(Originally known as the G&H Sedge)
|Fly: Larry Medina, Photograph: Hans Weilenmann
|| Mustad 94833 Size 10-18
|| Black waxed thread
|| Deer, Elk Caribou or Antelope hair
|| Two stripped "strung" brown saddle hackle stems
|| Brown or Grizzly
This pattern was one of the precursors to the elk hair caddis and is an excellent floating fly because of the hair body. Many published versions of this pattern call for the use of deer or elk hair, personally, I prefer caribou and/or antelope mixed to give a mottled effect. The pattern in the photo uses caribou.
Spinning the hair for this pattern takes some practice, as you need to cut the rearmost clump shorter on the ends that project rearward so they don't hang up on the hook bend. Don't let it get you down as you start tying this pattern….I razor shaved many a hook before I got the hang of it!
© 2000 Hans Weilenmann
- Start thread at the thorax position of the shank and wrap back to the midpoint. Prepare the hackle stems for the antennae by stripping all the barbs from the hackles from about ¼ inch below the tips to the base. Leave the tips on for adjusting the stems later.
- Tie the stems to the shank, leaving the hackle tips projecting over the eye. The antennae should be at least the length of the entire fly, maybe a bit longer. Attempt to adjust the position of the stems so the antennae spread out to the sides of the eye.
- Cut a “pinch” of caribou hair about ½ the diameter of a pencil, clean out all the underfur and trim the bunch so the ends are even and the hair is roughly ½ inch long. Place this bunch of hair on top of the shank above the hook point and take two loose wraps of thread over the middle of the bunch. SLOWLY tighten the thread wraps and then let go of the hair so it spins around, encircling the shank. Advance the thread through the front part of the spun hair to the front of the bunch.
- Continue spinning bunches of hair and packing them as you go forward until the shank is covered to the point where you would normally tie in the hackle for a dry fly; about 1/8 to 3/16 inch behind the eye. Tie off the thread and trim the excess.
- Remove the hook from the vise to trim the hair. I prefer to use a double edged razor blade, as they are thinner and easier to control. Use EXTREME CAUTION when working with one of these until you get the “hang” of it, as there will be an exposed edge facing your palm! Some people use very sharp scissors. If you use scissors, I recommend curved ones for trimming deer hair, but any sharp scissors will do. You can also use a regular razor blade or a blade from an X-acto knife. The shape for trimming is difficult to describe, but if you look at the image on the website and follow the instructions in the next step, you should be able to get it. Another tip is to steam the untrimmed fly prior to beginning to trim. This “puffs up” the hair, making it much denser and results in a nicer looking finished product.
- When you trim the hair for this pattern, you should first trim the bottom almost flush with the hook eye along the shank and flat from front to back. The bottom of the fly should be about ¼ to 3/16 inch wide, and the sides are isosceles triangles. The second cut is made along one of the sides, tapering from the front to the back. The front should be one hook eye from the shank, the rear should be about 1/8 inch away from the shank. The other side should be trimmed identical. The final cut is the back, which should taper out from the top to the bottom, forming an equilateral triangle. Simple, right? =)
- Mount the hook back in the vise and tie the thread back onto the hook ahead of the trimmed hair. Tie in a nice dark brown saddle hackle, a bit oversized for the hook you're using, so the rear end of the fly will sit low and the fly will ride high on it's hackle tips. Take 5-6 turns of hackle and trim off excess. Tie off the hackle , but leave enough room on the shank for a decent head for the fly. When you wrap the head, don't wrap it too tight as you may pull the two antennae together.
- Adjust the antennae position using the tips of hackle you left untrimmed earlier, then trim off the hackle tips. Form the head with the thread and tie off with a whip finish. Coat the entire head with cement and allow to dry.
Please don't copy/distribute the contents of this page without my explicit permission.