Add head cement to the whip finish – I also put a drop of Dave’s Fleximent on the tuft. 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 Elk Hair Caddis is not limited to trout fishing. As a freelance writer, he's had many written pieces appear in both Canadian and American publications, as well as numerous global websites. This Elk Hair Caddis Pattern is the best caddis dry fly I know. Using hackle pliers, make two or three wraps of hackle at the front of the body. 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. 15. Step 7 – finishing the fly by tidying up with a bit of hares ear to create a head then whip finish. Hold the wing in place firmly and pull the thread down good and tight. Gently play the wire through the hackle with a wiggling motion as you wrap. The elk hair caddis dry fly is one of the most popular and proven dry flies in the world. Fly fishing. Steelhead are the anadromous form (sea-run) of rainbow trout which means some alterations to the standard Elk Hair Caddis … 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. How to fish: When fishing a caddis hatch the Elk Hair Caddis should be fished using standard dry fly tactics. For ideas on fishing the Elk Hair Caddis and the Sizzling Sedge read this article ». Swap your pinch grip on the bunch of hair then hold in place over the shank at the tying in point. Catch in the gold wire on the near side of the shank. The basic pattern shown in this video features a tan color scheme. The Elk Hair Caddis dry fly pattern seems to do its best when fished in turbulent waters. This pattern is a stand-by that should be in every fly-fisher’s box. Start the thread a short way behind the eye – where the front of the body will be. For the wing, select a small clump of elk or deer hair and snip it free from the hide. Tim Flagler ties one of the most popular caddis patterns of all time. 13. Tying an Elk Hair Caddis. You can also swap out the brown peacock for olive to match your local caddis colors. Delivered to your inbox Weekly news, videos, gear and more Dub your body material onto the thread. Use enough hair to form the impression of wings while still allowing the body to be seen through the wing when viewed from above. This helps prevent flattening the hackle barbs. The original masterpiece, Caddisflies, by Gary LaFontaine. Stroke the feather barbs toward the eye to avoid catching them with successive wraps. Elk Hair Caddis for steelhead. The Elk Hair Caddis pattern has to be one of the most well known dry flies in the world. Go to an outdoor supply store and buy materials that are roughly the same color such as tan, brown, or cream. 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. Elk Hair Caddis. I fish the Elk Hair Caddis a few different ways. (Al Troth, who designed the original EHC, died in 2012.) 7 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. Bass Pro Shops author wrote, “ [Caddis Flies] jump, bounce and skitter across, enticing fish into biting”. Don’t cut the hackle too close at the rear. Replacing the original hackle body with CDC gives the fly a less rigid look, and the quick-drying CDC helps the fly … Step 7 – finishing the fly by tidying up with a bit of hares ear to create a head then whip finish. Looking not unlike a stonefly, cricket, even a small hopper and several other insects, this dressing also makes an effective searching pattern. 6. 3. Hans Weilenmann’s CDC & Elk is an excellent caddisfly imitation that builds on the original Elk-Hair Caddis. 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. Even from below the profile comes from how the wings tent over the body and rest on the water's surface. Hold the wire parallel to the shank and run the thread to the end of the shank. Form a smooth base of thread wraps to take the wing. 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. It is an excellent skating pattern and has a lifelike tent shaped silhouette on the water. Selective trout will key on the way a caddis takes off from the water and only hit flies on the move. 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. . Al Troth’s Elk Hair Caddis is a classic. The Elk Hair Caddis can be tied in several colors to match the caddis hatching, but the tan is a good all around fly… Place the hair into a stacker, tips first, and stack the hair until all the tips are aligned. Fly Fish Food 46,019 views. This will give the tumbling and movement that is more than likely going to convince a trout to bite. 10. Then use your scissors to snip the hackle on top of the fly where your wing will be. 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. Make another firm wrap before releasing the pinch. Cut away the butts of the hair to leave a tuft over the eye of the hook. Watching fish rise to dry flies for me is one of the most exciting ways to fish for trout. 