Fly Tying Patterns

Elk hair caddis

Elk hair caddis

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Hook: any dry fly hook size 12-20
Thread: Sheer 14/0 grey
Body: Golden cream dry fly dubbing
Hackle: Brown rooster
Wing: Tan elk hair

Ask any fly fisherman in the world to name his or hers favourite caddis patterns and I am pretty sure the vast majority of them will name the Elk hair caddis among them. Designed by american Al Troth about 35 years ago to mimic a fluttering caddis, but it can also be a stonefly, a hopper or a majority of other insects. I have friends who has them as their favourite mayfly pattern aswell! 

I have really nice memories about this pattern. One of the first fishing trips I ever was on to Fulufjäll in north of Sweden I had some fantastic fishing for small truots in the small streams up on the mountain.

I have changed the way I tie it from the original in the way that I don't use a rib to extra secure the palmered hackles. But I still find that golden brown sort of body colour is my favourite. 

Step 1

Tie in the thread and then a half of milimeter or so  from the hook bend tie in the hacke feather.
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Step 2

 Dub your thread and wind a couple of turns behind the hackle and then dubbe a rough body with a slight taper towards the hook eye stopping a milimerter or so from the hook eye

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Step 3

Wind the hackle forward in even turns finishing it off where you left the thread.

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Step 4

Stack a small amount of elk hair, this is of course a matter or personal taste, some people like their wings thick and some like it sparse. I am more fond of the sparse wings, and that is also more close to the original. So stack the hair to get the tips even and get rid of all the fluff and short hairs before you measure the tips in just behind the body.

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Step 5

Pinch down the wing with the thumb and forefinger of yoru lefthand (if you are right handed) and wrap two very loose wraps of the thread.

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Step 6

Now while still holding down the wing pull hard on the tying thread straight up to flair the butts of the hair. Wind 4 more hard turns of the thread and then slip the thread underneath the buts.

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Step 7

Now again with your left hand fold the butts of the hair back and wind several turns of thread underneath the butts to raise it up slightly. 

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Step 8

 Now finish off the fly at the hook eye and cut off the buts of the elk hair at an angle creating a little triangular head!

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Underneath you see how the wing have flared out a little creating a nice illusion of a caddis wing!

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