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2010 Caddis Fly Swap

Little Black Caddis


Thread: Black
Hook :  Dry Fly 16 to as small as you can tie them (18 and 20s seem to work best for me)
Hackle: Black
Dubbing: Black (I used Life Cycle)
Wing: Black Polypropylene ( Z-lon works but didn’t have any black nor did the Fly Shop)

Tie as an elk hair caddis,
Debarb your hook, attach and wind the thread back
Attach the hackle at rear of hook to palmer
Dub the body
Palmer hackle: remembering to leave space for the wing (tie off and trim)
Take a length of the poly and size it by removing strands until you get the amount you feel is appropriate for the wing (just as you would elk hair)
Tie in poly (don’t worry about length you will trim it) canting the wing caddis style. (it helps is after you get the wing tied down you make a few wraps forward of where you tied in the wing just behind the eye which will prop up the forward part of the poly and form the traditional elk-hair style caddis head)
Whip finish (I don’t use head cement)
Trim the rear of the wing at a slant just past the bend of the hook and trim the front at the eye

I like the poly or Z-lon on these small flies as elk or deer hair fine enough for these small patterns can be hard to find, plus it floats like a cork.

Hint: If you are having trouble getting the wing to lie right, try trimming the hackle on top of the hook shank before tying on the wing.

Fish as any dry caddis, usually dead drift, but sometimes skating it works as does allowing it to drag at the end of your drift.

Some years ago I was fishing lower Rim and saw at least three types of Caddis coming off at the same time. The usual brown caddis, a very large very pale caddis and the little black caddis. I could get no hits on the big caddis, caught a few on the standard brown elk-hair, but they really went for the little blacks. Guess they must be the equivalent of chocolate to the trout, as they passed up the beef and the chips for the candy even though it was smaller.

Tied by Chet Smith

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