A spent caddis imitation is an important part of any angler's dry fly arsenal, as they are a constant food source for trout throughout North America during the warmer months of the year. Spent caddis are typically available to the trout during low light periods - early morning and near dusk. What is important about this fly is that it imitates a caddis that is either dying or dead, and as such the insect floats in the surface film, because it lacks the ability to ride high like it once did when healthy. For an imitation to be most effective then, it must also have a low profile and sit in the film.
Here is another fine tying video we made with Tim Flagler of Tightline Productions of my version of the Spent Partridge Caddis. It rides low just like the naturals, which the trout love, and my eyes hate.....but it works so well its worth it.
Thread: 6/0 Danville Olive (what else?)
Hook: Dai Riki #300 #16
Body: Ginger HareTron
Underwing: Tan Zelon
Wing: Two partridge feathers
Thorax: Hare's Ear
I tie these in size #14-18, and in the tan/ginger shown here, olive and gray. I prefer the touch-dubbed Hare's Ear for the thorax because the wax adds some water repellency to the fly, which helps it float. If you prefer, you can accomplish a similar thorax using the split thread method of applying dubbing.
Sharpen your hooks.
Nice pattern. Looks like it will float right in the film.
For your olive and gray versions, do you still use the natural colored Hare's Ear for the thorax or match the thorax color to the body color?
Hey Grobert...which way did you spin yer dubbin'?!??!
Anon - I use the natural hare's ear for all of them. There's no reason you couldn't try dyed hare's ear though; if you do, let us know how it works for you.
Mr.Q - It depended on the level of my ADD that day..........but its always clockwise. ;)
Great tie, Matt. Where do you get your straight Z-lon? Having a hard time finding it.
Dawg, I get it from Blue Ribbon Flies in W. Yellowstone. I like the Zelon, but you can also use Antron or EP Trigger Fibers. Just keep it sparse to give some sparkle.
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