of the hook shank.

Then a single brown piece of hackle gets tied in. It helps to tie all materials in on top of the hook that way when you start to wrap you'll be starting all materials from the same place.

Now for tan dubbing, rap this from back to front leaving enough room for a wings. Dubbing, is fly tiers term for pulled fur, and comes from most fluffy animals such as rabbits, muskrats, fox, and the list goes on. It is raped around the thread and it makes the body shape of the fly your tying.

Wrapping the hackle from the back to front will fan out and it helps the fly to float. On this particular fly I trim the top to make room for the last and most important step.

This is the finish product and the last step is how it gets its name. The wing on top is made from elk hair. Elk hair, moose, deer hair, and most hoofed animals have course hair, but what it is great for is floating flies the reason for this is the hair is hollow. These hairs are used for every thing from Caddis flies to poppers which are large flies used for catching bass and other larger fish. The Elk Haired Caddis is what I caught a large majority of the fish from this past weekend and is one of my go to dry flies. I'm a creature of habit on the water and if I see fish eating dry flies, but haven't gotten a good look at what kind of fly it is I tend to tie a caddis on and give it a go. It doesn't work every time but when it doest this is a pattern that is very effective. Also the caddis fly ranges from rivers to the smallest of trickles. My favorite part about this fly is that when fishing a wild or native creek you can sometimes trick a fish into taking this fly even if it hasn't been eating dry flies all day. That is just one of many reasons why this fly is my favorite.

Still looking for the line


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