Sunday, August 31, 2014

Tying the Caddis-E-Merger

This pattern is the result of quite a few years of tinkering with other patterns. It combines attributes from several effective patterns. With the exception of furling the tail the same techniques are used to tie the May-E-Merger. In fact quite often I don’t furl the tail on the mayfly version. There are times though when the tail can make all the difference in catching trout and going fishless.

This has become my go to fly as both mayfly and caddis on lakes and rivers though it is a bit tedious keeping it on top in rough water. To adjust this pattern to the mayfly version clip the wings and legs a bit shorter.

Hook-         Light wire scud/caddis, Tiemco 2488, size 18-14
Thread-       8/0 tan or olive to match natural
Tail/legs-    Antron fibers, cream
Rib-          Root beer Krystal Flash
Abdomen-      Thin tapered marabou barbs
Wing-         CDC puffs


1-Start the thread just behind the eye of the hook and catch in the Antron fibers with the tips protruding forward of the eye a length equal to the overall length of the hook.

2-Keeping tension on the Antron off the back of the hook wind the thread to the half-way point of the hook shank. Catch in the rib and wind the thread back to the bend of the hook keeping the Antron and rib on the top of the hook shank.

3-Separate a group of 10-15 marabou fibers and pull them off the quill keeping the tips even. Trim the tips by 1/16” then catch them in at the bend of the hook. The most effective way to handle this step is to catch them in long with 2 snug thread wraps (photo 3) and gently pull them back until 1/16” is caught under the thread (photo 4).

4-Cover the tips with thread and wind the thread forward to a position 1 hook eye length behind the hook eye.

5-Lift the marabou barbs by the butts. Lift the rib alongside the marabou then twist them all together to form a slender, tapered rope.

6-Wind the marabou rope forward in touching wraps to the point where the thread was stopped in step 4. Catch in the marabou rope securely and trim the excess. I use a pair of short rotary pliers for this step.

7-Pull the Antron legs backward and secure them with 2 or 3 snug thread wraps then separate the fibers in half using your thumbnail across the top of the fibers. Push the fibers down along either side of the hook shank. The legs should be trimmed to the length of the body before doing this.

8-Tease the Antron fibers downward until they point down and back.

9-Catch in a pair of CDC puffs with the tips pointing backwards over the hook a length equal to the length of the abdomen. I catch them in separately with a pair of thread wraps each so that their lengths can be adjusted separately.

10-Pull the tips backward, catch the tips in pointing backward then secure them firmly and tie off the thread.

11-Trim the CDC tips and the tail shuck to length.

12-The bottom view of the fly, the important view for the fish!

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