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A Caddisfly for All Occasions

Are you looking for a new generic adult caddisfly?  Tie this semi-realistic imitation using wing burners. The trout had better beware!

[by Barry Clarke]


THE KEY TO TYING A GREAT FLY IS USING THE CORRECT PROPORTIONS OF THE RIGHT MATERIALS. For this pattern, carefully select the correct cock pheasant shoulder feathers for the wings. Scrutinize the color, markings, size, and curvature of each feather. Taking your time will result in much prettier and better-balanced wings.

Pay careful attention to the proportion of the wings. They should extend one-third the length of the hook shank past the bend. Giving the wings this little extra length will help support the heaviest part of the hook and keep the fly on an even keel when it is on the surface of the water. All of this will result in a better presentation.

The dubbed body should be cigar shaped and fat. Volume is the goal. This will support and strengthen the wing. It will also create a solid foundation for the iconic tent-shaped wing. I use Super Fine Dry Fly Dubbing. This material is extremely easy to dub and creates a realistic-looking body. Once brushed out, the material will trap tiny air bubbles among its long fibers and help the pattern float.

Leave enough space between the base of the wing and the hook eye to accommodate 10 to 12 wraps of hackle. A saddle hackle, with its extra-long sweet spot, works best. Before wrapping the feather, ensure that the foundation of tying thread is flat and even; if the base is uneven, the hackle fibers are less likely to splay out 90 degrees from the hook shank.

Paying special attention to material quality and proper proportions makes it easier to master more advanced tying techniques and results in better flies.


Barry Clarke amazes us with his semi-realistic fishing flies. Using just a few commonly available materials, he creates patterns few fish can refuse. Barry lives in Norway, but you can follow him at www.thefeatherbender.com