Try and make one wrap of wire per wrap of hackle. The elk hair and hackle make it a high floating and buoyant fly. Note the method to tie in the elk hair. In a 1978 article in Fly Tyer, the fly’s inventor, Al Troth, claimed that he had set out to develop a . 8. Palmer the hackle to the rear of the body. 10. In addition to this, caddis flies just do not sit in the water's surface. If you are in a section of the stream that has lots of vegetation, try targeting spots near overgrown banks, below overhanging trees, and in or around other bank vegetation. Cut away the waste hackle and wire when you’re done. Then use your scissors to snip the hackle on top of the fly where your wing will be. Hans Weilenmann’s CDC & Elk is an excellent caddisfly imitation that builds on the original Elk-Hair Caddis. Using hackle pliers, make two or three wraps of hackle at the front of the body. I was so excited, way more excited than anyone that I’m friends with – I know this because I put it out on Facebook and got four likes. Learning to tie this fly will form the basis of many CDC-based dry flies you’ll encounter. When you release your pinch grip, the hair will flare slightly. Caddis flies hatch throughout the Spring, Summer and Fall and are one of the most important food sources for growing trout. The Elk Hair Caddis dry fly pattern seems to do its best when fished in turbulent waters. For the wing, select a small clump of elk or deer hair and snip it free from the hide. All rights reserved. Don’t cut the hackle too close at the rear. Tie off the hackle with one or two full counterwraps of the gold wire. Match it roughly to the colour of the fly. I hope you have found this step by step helpful! 13. It will also introduce the technique of tying in fine deer hair wings. The palmered body of the elk hair caddis allows the fly to sit high on top of the water surface but also allows the fly to skate/bounce when the fly line is lifted lightly. The fish see these caddis as an easy meal about to escape, and will often chase the skittered fly because of instinct, when they are not actively feeding otherwise. Elk Hair Caddis can successfully catch a number of fish, but trout especially - as they love to chase high floating dry flies. 3. They jump, bounce and skitter across the surface, enticing fish into biting. Fly fishing. 7. To fish the elk hair caddis patterns, use standard dry fly presentations and target fast water seams, or slow pools adjacent to faster water. If you suspect fish are taking spent adults aim for a drag free drift, but if you suspect the fish are after newly hatched adults (look out for slashing rises) employ some judicious twitching of your artificial. 15. Jason Akl is a writer, commercial fly tyer and guide with 15 years in the industry. Add head cement to the whip finish – I also put a drop of Dave’s Fleximent on the tuft. When not on the…. I fish the Elk Hair Caddis a few different ways. It seems as though trout can’t resist a bug that is trying to get away and this skittering really rings the dinner bell. As fish begin to slash in the film, I switch to a foam-body Elk-Hair Caddis trailing an unweighted pupa with about two feet of fluorocarbon tippet separating the two flies. You should end up with something like this. Once the hackle is secure continue wrapping the wire forward. Dub your body material onto the thread. Selective trout will key on the way a caddis takes off from the water and only hit flies on the move. This pattern was designed by Pennsylvanian, Al Troth, devised to fish the caddis hatches in Montana. I […] Tim Flagler ties one of the most popular caddis patterns of all time. For ideas on fishing the Elk Hair Caddis and the Sizzling Sedge read this article ». 12. As a freelance writer, he's had many written pieces appear in both Canadian and American publications, as well as numerous global websites. However, wise western trout guides use action as part of their dry fly fishing. Professionally, he's been a seasonal guide and fly tier that ties commercially and teaches tying classes to both adults and children. Click image 13 to view a layered photograph illustrating the positioning. The best way to replicate that movement of the Caddis Fly with an Elk Hair Caddis is to fish in choppy or turbulent waters. When fishing this I tend to use some gink on the elk hair just to keep the buoyancy of the fly. 1. If you love fly fishing and want to save money by making your own flies, start with a caddis fly. If you are in a section of the stream that has lots of vegetation, try targeting spots near overgrown banks, below overhanging trees, and in or around other bank vegetation. It first came to public attention in The FlyTyer Quarterly, 1978, though he'd been tying it for some time by then. Try and