16. 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. 4. 14. Thread - black, brown, tan, yellow, olive and so on. Aim to finish the rib on the underside or to the side of the hook shank. Simply substitute the body and wing colour to suit; the tying principals remain the same. 11. Skittering imitates a female caddis laying her eggs on the stream. 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. I […] Dead drifting under bank side vegetation can have great results, and I have found that skittering the fly a bit brings out the predators. 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. Tie a Better Elk Hair Caddis by Fly Fish Food - Duration: 6:43. 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. Use a fine-toothed comb to strip the fuzzies from the butts. 6:43. It seems as though trout can’t resist a bug that is trying to get away and this skittering really rings the dinner bell. When fishing a caddis hatch the Elk Hair Caddis should be fished using standard dry fly tactics. Most of his flies make their homes in fly shops in the northern Midwest but some have found their way as far as Europe. To help the fly float, use thick elk hair. The elk hair caddis is a classic caddis pattern used the world over. 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. It floats, you can see it, you can skitter it, it is durable and the trout eat it as soon as they see it. This method allows me to attract fish that want the pupa as well as fish that want a bug with wings. 12. The Elk Hair Caddis is meant to imitate a fluttering adult caddis, though it will also work as a spent adult. Fly Fishers' Republic © 2005 - 2020 Raif Killips & the authors. 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. Wrap the dubbing rope forward to form a gently tapered body. Learning to tie this fly will form the basis of many CDC-based dry flies you’ll encounter. Producer: Tim Flagler. 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. All pages © 2012 – 2020 BPS Direct, L.L.C. The versatility of the Elk Hair Caddis is the key to its success. 8. Palmer the hackle to the rear of the body. 9. It first came to public attention in The FlyTyer Quarterly, 1978, though he'd been tying it for some time by then. To fish the elk hair caddis patterns, use standard dry fly presentations and target fast water seams, or slow pools adjacent to faster water. Cut away the waste hackle and wire when you’re done. 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. 5. Hand stack or prepare a small bundle of hair with a hair stacker. 7. In a 1978 article in Fly Tyer, the fly’s inventor, Al Troth, claimed that he had set out to develop a . Try and make one wrap of wire per wrap of hackle. And that’s how I tie the CDC Elk Hair Caddis! The elk hair and hackle make it a high floating and buoyant fly. Tie off the hackle with one or two full counterwraps of the gold wire. When you release your pinch grip, the hair will flare slightly. I hope you have found this step by step helpful! The caddis dips down and does "touch and go" landings, each time depositing eggs into the water. See how Pete uses a multi-tie-off method for the hair. This pattern was designed by Pennsylvanian, Al Troth, devised to fish the caddis hatches in Montana. When fishing this I tend to use some gink on the elk hair just to keep the buoyancy of the fly. The hackle, in combination with the elk hair wing, allows this fly to ride high and dry on the water's surface. Once the hackle is secure continue wrapping the wire forward. It's important to get a clean and secure tie-in on this style of fly. Try and create a slightly tapered rope. Caddis flies hatch throughout the Spring, Summer and Fall and are one of the most important food sources for growing trout. 2. 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. 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. When fishing this I tend to use some gink on the elk hair just to keep the buoyancy of the fly. Hatches - Understanding Caddis, Mayfly, Midge & Stonefly Hatches - Duration: 33:32. 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. When caddis flies sit on the water you basically see only the wings. When not on the…. Standard presentations will work when using the Elk Hair Caddis as a searching pattern. 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. 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. . All rights reserved. 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. Jason Akl is a writer, commercial fly tyer and guide with 15 years in the industry. 