How to Tie Elk Hair Caddis
What You’ll Need
TMC 101 #12-16
Uni-thread 8/0 (color to match elk hair)
Brown Rooster Neck
Natural Elk hair
Start the thread at the front of the hook. Make enough wraps to secure the thread and cut the tag end off.
Tie the wire in at the front and wind it back to the bend. I’m using small wire so it will help go through the hackle without smashing to many down from winding it forward.
You only need a small amount of dubbing. Try not to build a big body. Keep it sparse and only apply enough to cover the hook. Make sure you leave some room behind the eye for the hackle and elk hair to be tied in.
Tie in the hackle from the bottom side (not the tip of the feather). You’ll need to strip some of the hackle fibers off and tie it in at the stem. Make sure you only tie the stem and not any of the hackle fibers.
Wrap the hackle back, but make sure you keep the wraps evenly spaced. The more wraps you do the higher the fly will sit out of the water. So if you only wrap lets say four wraps of hackle, more then likely you’ll have problems with it staying a float.
Once you get to the back. Hold the feather with tension and grab the wire with the other hand. You’re going to wrap the wire locking the hackle down. One turn will be enough to let go of it and cut the excess hackle off. You can also wait till the fly is complete, it’s really up to you. Then advance the wire up wrapping it the opposite direction the way you wrapped the hackle in. This will prevent a lot of hackle fibers being tied in or smashed down.
Tie down the wire and move the wire back and forth until it breaks. If you cut with scissors make sure it’s a dull pair. I don’t like to cut wire because it usaully leaves a tag sticking up. By breaking it from the heat of moving it back and forth you won’t have a tag.
Anvil came out with this new translucent hair stacker that works really well with fine deer or elk hair.
Your ready for the hair. You don’t need much. You can see how much I used in the stacker. Comb the excess out of the ends where you made the cut. Put it in the hair stacker and make a few bangs on the table and your set.
When taking the hair out of the stacker. Make sure you pay attention to which direction the tips are going. You don’t want to pull it out of the stacker and switch it to the other hand. The tips will get messed up in the process. You want the tips to already point backwards when taking it out of the stacker. Hold the bottom part of the stacker with your left hand. The other side is the side you will pull with your right hand keeping the stacker horizontal so the tips stay even. You’ll notice the tips hanging out a little, grab the tips holding them tight. Set the stacker down and measure the hair to the desired length. I like mine a little past the bend of the hook.
Make an even cut on the butt side of the hair (the side your tying in) and make your first turn loose. The next few turns you will add a little more tension with each turn. This will keep the hair from shifting. Don’t let go of the hair until you’ve completed this step. I make a few more turns and now I’m ready to whip finish.
Whip finish the fly and glue the thread.