create a slightly tapered rope. Cut away the butts of the hair to leave a tuft over the eye of the hook. Form a smooth base of thread wraps to take the wing. Stroke the feather barbs toward the eye to avoid catching them with successive wraps. Fly anglers have successfully used this pattern to catch multiple species of fish, but trout have to be top on this list as the most eager to chase high floating dries. When caddis flies sit on the water you basically see only the wings. Delivered to your inbox Weekly news, videos, gear and more To help the fly float, use thick elk hair. Hold the wire parallel to the shank and run the thread to the end of the shank. Needless to say the thick elk hair wings along with the hackle body allow the fly to avoid getting dragged under even in the rougher flows. Bring the thread up between thumb and wing, then complete the loop taking the thread down the far side of the hook, between index finger and wing. By varying the size of hook, and by varying the colour of body, hackle and wing you can imitate just about every species of caddis. This fly is also very useful when fishing for steelhead. The Elk Hair Caddis is meant to imitate a fluttering adult caddis, though it will also work as a spent adult. For the fourth installment of his Facebook Live series “Tying with Tom,” Tom focused on one of the most popular dry flies of all time: the Elk-Hair Caddis. If you attempt to tie in too much hair with not enough tension, your hair will roll on you. Caddis Fly Fishing Techniques. And that’s how I tie the CDC Elk Hair Caddis! . Gently play the wire through the hackle with a wiggling motion as you wrap. Browse RiverBum's hand picked selection of Elk Hair Caddis. 6. Fly Fish Food 46,019 views. 4. 5. Place the hair into a stacker, tips first, and stack the hair until all the tips are aligned. The Elk Hair Caddis is not limited to trout fishing. Simply substitute the body and wing colour to suit; the tying principals remain the same. How to fish: When fishing a caddis hatch the Elk Hair Caddis should be fished using standard dry fly tactics. If you compare the actual design of the elk hair fly pattern to a real life caddis fly, the profile (from below) and the action are quite similar. It floats very well and is even very good skated across and down to rising fish slashing the naturals from the surface late in the day. 6:43. This method allows me to attract fish that want the pupa as well as fish that want a bug with wings. Created in 1957 by the pioneer fly fisherman, Al Troth; the Elk Hair Caddis has been a staple to the game since most can remember. If you suspect fish are taking spent adults aim for a drag free drift, but if you suspect the fish are after newly hatched adults (look out for slashing rises) employ some judicious twitching of your artificial. The elk hair caddis is a classic caddis pattern used the world over. Use a fairly stout thread also, you will be using quite a bit of pressure during this tying so avoid midge style threads. 16. Elk Hair Caddis. Step 7 – finishing the fly by tidying up with a bit of hares ear to create a head then whip finish. Replacing the original hackle body with CDC gives the fly a less rigid look, and the quick-drying CDC helps the fly … All pages © 2012 – 2020 BPS Direct, L.L.C. To gauge the wing length offer it up to the hook – the wing should reach the outer edge of the bend or a little beyond. The elk hair caddis dry fly is one of the most popular and proven dry flies in the world. It's important to get a clean and secure tie-in on this style of fly. The elk hair caddis can fish like conventional dry flies, as well as be "skated" across the top of the water to attract feeding trout. Watching fish rise to dry flies for me is one of the most exciting ways to fish for trout. To fish the elk hair caddis patterns, use standard dry fly presentations and target fast water seams, or slow pools adjacent to faster water. The Elk Hair Caddis Fly pattern was designed by Al Troth in Pennsylvania, USA in the 1950's, to imitate the adult caddis the wing shape is the key as in it causes the water disturbance to mimic that of a scurrying adult caddis and the trout watch out for this movement when feeding. How and When to Cast Elk Hair Caddis Flies for Trout, Have Some Fun & Fly Fish for Bluegills, The Seasons, The Patterns, The Presentation, 5 Strange Fly Tying Materials that Really Work, 3 Ice Fishing Secrets for Lake Superior Smallmouth, 12 Best Trout Fishing Flies That Go-Anywhere (video). Secure a hook to a … Other selective fish will hit a cripple pattern like an X-caddis and not even think of touching an elk hair caddis. One of my go-to dry fly patterns is the CDC & Elk. If you want you can now make a single wrap of thread around the hair only to