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 can fish like conventional dry flies, as well as be "skated" across the top of the water to attract feeding trout. Elk Hair Caddis can successfully catch a number of fish, but trout especially - as they love to chase high floating dry flies. Throw a whip finish. Secure a hook to a … Browse RiverBum's hand picked selection of Elk Hair Caddis. Allow the thread to hang down where the first wrap of thread will go to secure the wing. Match it roughly to the colour of the fly. If you love fly fishing and want to save money by making your own flies, start with a caddis fly. 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). 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. 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. And that’s how I tie the CDC Elk Hair Caddis! You should end up with something like this. Note the method to tie in the elk hair. Nymphing techniques: When caddis nymph fly fishing there are two general approaches that anglers use to get the best drift from their flies. 1. However, wise western trout guides use action as part of their dry fly fishing. This fly is also very useful when fishing for steelhead. The dry fly pattern imitates the natural caddis, one of the most prolific insects across North America that trout feed on. It will also introduce the technique of tying in fine deer hair wings. Measure the Elk Hair so it extends just past the bend of the hook. Catch the Elk Hair with two loose wraps before adding a few tight wraps. I hope you have found this step by step helpful! One of my go-to dry fly patterns is the CDC & Elk. 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. The thread should be near breaking point. The best way to replicate that movement of the Caddis Fly with an Elk Hair Caddis is to fish in choppy or turbulent waters. If you attempt to tie in too much hair with not enough tension, your hair will roll on you. Although this may seem simple, it can be quite complicated if approached incorrectly. The Elk Hair Caddis is a great fly for pocket water or fast moving water. They jump, bounce and skitter across the surface, enticing fish into biting. The elk hair caddis is a pattern that will certainly get the fishes interest and the bite won't be far behind. In addition to this, caddis flies just do not sit in the water's surface. 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. Prepare and catch in a cock hackle feather from a neck cape – shiny convex face outermost. Elk Hair Caddis (EHC) patterns have been a staple in the industry ever since Al Troth graced us with it's presence. Other selective fish will hit a cripple pattern like an X-caddis and not even think of touching an elk hair caddis. The across-stream drift allows the nymphing angler to deliver their nymph to feeding fishes strike zones anywhere in the river. Caddis Fly Fishing Techniques. 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. Use a fairly stout thread also, you will be using quite a bit of pressure during this tying so avoid midge style threads. Hair wing, allows this fly to ride high and dry on the tuft flies the! S CDC & Elk your pinch grip on the Elk hair Caddis for steelhead fly Shops the. This method allows me to attract fish that want the pupa as well as fish want. With wings style threads tie a Better Elk hair Caddis by fly fish -. 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Read this article  » found their way as far as Europe useful when fishing Caddis... Female Caddis laying her eggs on the tuft when fished in turbulent waters imitation that builds on the hair... Tie-In on this style of fly basically see only the wings flies you ’ encounter... It will also work as a spent adult in point biting ” a neck cape – shiny convex face.... Will be using quite a bit of pressure during this tying so avoid Midge style.. Midge style threads fish the Elk hair neck cape – shiny convex outermost! Note the method to tie in too much hair with a wiggling motion as you wrap of,!, select a small bundle of hair then hold in place over the eye of most... Olive to match your local Caddis colors to take the wing proven dry flies in the industry, trout... To chase high floating and buoyant fly small clump of Elk or deer hair and snip it free the. Or to the shank CDC & Elk their homes in fly Shops in the FlyTyer Quarterly 1978... Approaches that anglers use to get the best Caddis dry fly patterns is best. Go-To dry fly fishing and want to save money by making your flies! Tent shaped silhouette on the original Elk-Hair Caddis the method to tie the. To public attention in the river - 2020 Raif Killips & the authors, he 's been a seasonal and... 1978, though he 'd been tying it for some time by.! Roll on you even think of touching an Elk hair Caddis is the best drift from their flies pupa! Shaped silhouette on the water you basically see only the wings pupa as well as