Back in March … I think … I tied some Elk Hair Caddis with CDC wrapped around the body, to give that mix a try. They languished in my fly box for some time, until a recent couple of river visits where I finally remembered to give them some room to run. They worked very nicely, although they seemed to lose buoyancy after a couple of visits inside trout mouths.
So, needing to expand the supply in the boxes, and tinker with the pattern just a bit, I sat down to tie a few, today. I did #12 and #14, and took a bit more time to trim and wrap well, etc.
- Dry Fly hooks, as stated above
- Rusty brown CDC
- Amber dubbing
- Veevus 8/0 thread in Light Cahill
- Bleached Elk Hair
Clamp, tie on the thread, and wrap a good foundation.
Brush the fibers at the tip of a CDC feather back, so you can tie in at the top of the bend, and anchor well. I left the fibers of the tip on…but probably out of laziness. I may have convinced myself that they would add to the buoyancy.
Dub the thread, thin at first then thickening as you wrap forward in touching turns.
Palmer/wrap the CDC forward, stroking the fibers back, as well as possible, to avoid pinning them under the next turn.
Once you get to the front edge of the dubbing, tie off and trim the CDC feather stem. The CDC stem can be a bit of a chore to pin down, so wrap a small head over it, if needed.
On a couple of the flies I tied today, I took the fibers from the remaining end of the feather, and tied them onto the top of the fly, angled back to line up with the wing I was about to add. I think it will help as an under-wing.
Trim off a medium-small bundle of Elk Hair, stack it, and tie it on right in front of the dubbing. As usual, for Elk Hair, pinch it tightly in the wrapping, to keep it on top of the fly.
Before trimming the butt ends of the hair, bend back 1/3, give that gap a couple of tight wraps, then do the same at the 2/3 point. After this, a few wraps under the front edge of the hairs, to form a dam that helps push the hair ends up, then cut at an angle (low edge towards the front).
Whip finish, a drop of head cement, and start looking for straggler CDC fibers that are too long.
I made sure to properly space and fill in the head on the second #14…as this first one (pictured, above) clearly had the head a bit too far back, and too small.
Yeah, that’s a bit nicer, isn’t it?
On one of the #12s, I tied in two CDC feathers, instead of one, and trimmed fairly close at the end, to give it a longer float and legs. I also added the customary Elk Hair tail, on the #12s.
In any event, these look a bit nicer than the first attempts…maybe?
Can’t wait to give them a try!