This is Ralph Cutter’s killer caddis pattern. He developed this pattern back in the eighties to better mimic the caddis as they emerge from their shuck. The unique profile and wing/hackle silhouette present a much more realistic view to the fish and can also cross over for a mayfly pattern in a pinch. This is a great fly to use when fish get picky on caddis and won’t even look at something like a traditional Elk Hair Caddis. The lower floating attitude of the E/C Caddis might be just what they want.
Hook: TMC 100SPBL #14-20
Thread: 8/0 UNI, Brown
Shuck: Light Dun Zelon
Abdomen: Olive Brown Superfine Dubbing
Thorax: Olive Superfine Dubbing
Hackle: Grizzly Rooster neck or saddle
Wing: Natural Yearling Elk Hair
Start the thread about a quarter shank behind the eye and wrap a thread base back to the bend. Return the thread to the starting point. Tie in about a fourth of a strand of light dun zelon on top of the shank at the 75% point. Wrap back over the zelon to the bend of the hook.
Dub the thread with a thin strand of the olive brown Superfine Dubbing. Build a slightly tapered abdomen from the bend up to the seventy five percent point.
Apply a shorter length of the olive Superfine dubbing to the thread and build a small, oval shaped thorax that overlaps slightly onto the front of the abdomen.
Select a grizzly hackle feather appropriate for your hook size. Strip the base of the feather,exposing the stem for about a half shank length. Make a thread base from the front of the abdomen to the hook eye and back again. Tie the butt end of the feather in at the front of the thorax with the inside of the feather facing up.
Cut, clean and stack a sparse bunch of yearling elk. Measure the hair against the shank so it reaches to the bend of the hook.
Make two turns around the hair at the front of the thorax and tighten the thread by pulling toward you. Continue making five or six more tight wraps to anchor the wing in place. The wing tips should flare slightly while the butt ends will flare much more.
Lift the butt ends of the hair up and bring the thread to the front of the hook, between the eye and the wing.
Begin to wrap the hackle around the base of the wing tips and butts. I tie left handed and make the hackle turns clockwise, but if you are a righty, go counter clockwise. Make sure the inside of the feather is facing up as you wrap.Make five or six turns of hackle, each one under the previous turn. That means the first turn should jump to the top leaving room to pack the other turns in below it. The hackle is wrapped around the base of the wing tips and the wing butts.
Make five or six turns of hackle, each one under the previous turn. That means the first turn should jump to the top leaving room to pack the other turns in below it. The hackle is wrapped around the base of the wing tips and the wing butts.
End the hackle wraps with the feather on the far side of the hook and pulled slightly down. Bring your closed thumb and forefinger in around the shank and draw them up from the bottom, sweeping the wrapped hackle fibers up and out of the way as you go. Leave the tip of the feather exposed and sticking out over the hook eye while you capture it with a pinch wrap behind the eye. Anchor the tip of the feather down tightly.
You ought to have something that looks like this now.
Clip the tip of the hackle feather flush with the shank. Make a few tight turns to bury the stub. Sweep the hackle back once again while you whip finish the thread behind the eye. Clip the thread.
Trim the butt end of the wing into a short stub, leaving the tips intact. Trim the zelon shuck to about a shank length long.
Top View, Quartering.
Front quarter view.