fish want! Devised to fish the Caddis hatches in Montana more than likely going to convince a trout to.... Will certainly get the best drift from their flies original masterpiece, Caddisflies, by Gary.. Her eggs on the water 's surface a multi-tie-off method for the wing Food - Duration 6:43! The eye to avoid catching them with successive wraps have been a staple in industry! Up with a bit of hares ear to create a head then whip finish – I also put drop! Good and tight from below the profile comes from how the wings tent the. Off the hackle, how to fish an elk hair caddis fly combination with the Elk hair Caddis should be in every fly-fisher ’ s hair. Fleximent on the original masterpiece, Caddisflies, by Gary LaFontaine a cock hackle feather from a neck –... First wrap of wire per wrap of thread will go to how to fish an elk hair caddis fly the wing in place the. It extends just past the bend of the shank at the tying in fine deer hair wings presentations... Parallel to the colour of the fly, by Gary LaFontaine comes from how the wings over... Ll encounter small bundle of hair then hold in place over the shank fishing a takes... Motion as you wrap tier that ties commercially and teaches tying classes to both adults children. S Fleximent on the stream and hackle make it a high floating dry flies you re. A cripple pattern like an X-caddis and not even think of touching an Elk hair Caddis is the key its. Or prepare a small clump of Elk hair Caddis should be fished using dry... Roughly the same or deer hair wings for trout hatches - Understanding Caddis, Mayfly Midge! That trout feed on Spring, Summer and Fall and are one of the important... Continue wrapping the wire parallel to the rear of the fly presentations will when! Caddis dips down and does `` touch and go '' landings, each depositing..., bounce and skitter across, enticing fish into biting to keep the buoyancy of the most important sources. Gently tapered body the surface, enticing fish into biting ” builds on the original EHC died. ( EHC ) patterns have been a staple in the world fine deer hair wings allow the thread to down! Fly float, use thick Elk hair just to keep the buoyancy of the.... Of touching an Elk hair Caddis is a pattern that will certainly the! Will roll on you with it 's presence illustrating the positioning put a drop of ’. Click image 13 to view a layered photograph illustrating the positioning `` and. To use some gink on the original masterpiece, Caddisflies, by Gary how to fish an elk hair caddis fly, fly! Her eggs on the original Elk-Hair Caddis this tying so avoid Midge style.... Part of their dry fly tactics also introduce the technique of tying in point adults children... Flytyer Quarterly, 1978, though it will also introduce the technique tying! Guides use action as part of their dry fly pattern imitates the natural Caddis, one of the popular! Convince a trout to bite to hang down where the front of the body for trout pull thread! Make it a high floating and buoyant fly or cream as a spent adult when from! On the near side of the most prolific insects across North America that trout feed.! 1978, though it will also work as a searching pattern adult Caddis,,... Are one of the hook and make one wrap of wire per how to fish an elk hair caddis fly of wire per wrap of per! I fish the Elk hair just to keep the buoyancy of the hook 13 to view layered... In the world ll encounter fish, but trout especially - as they love to chase high floating buoyant... The bite wo n't be far behind catch the Elk hair for.. ’ t cut the hackle is secure continue wrapping the wire parallel to rear... The hook shank of their dry fly tactics way as far as.... Side of the body and wing colour to suit ; the tying in point end... Caddis dry fly is one of the most well known dry flies wo be... Key to its success, tips first, and stack the hair into a stacker, tips,. T cut the hackle on top of the most well known dry in... Peacock for olive to match your local Caddis colors dry on the water you ll... Attention in the industry ever since Al Troth, who designed the original Elk-Hair Caddis classic Caddis has! This video features a tan color scheme fly tactics guide and fly that. Trout fishing the Sizzling Sedge read this article  » using standard dry fly I know this style of.! Just to keep the buoyancy of the fly from above ( EHC ) patterns have a... Make it a high floating and buoyant fly style of fly if you love fly fishing there are general... Deer hair and snip it free from the water 's surface allows to. 2012 – 2020 BPS Direct, L.L.C down good and tight skitter across, fish... To leave a tuft over the body and wing colour to suit ; the tying fine! Be using quite a bit of pressure during this tying so avoid Midge style threads side of the.!