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I like to tie this particular pattern with the trailing shot. I’m going to put on a material called Darlon which is very similar to Zelon and placing the material at the side of the shank of the hook and the thread about three quarters and inch long, bring the thread up and roll the material on top of the hook and bring it forward. I've already put a thread base down when I place the Darlon on the hook. And that thread base begins about a 16th of an inch behind the eye of the hook. I'm going to use some No. 3 Hoffman saddles for the ring of the body. These hackles are extremely fine. Most of them run between sizes 14 and 18. Strip away some of the barbs, just have the stem exposed. Lay this underneath at six o’clock bring the thread up and tie it on the bottom of the hook shank.
Bring the thread back to the rear of the fly. And now I'm ready to put on my dubbing. I happen to be using a rust colored SLF partridge, SLF dubbing. This is a synthetic dubbing. You can use natural dubbings if you like. I really like the synthetics because of the bright sheen that it has to it. Put a little wax on this thread if you want to. Pull just a small amount of or out of the package. It’s very important when you dub regardless of the type of material that you're using that you use small quantities of the material. Particularly beginning fly tiers have a tendency to use large quantities of material and they cannot get these threads or the material to adhere to the thread. They have a problem and they don’t know why. That’s usually because they're using too much material.
Now what I like to do when I dub this wrap forward with the dubbing up to where my head is going to be or the wing and then come back and put it around in the layers as opposed to trying to put it on from front, from back to front in one application. This system works well for me and I think if you give it a try and you'll find that you can hit the material out as thin as you want, it’s still going to taper in the fly. And usually I’ll make a football shape out of the caddis body. It would be a little thinner at the back and a little thinner at the front just like a football. And the thread now is right against the body and I’ve got approximately 16th of an inch in front of the thread.
Then I'm going to put a little thread base down and come back again to the edge of the body. Take the hackle and wrap it forward with the concave or the dull side of the hackle facing forward. And I tie it in that fashion. The number of wraps is about six wraps, five or six wraps is sufficient. Make a few wraps to tie off the hackle. For the wing, you can use bleached dough, natural cow elk, yearling elk, short coarse white tail, short coarse mule or deer. Any of those hairs will work well.
For this fly, I’ve selected bleached cow elk. I trimmed the top. Set the wings so that it comes back just passed the body. Now at this point you can counter or spin your thread clockwise to make it like a rope so that it will bite into the hair. I happen to be using 12-thread which is sort of dangerous in a sense because if you well it might break. Well, the thread is very strong and it doesn’t tend break once you’ve learn how to use the material, how much pressure to apply to it.
Make a wrap forward toward the eye of the hook. Pick up the excess material and make about a dozen wraps, make about a dozen wraps pulling that wing back. And take the half hitch tool. We’ll finish it. Grab the hair that’s sticking out on the top and trim it off. And there you have the elk hair caddis. Again, in this particular fly because the hackle is a little longer than the gap of the hook, I'm going to trim off the hackle on the bottom so it’s a little shorter than the gap of the hook. That way, the fly will turn over or lay on its side when it’s being fished. If the hackle is too long, the tendency is for the fly to roll on to its side.