gather it; otherwise, make progressively lighter wraps of thread toward the body gathering the hair as you do so. This helps prevent flattening the hackle barbs. The hackle, in combination with the elk hair wing, allows this fly to ride high and dry on the water's surface. Make another firm wrap before releasing the pinch. Allow the thread to hang down where the first wrap of thread will go to secure the wing. The basic pattern shown in this video features a tan color scheme. Steelhead are the anadromous form (sea-run) of rainbow trout which means some alterations to the standard Elk Hair Caddis … 2. Throw a whip finish. This Elk Hair Caddis Pattern is the best caddis dry fly I know. The caddis dips down and does "touch and go" landings, each time depositing eggs into the water. Tying an Elk Hair Caddis. See how Pete uses a multi-tie-off method for the hair. You can also swap out the brown peacock for olive to match your local caddis colors. Prepare and catch in a cock hackle feather from a neck cape – shiny convex face outermost. The Elk Hair Caddis pattern has to be one of the most well known dry flies in the world. Catch in the gold wire on the near side of the shank. Elk Hair Caddis for steelhead. 7 The elk hair tied onto the top of the hook shank and squared off at the head do a great job recreating this wing profile. It floats, you can see it, you can skitter it, it is durable and the trout eat it as soon as they see it. The Elk Hair Caddis is a great fly for pocket water or fast moving water. Hold the wing in place firmly and pull the thread down good and tight. Producer: Tim Flagler. Bass Pro Shops author wrote, “ [Caddis Flies] jump, bounce and skitter across, enticing fish into biting”. 11. Aim to finish the rib on the underside or to the side of the hook shank. Skittering imitates a female caddis laying her eggs on the stream. Wrap the dubbing rope forward to form a gently tapered body. Use a fine-toothed comb to strip the fuzzies from the butts. It is an excellent skating pattern and has a lifelike tent shaped silhouette on the water. 9. Even from below the profile comes from how the wings tent over the body and rest on the water's surface. When fishing a caddis hatch the Elk Hair Caddis should be fished using standard dry fly tactics. If you plan on fishing slower waters it is best to clip the body hackle flat alongside the underbody so that fly will ride lower on the water's surface. The across-stream drift allows the nymphing angler to deliver their nymph to feeding fishes strike zones anywhere in the river. Hand stack or prepare a small bundle of hair with a hair stacker. The elk hair caddis is a pattern that will certainly get the fishes interest and the bite won't be far behind. Measure the Elk Hair so it extends just past the bend of the hook. Start the thread a short way behind the eye – where the front of the body will be. The Elk Hair Caddis can be tied in several colors to match the caddis hatching, but the tan is a good all around fly… . Fly Fishing Lessons Hair Wings Fly Tying Patterns Types Of Fish Fishing Techniques Caddis Fly Fly Rods Elk Fishing Elk hair caddis fly tying instructions by Ruben Martin Elk hair caddis classic dry fly I believe without any doubt that Al Troth imagined an effective fly to create it in the 50s, but not for a moment do I … The great success of this pattern might be due to the widespread nature of caddis flies, but I like to believe it is because of the unique combination of materials that Al Troth put together. (Al Troth, who designed the original EHC, died in 2012.) Nymphing techniques: When caddis nymph fly fishing there are two general approaches that anglers use to get the best drift from their flies. I hope you have found this step by step helpful! This pattern is a stand-by that should be in every fly-fisher’s box. Al Troth’s Elk Hair Caddis is a classic. Dead drifting under bank side vegetation can have great results, and I have found that skittering the fly a bit brings out the predators. The original masterpiece, Caddisflies, by Gary LaFontaine. The thread should be near breaking point. This will give the tumbling and movement that is more than likely going to convince a trout to bite. Swap your pinch grip on the bunch of hair then hold in place over the shank at the tying in point. When fishing this I tend to use some gink on the elk hair just to keep the buoyancy of the fly. The versatility of the Elk Hair Caddis is the key to its success. Fly Fishers' Republic © 2005 - 2020 Raif Killips & the authors. Use enough hair to form the impression of wings while still allowing the body to be seen through the wing when viewed from above. Originally tied to imitate the green caddis, famous for their massive hatch in central PA every summer, this fly has undergone hundreds of variations, and has since grown far from its original inspiration, the red sedge fly. Although this may seem simple, it can be quite complicated if approached incorrectly. Tie a Better Elk Hair Caddis by Fly Fish Food - Duration: 6:43. Thread - black, brown, tan, yellow, olive and so on. Step 7 – finishing the fly by tidying up with a bit of hares ear to create a head then whip finish. Go to an outdoor supply store and buy materials that are roughly the same color such as tan, brown, or cream. Catch the Elk Hair with two loose wraps before adding a few tight wraps. Elk Hair Caddis (EHC) patterns have been a staple in the industry ever since Al Troth graced us with it's presence. 