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Hackle issues for Elk Hair Caddis

Caddis Hackle

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2 replies to this topic

#1 stoket17


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Posted 06 March 2015 - 11:15 PM

I am new to fly tying and am looking into tying an Elk Hair Caddis. I love using this fly and would love to be able to tie one that I can fish with. The problem I am running into while tying this is that the hackle is so long it sticks out waaaaay past the hook point and looks goofy. I am not sure if I'm using the wrong hackle or what the issue is.. what is the correct hackle to use for the Elk Hair Caddis? hook sizes 14-18

#2 utyer


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Posted 06 March 2015 - 11:22 PM

When you wind hackle around the hook the barbs will radiate out around the hook.  The length of these barbs should be about 1.5 times the hook gap.  The hook gap is the distance from the shank down to the hook point.  


On an elk hair caddis, the hackle should be smaller (closer to one hook gap,) or you can simply leave it off.  


I haven't put a hackle on an Elk Hair Caddis for 25 years unless I was tying them or someone else.  They really aren't that necessary.  The "hank or hair" is all you really need.  


You have also placed this post in the wrong heading.  You will get more answers, if you place a question like this in the Begginer area, or the Fly Tyin Bench 

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#3 Crackaig


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Posted 07 March 2015 - 12:28 AM

Utyer's three points are all spot on. A friend of mine, the fly fishing author, Dr Malcolm Greenhaugh restricted himself to just one fly for all his brown and sea trout (sea run browns) for a season. That fly was a hackle less EHC. He noticed no difference in his catch rate.


The way that you are tying the hackle here will make a difference, there are two ways. Originally the hackle was tied in at the head, wound down the hook shank and held in place by winding the rib through it. Some people omit the rib, tie the hackle in at the bend and wind it forward, tying it off at the head. Which way are you trying to do it? (A third could be to wind the rib than hackle over it in the second way but that makes no difference as the second method is really the same).


In my SbS for the Royal Coachman I explain my method for tying in a dry fly hackle. If you try tying it in that way it might help you to bet a neater wind. You need to wind it in open turns though, in my photos I wind in close turns. Utyer is right on the size issue.




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