Simple Caddis Dry Fly
Guiding requires some specialized flies at times. These flies need to get the job done by utilizing diversity, productivity, simplicity, and multifunctionality. A caddis is a staple in most trout boxes. Dries, nymphs, and puppas are the usual box fillers. I needed something that would cross over blurring all of the life cycles of the Caddis.
On the tail of Sulphur season and tying endless emergers I was standing knee deep in the Mad with clients. We were swinging Soft Hackles and drifting emergers when there were splashed everywhere and fish on a heavy feed. Our waders started to get covered with caddis and soon they were in our eyes. My clients were very new and were having trouble keeping fish buttoned on the swing. They wanted to catch a fish on a dry, but the fish did not want an Elk Hair Caddis. I pulled out all the tricks of trimming down the dries and greasing up the wet flies and we landed a few fish. That night I hit the vise.
With mayfly emergers fresh in my mind along with the days events this fly “emerged.” This fly has everything you need in a Caddis, minus the guide (for free.) Dip the whole thing in some High and Dry liquid for a super high floating dry that take a dropper well. Dust the wing with some High and Dry Power Floatant and add a drop of Henry’s Sink It to the butt for a low floating dry. Grease your tippet with Snake River Mud for those really picky fish. Add some High and Dry Gel to the wing and Powder to the body then swing it with a short sink tip for a very realistic puppa. On and on and on…
Do not just pigeon hole this for Caddis though. Tweak it to look more like a mayfly emerger, cripple, or spinner. Pull out the black materials and tie it as a cricket in the summer. What about in a size 8-10 as a hopper…endless options. Tie a few of these up and then let your imagination flow.
Ryan Ratliff- December 2018
Simple Caddis Recipe:
Hook: TMC 2457 #14- Click Here or Daiichi 1167- Click Here
Thread: Uni 8/0 or equivalent- Click Here
Body: Micro Fine and Dry Dubbing- Click Here
Underwing: 2mm Foam- Click Here
Overwing: X Caddis Deer- Click Here hair or Elk Hair- Click Here
1. Place hook in vise and wrap thread way back on the bend of the hook.
2. Prep some dubbing and apply to thread creating a slender dubbing rope.
3. Dub the body tapering thicker towards the hook eye. Stop abruptly about 2-3 hook eye lengths back from the eye.
4. Cut a thin strip of sheet foam the length of the entire sheet.
6. Once secure pull the foam back and trim to the length of the hook.
8. Select a piece of hair that meets your color, size, and purpose needed. Elk Hair is great for larger patterns and Short and Fine or XCaddis deer hair is perfect for smaller patterns.
9. Cut hair off from the hide and pull out the underfur. Place in a hair stacker tips first. Tap a few times, separate the pieces of the stacker and grab the perfectly aligned tips.
10. Measure the hair against the foam wing. You will want the tips to just pass the foam.
11. Carefully tie in the hair taking care to keep it all on top of the hook shank.
12. Pull the butts back and place a few wraps under the hair. Be careful not to crowd the eye of the hook.
13. Apply some more dubbing of the same color or color of your choice to the thread. Wrap two or so wraps over the exposed thread over the hair. Then wedge a few wraps under the butts of hair behind the hook eye. Again plan this out as to not crowd the eye.
14. Whip finish right behind the hook eye. Glue, varnish, or UV resin if desired.
15. Trim the butts of the hair. If you want a fly that skates well trim slightly longer and apply some SolarEz Flex fanning out the trimmed hair. If you are targeting Panfish trim long and resin straight up so it will pop. If you want a swinging fly trim short. Typically, I keep it long and fine tune on the water.
16. The finished fly here trimmed slightly long with the hair fanned out wide.
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