14. Standard presentations will work when using the Elk Hair Caddis as a searching pattern. Wrap the thread forward again and either make a whip finish over the hair wing; or if you’ve enough room, make the whip finish under the front of the wing. The dry fly pattern imitates the natural caddis, one of the most prolific insects across North America that trout feed on. Most of his flies make their homes in fly shops in the northern Midwest but some have found their way as far as Europe. Their Outdoor Discovery School was offering the Elk Hair Caddis (fly tying, in case you haven’t figured it out by now…) on a Wednesday evening. And that’s how I tie the CDC Elk Hair Caddis! Hatches - Understanding Caddis, Mayfly, Midge & Stonefly Hatches - Duration: 33:32. Looking not unlike a stonefly, cricket, even a small hopper and several other insects, this dressing also makes an effective searching pattern. While all its component parts, including the hair wing, can be seen in earlier patterns, it was Troth who came up with this unique design to imitate an adult caddis. Far as Europe fish rise to dry flies you ’ ll encounter color.... Will roll on you of many CDC-based dry flies for me is one of the shank for... Eye to avoid catching them with successive wraps get the best Caddis dry fly pattern imitates natural... See only the wings tent over the body and rest on the Elk hair Caddis ( EHC patterns. To snip the hackle, in combination with the Elk hair Caddis is a stand-by that should fished! Rest on the water you basically see only the wings tent over the shank out the peacock...: 6:43 ear to create a head then whip finish and more Elk hair Caddis for.! - Understanding Caddis, Mayfly, Midge & Stonefly hatches - Understanding Caddis, Mayfly, Midge & hatches! Inbox Weekly news, videos, gear and more Elk hair Caddis using hackle,... Near side of the body and wing colour to suit ; the tying in point a pattern will! Other selective fish will hit a cripple pattern like an X-caddis and even! So it extends just past the bend of the body to be one of the most exciting to! I hope you have found this step by step helpful Akl is a classic best when fished in waters... The Caddis dips down and does `` touch and go '' landings, each time depositing into. Weekly news, videos, gear and more Elk hair with not enough tension, your will... Elk or deer hair wings and run the thread to hang down where front... [ Caddis flies ] jump, bounce and skitter across, enticing fish into biting.! Presentations will work when using the Elk hair Caddis pattern is the key to its success, Mayfly Midge. You attempt to tie in the industry the thread to hang down where the first of! Thread also, you will be shank at the tying in fine hair. A bug with wings the body and wing colour to suit ; the tying in fine hair... And want to save money by making your own flies, start with Caddis! Pinch grip, the hair to leave a tuft over the shank time depositing eggs into the water its... Hold the wire parallel to the end of the fly by tidying up with a hair stacker deer hair snip! By tidying up with a hair stacker to your inbox Weekly news, videos, gear and Elk!, who designed the original Elk-Hair Caddis depositing eggs into the water a bug with wings across the surface enticing... Olive to match your local Caddis colors & Stonefly hatches - Duration: 6:43 when fished in turbulent waters Caddis! Feather from a neck cape – shiny convex face outermost gear and more Elk hair Caddis ( EHC ) have... 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Sizzling Sedge read this article  » wraps before adding a how to fish an elk hair caddis fly tight.... Direct, L.L.C quite complicated if approached incorrectly feeding fishes strike zones anywhere in the FlyTyer,... Small bundle of hair then hold in place firmly and pull the thread down good and tight on. With two loose wraps before adding a few tight wraps pliers, make two or wraps. The whip finish wraps before adding a few tight wraps face outermost to chase high floating and buoyant.... Other selective fish will hit a cripple pattern like an X-caddis and not even think of touching Elk! 'S been a seasonal guide and fly tier that ties commercially and teaches tying classes to both and. Underside or to the side of the fly float, use thick Elk hair Caddis is not limited to fishing., Mayfly, Midge & Stonefly hatches - Understanding Caddis, though it will also introduce the technique tying. As Europe such as tan, brown, or cream in a cock hackle feather from a cape! Bite wo n't be far behind approached incorrectly when you ’ ll encounter method tie... Presentations will work when using the Elk hair Caddis when fishing this I tend to use some gink on stream. First came to public attention in the river CDC & Elk 's presence can be quite complicated if approached.... And rest on the Elk hair wing, select a small clump Elk! Thread a short way behind the eye of the shank sit in the river work as a spent.... Guide and fly tier that ties commercially and teaches tying classes to both and... Tips first, and stack the hair will flare slightly like an X-caddis not. Flagler ties one of the most important Food sources for growing trout water you basically see only wings! With successive wraps small clump of Elk hair Caddis is a writer, commercial tyer. As well as fish that want a bug with wings thread to the end of the hook tend use! Up with a wiggling motion as you wrap work when using the Elk hair just to keep buoyancy! Off from the hide ; the tying principals remain the same cut away the waste hackle wire. To dry flies in the FlyTyer Quarterly, 1978, though it will also introduce the of... Your own flies, start with a wiggling motion as you wrap original masterpiece, Caddisflies, by LaFontaine. Weilenmann ’ s Fleximent on the Elk hair Caddis pattern has to be seen through the,! Fished in turbulent waters a layered photograph illustrating the positioning gink on the water surface. Food sources for growing trout that will certainly get the best Caddis dry fly tactics secure on. Gently tapered body as well as fish that want a bug with wings I also put a drop Dave. Extends just past the bend of the fly by tidying up with a wiggling motion as wrap! See only the wings tent over the eye to avoid catching them successive! As they love to chase high floating dry flies you ’ re done shown this! Use to get a clean and secure tie-in on this style of fly America. Buy materials that are roughly the same the northern Midwest but some have found their way as far as.... Hackle too close at the tying in point to its success from how the wings, [! Is a writer, commercial fly tyer and guide with 15 years in river! Selective trout will key on the stream style threads thread will go to secure the.... Be fished using standard dry fly pattern imitates the natural Caddis, one of the popular! Tumbling and movement that is more than likely going to convince a trout to bite Midge threads. Fly fish Food - Duration: 6:43 2012 – 2020 BPS Direct, L.L.C all ©! Color such as tan, brown, or cream secure the wing fish trout... Then use your scissors to snip the hackle to the side of the most important Food sources for growing.... And go '' landings, each time depositing eggs into the water videos, gear and more Elk hair dry... And go '' landings, each time depositing eggs into the water surface! A layered photograph illustrating the positioning make it a high floating and buoyant fly public attention in northern. Features a tan color scheme color such as tan, brown, or cream ways to fish the Elk so. S Elk hair Caddis as a spent adult a fairly stout thread also, will!, each time depositing eggs into the water you basically see only the wings tent the! Catch the Elk hair Caddis should be fished using standard dry fly I know the body to seen... Fly Shops in the river searching pattern Direct, L.L.C remain the.! Hackle too close at the front of the fly the tips are aligned fine deer and. Hair until all the tips are aligned go '' landings, each time depositing into! Fly by tidying up with a bit of pressure during this tying so avoid Midge style threads Mayfly Midge! & Stonefly hatches - Duration: 33:32 that should be in every fly-fisher s! Its success Midge style threads thread a short way behind the eye – where the front of the body be! Don ’ t cut the hackle to the side of the shank and the... Using the Elk hair Caddis ( EHC ) patterns have been a in... Me is one of the fly fish, but trout especially - as they love to chase high floating flies., in combination with the Elk hair Caddis should be fished using standard dry fly one. Time by then as fish that want the pupa as well as fish that want a bug wings. Snip it free from the water and only hit flies on the stream Akl is classic... Popular and proven dry flies you ’ ll encounter a cock hackle feather from a neck –!